CoolSculpting® for Beginners: What You Need to Know

Are you thinking about trying a non-surgical body contouring treatment but aren’t quite sure where to start? In this guide, we share the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about CoolSculpting®, one of the most popular non-surgical fat reduction options available, to help you decide if it could be right for you.


How does CoolSculpting work?


CoolSculpting uses a process called cryolipolysis to freeze and destroy unwanted fat cells without harming the surface of your skin. Those cells are then gradually eliminated through your body’s natural metabolic processes, leaving you with fewer fat cells and a sleeker, slimmer physique.


CoolSculpting can be used on virtually any area of the body or face, with some of the most common treatment areas being the hips, waist, thighs, and abdomen.


Can you do CoolSculpting yourself?


Interestingly, the science behind cryolipolysis was discovered after two Harvard doctors realized that children were developing dimples on their cheeks after eating cold popsicles. The cold temperature of the popsicle against the inside of the children’s mouths essentially reduced fat cells, creating the dimples.


When some learn about this interesting CoolSculpting history, they often ask if they can get the same effects of CoolSculpting at home. The answer is a resounding no! The CoolSculpting device uses precise controlled cooling technology, allowing the unwanted fat cells to be targeted without damaging the surrounding tissue. Placing frozen items or ice directly on your skin can severely damage your skin and will not work the same way that CoolSculpting can to safely and effectively reduce fat.


What does CoolSculpting feel like?


Most people report feeling comfortable or even relaxed during their CoolSculpting appointment. The CoolSculpting applicator uses suctioning technology to pull the targeted area closer to the cooling device for added precision. This process may feel like a slight tug on your skin, as if you held a vacuum wand up to your skin.


The treatment area will then begin to feel cold, which may feel slightly uncomfortable for the first several minutes. However, your skin will quickly begin to feel numb, making the remainder of the treatment easily tolerable. Directly after your CoolSculpting treatment, you may feel a warm or tingling sensation as your skin returns to its normal temperature. This side effect typically dissipates on its own over the following days.


How many CoolSculpting sessions will I need?


Many people can see optimal results after a single CoolSculpting session, while others may need up to about three CoolSculpting treatments to maximize their results. The exact number of treatments you may need will depend on the size and number of areas you’d like to target, as well as the amount of fat that is targeted in each area. Your CoolSculpting provider will be able to give you a more accurate estimation of the number of sessions you may need during your consultation.


CoolSculpting Elite comes with two applicators, allowing your provider to treat two different areas of the body at the same time, decreasing your overall treatment time. If you would like to treat multiple areas, ask about the availability of CoolSculpting Elite machines at your consultation.


How should you prepare for CoolSculpting?


Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing to your CoolSculpting appointment. Any undergarments that are left on during your CoolSculpting treatment may come into contact with a thick gel that is used to protect your skin during the treatment. Disposable clothing is typically provided if you prefer.


CoolSculpting can take about an hour per treatment area, so eat a light snack prior to your treatment so you remain comfortable throughout the appointment. Limit caffeine if possible and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.


Most people choose to simply relax or watch Netflix during their appointment. You may also bring a book or other entertainment. However, movement will be limited during treatment.


What should I not do before CoolSculpting?


In the days leading up to your CoolSculpting appointment, it is recommended that you avoid:

  • Smoking or tobacco use, which can slow your body’s natural healing process
  • Medications or supplements that can thin your blood and therefore worsen bruising. Talk to your doctor before stopping any prescribed medications or supplements.
  • Sun exposure, as a sunburn or sun damage can make your skin more sensitive or uncomfortable during the treatment.
  • Sugary foods and drinks, which can contribute to inflammation and may impede your body’s healing process.


What can I expect after CoolSculpting?


Directly after your CoolSculpting appointment, your skin may feel tender, warm, stinging, or tingly and you may experience redness and bruising. These side effects are normal and will gradually improve over the coming days and weeks.


There is no downtime required after CoolSculpting, so you can return to work or other normal daily activities after your appointment. However, some people choose to take the afternoon off to relax, and you may want to skip strenuous workouts, depending on how tender your skin feels.


How soon will I see CoolSculpting results?


CoolSculpting results start to become noticeable in just 3 to 4 weeks after treatment, though it can take 3 to 6 months to see your final result. If your provider has recommended multiple CoolSculpting treatments, you can expect your results to continue to improve after each session.


Are CoolSculpting results permanent?


Once fat cells are removed via CoolSculpting, they are permanently gone. However, it is still possible to store new fat in the existing fat cells in the same area, so it is important to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits in order to keep your same amazing results.


Some people find that small amounts of weight gained over time after CoolSculpting is more evenly distributed throughout the body, rather than accumulating in common “trouble spots” like the love handles, thighs, or abdomen.



Ready to take the next step toward achieving your fitness goals? Call our Boca Raton & Fort Lauderdale office today at 561-462-0377 or get in touch with us online to schedule a consultation to discuss your unique needs and goals with one of our medically-trained CoolSculpting professionals.