Will the CoolSculpting Also Damage the Tissue Around the Treated Area?

since CoolSculpting destroy my fat cells by cooling them,will it also damage the tissue around the treated area,such as my skin?

Doctor Answers 7

CoolSculpting and Safety

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CoolSculpting was designed to target the fat cells exclusively and not to damage surrounding tissue

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq safety

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The reason the skin surrounding the treated fat in CoolSculpting is spared, is that fat cells are more sensitive to cold temperature than skin. The fat cells die when frozen but the skin is more protected.  Certainly there can be temporary bruising and sensitivity or numbness. Discuss the side effects with your doctor.

The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

CoolSculpting Will Not Damage Tissue Around Treated Area

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CoolSculpting is FDA-cleared for the flanks (love handles) and abdomen and is proven to be a safe and effective treatment. Typically, there is minimal to no downtime after the treatment though patients may experience temporary pain or discomfort. CoolSculpting doesn’t burn, shatter or extract any cells. Developed by Harvard scientists,the procedure uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells underneath the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination. Only fat cells are frozen. 

CoolSculpting® only targets the fat cells

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No, CoolSculpting® only targets the fat cells. The FDA-cleared technology uses a targeted cooling system that directly damages the fat cells underneath the skin while avoiding other tissue areas.  I would recommend speaking with a board-certified dermatologist who offers CoolSculpting® to discuss this procedure with you.

D. Scott Karempelis, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon

Will Coolsculpting damage other cells?

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Greetings Carol~

Good question! One would think that if the fat cells are damaged that all surrounding cells would be but that's not actually the case. Fat cells freeze and are damaged at a higher temperature than skin cells, the things within the skin (hair, oil glands, sweat glands) and other adjacent structures.  Coolsculpting is a very safe and effective treatment. We've treated well over a 1000 patients and not had any problems with cells other than fat being compromised. Hope that helps.

Dr. Grant Stevens 

Coolsculpting does not damage skin

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The temperature of Coolsculpting is highly regulated so it does not go below temperatures that will adversely affect the skin. It lowers tissue temperature at a level that kills fat without killing epidermal cells.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Does CoolSculpting affect other body parts?

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Hi Carol, 

Thank you for your questions. CoolSculpting works on the principle that fat is more sensitive to cold (i.e. freezes at temperatures above which other tissues will freeze).  The CoolSculpting device carefully controls the cooling process, bringing the temperature of the tissue down to the point at which fat will freeze but above which other tissues such as skin, hair, muscles and nerves will freeze.  Hence, we can safely reduce the fatty layer without damaging other tissues.  Hope this makes you feel more comfortable.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.