CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved, non-surgical cosmetic treatment for fat cell reduction and body contouring. It’s quickly gaining popularity because it’s non-invasive and the results are permanent.

Let’s look at the science behind CoolSculpting and explain how it works.

How CoolSculpting Work and how the treatment looks like

How CoolSculpting Works – The Science

CoolSculpting is based on cryolipolysis, a method of breaking down fat deposits using cold temperatures.

In the 1970s, scientists noticed that fat tissues are more susceptible to cold injury than the surrounding tissues. This led to the development of fat freezing techniques. Cryolipolysis kills fat cells and induces an inflammatory response in the body. The body then removes the dead cells through natural processes.

The FDA approved CoolSculpting in 2010 after a series of clinical trials confirmed its safety in controlled conditions. The studies also showed an average fat reduction of up to 20% after 1-3 treatments over several months.

CoolSculpting Treatment – How Does it Work?

CoolSculpting uses a machine to freeze and permanently destroy fat cells. In the weeks following the treatment, frozen fat cells in the treated area dissolve naturally.

The procedure is performed in a clinic or medical spa. It’s simple and quick. There are a few main steps to the CoolSculpting process.

Consultation: Are You the Right Candidate for CoolSculpting?

The first step of the process involves booking a consultation with your CoolSculpting medical practitioner.

CoolSculpting targets stubborn fat areas that can’t be eliminated through diet or physical activity. It’s not designed to help obese people lose weight, but rather to help average-weight people get rid of smaller bundles of fat.

Don’t book a CoolSculpting treatment if you suffer from:

  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Cold urticaria
  • Cold agglutinin disease
  • Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria

Tell your practitioner if you have the following:

  • Recent surgery
  • Hernia
  • Varicose veins
  • Dermatitis
  • Other cutaneous lesions
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Allergy to isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, fructose, or glycerin

Your medical practitioner will design a personalized CoolSculpting treatment plan for you according to the amount of fat and your desired results.

Marking the Body Areas

After you’re approved for the procedure, your medical practitioner will mark your treatment area(s) with a skin-marking pencil.

Some of the commonly treated areas are thighs, love handles, stomach, under-chin area, and arms. You may choose to treat one or more areas during one treatment.

Applying the Gel

The medical practitioner applies a gel pad on the marked treatment area to act as a barrier between the skin and the cooling applicator.


The treatment uses a CoolSculpting machine. It looks like a big vacuum cleaner with a cooling applicator that is applied to the treatment area.

The medical practitioner uses the cooling applicator to pull the fat bulge in the treatment area into the device. The fat bulge is sucked into the applicator, which may tingle and hurt a little. The patient may also feel an uncomfortable cold sensation. After 5-10 minutes, the treatment area becomes numb, and the patient feels minimal or no discomfort.

How Long Does One Treatment Session Take?

One treatment usually lasts up to one hour, depending on the size of the treatment area.

Massaging the Area

Most CoolSculpting practitioners include a posttreatment massage of the treated area. Studies show that massaging the treated area for two to five minutes after the procedure enhances the treatment’s efficacy and contributes to further fat reduction. The massage also rewarms that part of the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Temperature Does CoolSculpting Work At?

The CoolSculpting machine targets the optimum temperature for fat cell death, 39-41° Fahrenheit. The temperature during CoolSculpting may be lower or higher depending on the patient’s response to the treatment.

The CoolSculpting machine uses controlled cooling to freeze fat cells, which means the temperature is constantly monitored on the device and moderated as needed.

The temperature must be above freezing so it doesn’t hurt the skin, nerves, surrounding tissues, and muscles. However, it needs to be cold enough to freeze the fat cells efficiently.

Does CoolSculpting Work for Men?

CoolSculpting is gaining popularity with male patients. The treatment successfully eliminates fat that men can’t lose through exercise or diet. Men usually use CoolSculpting for the abdominal area, love handles, chin fat, and chest fat.

What Areas Does CoolSculpting Work On?

CoolSculpting is FDA approved for fat reduction in nine areas:

  • Thighs
  • Abdomen
  • Love handles
  • Bra fat
  • Upper and lower back fat
  • Underneath the buttocks
  • Upper arms
  • Under the jaw
  • Under the chin

How Long Does Coolsculpting Take to Work?

Coolsculpting before and after pictures after 8 weeks.

CoolSculpting patients may see the first results after 10-20 days. The full effects of the procedure appear after three to six months. It takes the body up to six months to flush out frozen fat cells.

The result of a single CoolSculpting treatment is 20-25% fat reduction in the treated area. Patients may receive additional treatments in the following months for further fat reduction.

The frozen fat cells are permanently eliminated.


CoolSculpting is a popular alternative to liposuction—the riskier, surgical method for removing fat. CoolSculpting removes stubborn fat deposits and contours the body.

If you maintain a proper diet and don’t gain additional weight after CoolSculpting, the eliminated fat won’t come back.

Call us to book a FREE consultation: (479) 333-1933



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