When it comes to the top skin concerns about aging, we usually think of troubles like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. But what about one area that tends to show age early on – and is particularly difficult to target? The neck and chin often start to sag as we get older. Fortunately, there’s an FDA-approved cosmetic treatment called Kybella that can help solve this problem.
You’ve no doubt heard of the term “double chin,” but what is the root cause behind this issue? Submental fullness – the medical term for increased fat and drooping in the chin and neck – causes the entire facial area to look heavier, fuller, and more aged.
This facial skin concern affects both women and men and is typically caused simply by aging, but genetics can certainly factor into its severity. Weight gain can also be a contributing factor, but unfortunately weight loss isn’t necessarily the solution. The chin and neck are notoriously difficult to target, so submental fullness can be very resistant to diet and exercise, even when the rest of the body might be toning up or slimming down.
In the past, cosmetic surgeries and treatments like liposuction were the only options for patients who wanted to get rid of their submental fullness. But now, there is an FDA-approved cosmetic treatment that is highly effective, particularly for moderate to severe submental fullness.
Kybella is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that was developed by Kythera Biopharmaceuticals. Using an active ingredient of deoxycholic acid, Kybella “dissolves” fat cells in the chin. Deoxycholic acid breaks down and absorbs fat, disrupting the fat cell membrane causing submental fullness. Once this membrane is disrupted, fat can no longer be accumulated or stored in the area. This means that not only is submental fullness drastically reduced or eliminated, but results are permanent.
During the Kybella treatment, a series of tiny injections are inserted with a specialized needle into the affected fatty areas around the chin. This takes roughly 15-20 minutes, so the procedure is considered particularly quick. Results are seen within a few weeks of treatment as the fat cells are processed and destroyed. Over time, this shrinking of the fatty area permanently removes the submental fullness issue.
Often, one or two additional treatments will be needed to fully target the area, and between two and six treatments may be needed for optimal results. Since the area will take time to shrink and destroy fat cells post-procedure, each treatment is separated by a one month (or longer) time interval.
Kybella carries minimal risk of side effects, but the most common ones include swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness, or hardness around the treatment site. Very rarely, more serious side effects can include trouble swallowing or nerve damage in the jaw. Side effects are temporary, however, and should fade when Kybella is discontinued.
Talk to a dermatologist about Kybella if you’re interested in targeting your submental fullness. If you’re in Baton Rouge or the surrounding areas, contact Louisiana Dermatology Associates today for an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists.