Your guide to body contouring treatments
While diet and exercise can help get you in shape, stubborn fat deposits and loose skin can be hard to eliminate. That's where non-invasive body contouring procedures can help. Since there are more than a dozen body contouring procedures available that use diverse technologies, deciding which one to get isn't easy.
How to find the right treatment for you
Not all procedures are right for every issue. "Body contouring" is an umbrella term; most dermatologists tend to lump cellulite treatments, skin tightening, fat reduction, and muscle tightening all into that term. Most body contouring procedures take at least six weeks to show changes with one or more sessions, and patients tend to achieve full results in two-to-three months.
The most popular body contouring procedures include CoolSculpting and Thermage. CoolSculpting is a temperature-based fat-reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to permanently freeze fat cells that are resistant to diet and exercise. Thermage, on the other hand, is a skin-tightening treatment that helps build collagen deep within the dermis, resulting in tighter, firmer skin.
Thermage: Tightens sagging, loose skin
If you've recently lost a little bit of weight or just had a baby, then Thermage might be right for you. This is because Thermage tightens loose skin anywhere on the body after a single treatment. Plus, you can undergo a Thermage treatment almost anywhere on your body, including upper arms, thighs, knees, chest, stomach, and buttocks (not to mention your neck and face!).
Thermage works by transferring heat to the deep layers of the dermis, encouraging collagen production and tightening existing collagen. Most experience meaningful tightening and smoothing of the skin in the months following treatment as collagen slowly starts to regrow and remodel. Only one treatment is needed to achieve significant results, and those results tend to last up to ten years. Additional treatments continue to slow and even pause the aging process, including treating skin losing its elasticity.
CoolSculpting: Blasts away stubborn fat deposits
CoolSculpting is ideal for those that have stubborn fat deposits that diet and exercise just won't fix. It uses controlled cooling to sculpt challenging areas, achieving similar results as liposuction but without the associated risks and downtime. Since fat freezes at a higher temperature than surrounding tissue, CoolSculpting's technology crystallizes fat cells. The fat cells die, and your body eliminates them over time. The fat cells treated are gone forever, and cells from untreated areas won't migrate in to replace them. CoolSculpting freezes away up to 25% of fat cells per treatment.
CoolSculpting is ideal for those with healthy and active lifestyles looking for small changes to problem areas. You're a good candidate for CoolSculpting if you have pinchable, subcutaneous fat pockets. You'll achieve significant results in anywhere from three weeks to three months. For four-to-six months after your treatment, your body will continue to flush fat cells. Most patients achieve their body contouring goals with one to three treatments in each body area being targeted.
When should you choose liposuction?
Despite all the hype, non-invasive body contouring procedures aren't magic. They are intended to be used as a refinement for people looking for small changes, not as a weight-loss method. If you are looking for more dramatic results, especially fat elimination, then liposuction might be your best bet.
That being said, liposuction comes with increased recovery time and a higher risk of more serious complications, such as nerve damage and infections. Make sure to do your research before deciding on a body contouring procedure.
Want to learn more about non-invasive body contouring treatments? Check out LaserAway, the nation's leading aesthetic dermatology provider. All treatments are performed by registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or physician associates.