This is a question that we get asked a lot in consultations. Patients come in wanting to target pockets of fat which are bothering them, but they worry that by removing this fat, they will be left with skin laxity or stretched skin.

CoolSculpting works by using a controlled cooling, it is usually performed by using a vacuum applicator and it runs for approximately 35 minutes. The vacuum that is used during the treatment is very soft, you experience a slight pulling and tugging, but it is not ‘stretching’ the skin. You do not see results from CoolSculpting straight away, the controlled cooling used during the treatment will crystallise a percentage of fat cells, we then have to patiently wait for them to break away and pass through our lymphatic system. This process can take from 6 weeks-3 months, and does not all happen in one go, it is gradual.

Our skin contains elastin, a stretchy protein fibre that allows our skin to stretch and expand. As we age, this starts to break down and our skin just doesn’t have that same bounce and stretch as before. If we were to lose a lot of weight, very suddenly, after a certain age you will find you are left with some skin laxity, where your skin couldn’t quite bounce back into your new shape. This is also the same after liposuction, because such a large amount of fat cells are being removed, the skin has no recovery time for the elastin fibres to bounce back into the new shape. Because CoolSculpting results are so gradual, the elastin fibres are not stretched and pulled. During the process of 6 weeks to 3 months, the skin can reform into its new shape, following the contours of the body. Because of this, most people will not have any skin laxity at all following their treatment, however, if someone already has a lot of elastin damage due to uv exposure and ageing, they may notice a slight increase in laxity as their elastin is already damaged.

You may have heard of a popular treatment called cryotherapy, this has great tightening benefits to the skin by using extreme cold. Even though CoolSculpting is a fat freezing treatment, it is proven that cold temperatures also have a tightening effect on the skin, so most people find no laxity to the skin at all!

*Results and patient experience may vary. These are dependent on a number of factors such as age, medical history and lifestyle.