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Fat Freezing: The Pros, Cons, and Side Effects

Fat Freezing: The Pros, Cons, and Side Effects

If the idea of a non-surgical and effortless way to eliminate fat makes you sceptical, you have every right to be. After all, there are countless fat loss treatments, pills, and herbal remedies in the market that amount to nothing more than scams.

As a discerning consumer, you’ll want to do due diligence on the effectiveness and possible side effects of fat loss treatments that sound too good to be true. It’s why we’ve put together a careful analysis of the pros, cons, and side effects of fat freezing—the highly touted miracle solution for getting rid of those unsightly bulges.


What is Fat Freezing?

Known medically as cryolipolysis, which translates into cold (cryo) fat (lipo) destruction (lysis), fat freezing is a non-surgical fat reduction procedure that uses cold temperatures to reduce localised fat deposits or bulges that aren’t responsive to diet or exercise. 

Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive procedure that can be done in-office with minimal pain and no downtime, in comparison with liposuction that carries risks of bleeding and serious infection. Fat freezing is not suitable for individuals who are significantly overweight or obese, as it only targets specific pockets of subcutaneous fat in certain areas of the body.

As we age, our body’s ability to remove subcutaneous fat decreases along with our reduced metabolic rate, making it harder to burn off the excess fat. Fat freezing has been proven to be an effective treatment in this regard.


Is Fat Freezing Safe?

The cryolipolysis process was first discovered by Harvard scientists in 2004. This scientific breakthrough led to the first FDA-approved fat freezing technology in 2010, which became the industry benchmark for fat freezing treatments.

Over the last decade, however, new and improved technologies such as Clatuu Alpha by Classys have been developed to meet the surge in demand for fat freezing services. Clatuu’s cryolipolysis machine has double the fat freezing capabilities, allowing it to address two targeted areas rather than one with its dual applicators. This provides a faster and more affordable solution compared to the original CoolSculpting treatment.

The FDA has approved cryolipolysis to treat fat deposits in the following areas:

  • Beneath the chin
  • Upper arms
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Abdomen
  • Hip/flank (“love handles”)
  • Upper back (“brassiere rolls”)
  • Lower back
  • Underneath the buttocks

Board-certified dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, MD endorses the science behind cryolipolysis: “If you reduce the temperature of fat to a certain degree, cells go into what’s called apoptosis, which means they kill themselves and your body digests its by-products. The magic of it is you’re cooling down the skin to a temperature where it hurts the fat, but it doesn’t hurt the skin, and that’s why it works so well.” 


4 Pros & Cons of Fat Freezing 

As with any treatment, there are pros and cons of fat freezing you should weigh in your decision-making.


PROS:

  • In-Office Procedure
  • Safe enough to be performed at your local medi-spa, so you won’t have to be admitted to the hospital or take time off work for it. 


  • No Pain
  • The only thing you’ll feel is the suction of the applicator and a cold sensation in the target area.


  • No Downtime
  • Because it’s non-invasive and non-surgical, you can go back to work on the same day and resume your normal activities.


  • Visible Results
  • You’ll notice the difference within a few treatments. The results will last if you maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise.


    CONS:

  • Multiple Sessions Might Be Needed
  • Depending on your desired results and how your body responds to the treatment, more than one session might be required.


  • Time Between Sessions
  • There needs to be a gap of 6 to 8 weeks between each session for the dead fat cells to be eliminated from the body.


  • Results Aren’t Immediate
  • Since cryolipolysis involves a gradual process of removing fat cells, optimal results can take between 3 to 6 months to become visible.


  • Risk of Irregular Skin Surface
  • There is a minor risk of uneven skin surface after treatments.


    Side Effects of Fat Freezing 

    As a result of exposing the skin and tissue to temperatures of approximately up-to -9°C and the suctioning action, common side effects include slight redness, tenderness, minor bruising, numbness, and tingling around the treatment areas. These side effects usually go away within a few days of treatment.

    As the body starts removing the dead fat cells, you might experience itchiness at the treatment site, a feeling of fullness, mild cramping, and some diarrhoea. This is completely natural.

    A rare side effect that has been reported is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, where the fat cells increase in size after cryolipolysis. Men and people of Hispanic ethnicity are more likely to experience it, though there appears to be less than 1% chance of occurrence. 


    For Best Results 

    Don’t be swayed by clever marketing of cheap DIY fat freezing kits that claim to deliver the same results. 

    To prevent negative outcomes, always seek the services of professionals who are qualified and experienced in carrying out these cosmetic procedures. Do your market research, ask questions, and get recommendations from trusted friends and family members.