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Is Cryolipolysis At Home Safe For You?

Stubborn pockets of fat can be extremely difficult to remove with just diet and exercise, which is why a person might rely on non-invasive procedures for their body in hopes of achieving their beauty goal. 

CoolSculpting is a great alternative to surgical procedure for this very purpose – but since the treatment also requires thousands of dollars, many patients are wondering if it’s something they can try at home instead.

But are DIY fat-freezing procedures a safe substitute for professional cryolipolysis treatments? CoolSculpting uses a patented fat-freezing process that can’t easily be replicated at home with ice packs or fat-freezing machines. If the fat loss treatment isn’t performed by a licensed professional, then the patient might be at risk of frostbite, hypothermia, and other serious complications.

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Why Cryolipolysis At Home Isn’t a Good Idea

CoolSculpting is considered the best alternative to liposuction with over 13 million treatments performed worldwide. This fat loss treatment utilizes non-invasive cooling of the localized fat cells, causing them to freeze and die upon reaching certain cold temperatures.

But since CoolSculpting is considered a cosmetic treatment, it’s not typically covered by health insurance providers. Patients must shoulder the entire treatment cost out of their pocket, so some of them find ways to cut costs by performing cryolipolysis at home. Unfortunately, the power of cryolipolysis isn’t easy to replicate with just a few items found in a household.

What Fat Freezing Really Means

Cryolipolysis is a fat-freezing process that uses cold temperatures to trigger natural cell death of the fat cells in particular treatment areas, like neck fat, love handle, flank, belly fat, and more. The dead cells are then naturally flushed out of the body using lymphatic drainage.

Patients then notice gradual fat reduction over the following weeks until they achieve their desired results. Although their weight doesn’t change much, there’s still the illusion of successful weight loss because cryolipolysis can significantly reduce the size of the treated area.

But unfortunately, the fat-freezing process is more complicated than putting ice packs over the fat bulges around the body. It requires exposing the treatment area to consistently cold temperatures for a few minutes at a time to successfully freeze the fat cells without damaging the adjacent tissue.

How DIY Methods and Fat Freezing Belts Work

There are different ways of DIY fat removal treatments at home for patients who want to cut some costs. Some people try cold therapy with the items they have at home while others buy and use cryolipolysis systems. Here’s how each at-home fat-freezing option works:

A) DIY CoolSculpting

DIY fat-freezing procedures typically require the use of an ice pack filled with ice cubes to get rid of unwanted body fat. Others use an ice roller, which is typically applied on the face in a skincare regimen. As part of their daily routine, patients simply put the ice pack over the pesky spots of fat all over their bodies for a few minutes per day.

Newer DIY cryolipolysis options involve patients sitting in extremely cold ice baths to target multiple fat bulges at once. However, this method is incredibly dangerous because it puts them at risk of frostbite, hypothermia, and even nerve damage.

B) At-Home Fat-Freezing Tools

With cryolipolysis becoming a more popular fat-reduction treatment, advanced technologies allowed different manufacturers to come up with fat-freezing belts that claim to help patients conveniently eliminate fat anytime at home.

Cryolipolysis belts come in lots of different types, but usually with a belt design. Some of them require using icy gel packs which should be prepared before the treatment, but others already have mechanisms that directly cool the fat tissue once it’s turned on. But the best and most popular ones have an adjustable design paired with customizable modes to accommodate the patient’s needs.

Why Cryolipolysis At Home Doesn’t Work

There are lots of different ways to pamper yourself at home, but a DIY fat-freezing treatment isn’t one of them. Here are some reasons why an at-home cryolipolysis option won’t work as well as you expect:

1) You Need to Use Proprietary Equipment

Like other cosmetic procedures, cryolipolysis also requires the right equipment to eliminate the fat layer safely and effectively. The right proprietary equipment, like the CoolSculpting applicators by Allergan Aesthetics, uses fat-freezing technology to trigger natural cell death – which a couple of ice packs or fat-freezing belts can’t easily do.

A CoolSculpting applicator also pulls up the adipose tissue or the fat layer using a vacuum mechanism. This suction process is another critical factor of cryolipolysis that at-home treatments can’t replicate – as fat cells instinctively move away from the skin’s surface to protect themselves when the body is exposed to cold.

But the vacuum mechanism of proprietary equipment pulls the skin upward so the fat cells can’t retreat. It also ensures that each fat cell experiences a 360-degree cooling so that it can be frozen and destroyed more quickly.

2) It’s Difficult to Maintain the Right Temperature

Cryolipolysis requires reaching the ideal temperature to freeze the fat cells and trigger natural fat cell death without affecting the surrounding tissue – which can be difficult to achieve with at-home DIY treatments.

Even if the ice pack or cryolipolysis belt manages to reach the required temperature for fat freezing, it still requires constant monitoring so that the body temperature doesn’t increase or drop too low. Some patients constantly check their skin’s temperature every few minutes and replace the ice pack as needed, but it takes a lot of work to maintain the needed temperature.

The right cryolipolysis machine in a provider’s office uses a precise, cooling technique to chill the fat cells at the right temperature. It also comes with built-in safety mechanisms to maintain cold temperatures without causing frostbite or damaging the skin in the treatment area.

3) You Need to Consult a Professional First

Cryolipolysis offers a significant reduction in fat percentage of the treatment area, but it might not always be the best fat removal treatment for some patients who want to achieve a narrow body. Before a professional treatment, patients are required to undergo initial consultation first to determine if they’re ideal candidates for fat-freezing.

But if a patient tries DIY fat freezing at home without consulting medical professionals first, then they’re putting themselves at risk of serious complications. They might also experience worse side effects if they perform the treatment on themselves without the right supervision.

Fat-freezing treatments work best for patients who have pinchable fat in the treatment area but are also close to their goal weight. They must also have a good skin condition because the appearance of loose skin might affect their results. Patients with medical conditions like cold agglutinin disease or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria and other similar blood diseases are advised to skip the treatment to avoid severe side effects.

Are At-Home CoolSculpting Treatments Dangerous?

Both aesthetic and medical professionals advise against the use of cryolipolysis treatments at home. Aside from the DIY fat-freezing procedures not working as well as they’re supposed to, they also pose a lot of potential side effects – like the risk of hypothermia, frostbite, ice burns, tissue damage, and nerve damage. These complications might even require immediate medical treatment.

Professional vs. At-Home CoolSculpting: Which is Better?

Cryolipolysis treatments like CoolSculpting are great at reducing the patient’s stubborn fat pockets and helping them achieve their body goals. A professional treatment costs a lot more than DIY options, but this kind of cosmetic procedure should best be left in the hands of licensed professionals.

How the Treatment Works

DIY treatments involve the use of cryolipolysis belts or cold packs left on the treatment area for a few minutes per day. However, there’s no guarantee that they trigger fat cell death because most of these methods don’t offer precise, controlled cooling that reaches the fat layer. In most cases, only the surface of the skin experiences cold temperatures.

But FDA-approved CoolSculpting equipment comes with controlled cooling technology to freeze and destroy fat cells. The non-invasive applicator also features a vacuum mechanism to prevent the fat cells from retreating deeper into the body during the fat-freezing session.

Average Cost

Buying everything you need for a fat-freezing session at home – like ice packs or fat-freezing belts – can certainly save you some money, but it also increases the risk of serious side effects and complications.

On the other hand, a safe and effective CoolSculpting treatment performed by a licensed professional may cost around $600 to $1000 per treatment area. The exact cost depends on the number of required treatments, the experience level of the provider, and the location of the medical spa. Additional treatment might be needed if patients want to see more dramatic results.

Expected Results and Possible Risks

There’s no evidence or study that explores the effectiveness of DIY CoolSculpting treatments. But the clinical trials of professional CoolSculpting show up to 20% to 25% reduction in fat percentage in the treatment area. 

The initial results only show about a few weeks after treatment since it takes some time for the natural removal of frozen cells to take place, but the appearance of the treatment area improves over the following months.

As for the possible risks of DIY CoolSculpting, patients might be at risk of hypothermia, skin discoloration, tissue damage, and frostbite if they perform the treatment by themselves. Professional treatments also come with common but mild side effects like temporary bruising, swelling, and numbness, but they typically go away on their own without the need for a medical procedure.

One serious complication of cryolipolysis is paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH) – in which the treated fat cells in the area harden instead of being eliminated. 

Paradoxical adipose hyperplasia is more of a cosmetic concern than a life-threatening one, so patients must undergo liposuction to eliminate the hardened fat. However, this complication is considered extremely rare as it only occurs in about 1 in 20,000 patients.

Eliminate Your Fat Cells for Good at NJ Center for CoolSculpting

Cryolipolysis is an ideal option for eliminating stubborn fat pockets if you’re not up for invasive methods like a tummy tuck or liposuction. Some patients try this treatment at home in hopes of cutting some costs, but this kind of procedure is best left in the hands of certified professionals to ensure effective treatment and avoid any serious complications.

At NJ Center for CoolSculpting, we help patients sculpt attractive curves in their bodies using CoolSculpting to eliminate stubborn fat. 

We only use high-quality CoolSculpting equipment to ensure each client’s safety and comfort throughout the treatment. Get in touch with us today to find out if you’re a good candidate for this procedure.

Freeze Away Your Stubborn Fat Like Never Before

Up to 25% Fat Reduction With CoolSculpting: Treat Yourself Today!


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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "The treatment itself was not uncomfortable. Afterwords, I felt great. I didn't really notice anything for about 30 days. After day 30 until about a month later, I started noticing that my favorite jeans were not as tight anymore. I wasn't having to suck in to get them buttoned. And by that two month period after my CoolSculpting

    Lesley Hamilton

    Age 41

  • "It's subtle at first, and then a month later you look and go, "Wow - It really did something!" It really moved the bar for me, and I'm feeling better about myself already. It feels so good to put on anything and know I look as good as I've ever looked. And I didn't say that or feel that when I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's."

    Anne McMarthy

    Age 56

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