Fat Freezing

Can you really freeze your fat off? Here’s what you should know about fat-freezing therapy
– by Jack Feeney

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Forget burning fat, the latest trend in tackling problem fatty areas is to freeze it off – but is it as simple as that, and where does the fat go?

With exercise a pretty time consuming way to lose pesky pounds, the latest celebrity trend of cosmetic treatment is to simply freeze your problem fat away – but that would be dangerous and leave you with a stomach like a frozen chicken right?

According to Alice Kingdom of Cardiff’s own Cosmetic Clinic of the Year finalist, Ice Body Sculpting, that isn’t the case and takes you through 11 must know things about the fat-freezing method to losing your muffin top.

1. Cryogenic lipolysis is the name, switching off fat cells is the game

The technical name for freezing off problem fat is cryolipolysis (cryogenic lipolysis), which cools fat cells down to a temperature initiating the apoptosis process.

That’s the fancy name for the end of a cell’s life cycle and a process supposedly sped up by fat-freezing treatment through targeting your problem fatty areas. Basically, fat-freezing kills and disposes of the fat cells targeted during treatment.

Alice gives a little more information on the subject: “The body is really good at making sure we don’t have cells we no longer need left around and breaks them down after they have been chilled during treatment”

2. Yep, you really do pee away fat cells – and sweat and breath them out too

Peeing, pooping, sweating and breathing is all part of the natural process of ridding ourselves of waste. So whilst it isn’t as crude to say this treatment means we wee out frozen fat, the dead cells have to go somewhere.

“In the same way a blood cell or virus is disposed of by white blood cells through the lymphatic system (the body’s waste mechanism), fat cells that are killed by the treatment are disposed of too,” Alice said.

“Although it’s permanent there is no damage to the surrounding skin, it’s just a way of speeding up what is a natural process.

“You wont actually see or feel fat in the toilet bowl. Although it’s permanent there is no damage to the surrounding tissues”.

3. It’ll be cold, but not THAT cold

Fat freezes at a higher temperature than water, so there’s no hiding from the fact that whichever area you’re targeting with the treatment, it’s going to feel a little cold.

According to Alice, there are a few myths about how cold the body needs to be for the process to work:

“The temperatures we use are obviously low and it isn’t something people should try at home with a bag of ice cubes. The temperatures we use are comfortable and targeted so you wont feel cold all over.

“Many people think that for this process to work, the colder, the better, but that simply isn’t the case and this can be dangerous.

“Our clinicians are fully trained and we use very-modern equipment including protective membranes to shield the skin. That’s why it is important to visit an expert in the treatment”

4. Sometimes the fat becomes firmly frozen – although this is rare

“Immediately after treatment, the area will of course feel colder but it rarely freezes solid,” Alice says.

“Your skin will probably be pink for a little bit and the area treated may feel like a chilled chicken thigh, but that usually only lasts for between 30 and 60 minutes after.”

5. Results aren’t instant, you’re going to have to be patient

Like many cosmetic treatments, results vary from person to person, there is no immediate impact from the fat-freezing procedure.

“Some people notice the beginnings of changes within a couple of weeks, although typically it can take up to around 12 weeks to see the full extent of the treatment, depending on your a individual response” Alice adds.

“The treatment does not require a course of sessions, although some people achieve a more-subtle result and may wish to have a second session”

6. If you want to lose a lot of weight, you’ll probably have to stick to the normal methods

Rather than a weight-loss method, this procedure is very much for targeting specific problem areas many people struggle to shed when getting into shape.

“Gym goers who are at their ideal weight tend to be especially good candidates for this treatment although it is open to everyone with a problem fatty area,” Alice says.

“Through gym work and dieting, it is extremely difficult to target specific areas to lose weight, like, for example, trying to make your inner thighs slightly smaller.

“So this treatment is for people trying to ‘sculpt’ their body rather than lose a lot of weight.”

7. Muffin tops and love handles aren’t the only places to see fat-freezing action

According to Alice, most gym goers know that spot targeting fatty areas is an all but impossible act and the only way to do this without dropping your overall weight is taking cosmetic action.

“This treatment makes losing problem fat possible with the most common treatment seen on the hips, abdomen, inner thighs and lower back, but we can also treat upper arms. It can be used for male chest reduction too,” Alice said.

8. It isn’t suitable for a few other people too

Pregnant or women breastfeeding will not be considered for this particular cosmetic therapy. Also those with severe medical conditions too.

“It is suitable for most people, given you are fit and well but if you are on certain types of heavy medication then we may need to adjust the treatment for you or may recommend you seek a GP referral,” Alice said.

9. Side effects are all but none existent – especially compared to plastic surgery

The beauty of this treatment, according to Alice, is that side effects are very minimal and only include pinkness that lasts up to an hour after the treatment.

She said: “The luxury is there is no down time [after treatment] and people can carry on with their regular life immediately after leaving the clinic – they can drive home, go to work or even the gym.

“Compared to liposuction, where swelling and bruising can last for months, this is a real bonus.

“Occasionally the cooling cup may leave a small, temporary pressure mark, but examples of bruising are pretty much eradicated by the new technology we use.”

10. Apparently that saggy skin problem from the treatment is just a myth

Pinkness is usually the only effect the treatment has on the skin as, Alice said, only fat cells are targeted by the treatment:

“Fat cells are effected but the skin isn’t. Skin is very elastic, and is able to accommodate changes like this, so it doesn’t leave a saggy pocket.

“Where there is already loose skin, it can help make the area appear smaller as the fat layer underneath has been reduced, but it doesn’t actually tighten the skin,” she said.

11. Forget the normal stereotypes, a 74-year-old man has had the treatment

Ice Body Sculpting receives a handful of male clients every couple of days according to Alice. In fact, whilst the typical client is a female between 20 and 50 years of age they have had a wide range of clients.

“We had a 74-year-old gentlemen from Yorkshire for treatment on his stomach – he even travelled back again to have more treatment done,” Alice tells.

“As specialists, lots of our clients travel from London and Birmingham. We’ve also had clients travel from across Europe and even Hong Kong.”

Ice Body Sculpting is an award winning clinic and open for business in Cardiff.

Other services include inch-loss cavitation, laser lipolysis, skin tag/milia removal and radio frequency skin tightening.

Ice Body Sculpting are Cardiff’s fat freezing specialists. For more information they can be reached on 02921 202 190 or www.icebodysculpting.co.uk

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* Disclaimer - The information presented is intended as an introduction, it is not a guarantee of outcomes nor is it intended to serve as medical advice.