One quirk of human biology seems to be an inability to get rid of those last annoying pockets of fat no matter how much a person diets or how regularly and strenuously they exercise.
Some people remedy this with liposuction or even tummy tucks or thigh or arm lifts, but these are invasive procedures that carry some risk. They’re also expensive.
Fortunately, those last bits of fat can be removed noninvasively by applying either heat or cold. The techniques are best seen in procedures called SculpSure and Coolsculpting.
What Is Sculpsure?
The secret to both Coolsculpting and SculpSure is the fact that the temperatures needed to damage fat cells and regular cells are different. SculpSure uses heat.
Dermatologists use special applicators held by straps to heat fat cells to between 108 and 117 degrees Fahrenheit. While the fat cells are being heated, the top of the skin is cooled. The damaged fat cells and other waste products are eventually absorbed by the body.
Another good thing about both SculpSure and Coolsculpting is that fat cells do not return once the body gets rid of them.
The dermatologist adjusts the applicators to keep the client as comfortable as possible as they lay on a treatment table or sit in a chair. Most clients find SculpSure treatment so comfortable that some even bring work from the office or take a quick nap.
A SculpSure session takes about 25 minutes, and the client can return for touch-up treatments. These treatments are scheduled a few weeks apart to give the treated area time to adjust.
SculpSure applicators don’t stretch the skin, and since there’s no risk of uneven pigmentation, SculpSure is good for all types of skin, from fair to very dark.
The client may experience a bit of bruising or swelling in the treatment area, but the application of an ice pack can ease this. Unusual firmness and tenderness also go away within a few days.
CoolSculpting is the opposite of SculpSure because it destroys fat cells with cold. This process is called cryolipolysis. The fat cells are cooled to about 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice crystals form in them cells and eventually destroy them.
Other cells are spared, since 39 degrees F is too warm to damage them. As with Sculpsure, the body disposes of the dead fat cells.
The dermatologist also uses an applicator during CoolSculpting. In this case, it is held in place by a vacuum cup. A session lasts for about an hour, and as with SculpSure the client can read, work or relax during that time.
Redness and Swelling
There is some redness and swelling with CoolSculpting, but as with SculpSure they fade in a matter of days.
Both CoolSculpting and Sculpsure are outpatient procedures, and some clients have them done on their lunch hours. Others go back home and rest for a while.
Clients will see notice a slimmer and firmer silhouette after about three weeks, which is about how long the body takes to get rid of the damaged fat cells. Improvements should continue over four to six months.
In choosing a technique, a client should know that as of 2016 the average cost of CoolSculpting was $2250, while the cost of Sculpsure ranged from a low of $600 to a high of $2267, depending on the area of the country.