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Get Rid of Double Chin Forever: Everything You Need to Know About Kybella

Kristina Cadwell  
August 7, 2020  

We’re living in the age of selfies. Strike a pose, look directly into the camera, make a slight pout. We all know our better profiles and how to nail the selfie game. For anything we feel is ruining our looks, we have a choice: fillers or filters. But it’s not easy to delete the double chin – unless you’re Photoshop savvy. Even then, why change your photos so much if you’ll stay unhappy after you hit “publish”? Double chin, you may think and put on a miserable face, is here to stay – there’s no exercise for this part of the body! But what if we told you there was a treatment that is designed exactly for double chin removal? Sounds too good to be true? It might, but it’s real, and it’s called Kybella. Read on to find out more!

A woman posing with her chin up

What Is Kybella?

Kybella is an injectable specifically designed for double chin removal. Kybella is a substance called deoxycholic acid that literally destroys fat cells in this area when injected, contouring your jawline and chin and taking years off of your profile! Kybella is a non-surgical treatment and a very safe one, with little to no downtime – similar to getting Botox or a filler! The procedure is FDA-approved for treating submental fullness, which is a fancy term for fat under the chin. It’s also clinically proven through more than 20 clinical studies with 1,600 patients, and it’s one treatment that basically has permanent results. When you’re losing weight by dieting and working out, your fat cells are shrinking, but they stay there and can be subjected to expanding down the road. Kybella, on the other hand, destroys the fat cells from the submental area for good!

How Does Kybella Work?

The key to the works of Kybella lies in its active ingredient. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body. The compound in Kybella is a man-made formulation, but it mimics its natural function: it breaks down and absorbs fats. Once the fat cells targeted with Kybella injection are destroyed, unlike the “thinned out” cells that just shrank, these cells can no longer store new fat in the treated area. To reach optimal results, one should undergo a series of Kybella injections spread out through several weeks. And that’s it!

What Does The Treatment Look Like?

People that want to treat submental fullness using Kybella usually get a series of injections spaced out in between two and six sessions with 4-6 weeks between each session. You will notice an improvement in between treatments and see the final results approximately 6 weeks after the final treatment.

If your injector has decided that yes, indeed, Kybella is the treatment for you, they will first take baseline photos for your medical chart to document the progression of the results. The area will then be cleaned and prepped for the injections. The practitioner will then proceed to give injections: you may receive up to 50 injections at each session or if the injector determines a cannula injection is right for you, a cannula can be inserted so that there are only two needle sticks required. Patients often get topical numbing medicine before Kybella so as to not feel the pain of the needle pricks. The treatment will take as little as 15–20 minutes, and that’s it. Swelling after injection is common and subsides over 3-7 days. Ice and anti-inflammatory medications are usually discouraged after injection since swelling usually correlates with a better result. There is little downtime, and you may resume your normal daily activities 24-48 hours after treatment!

How Do I Prepare For Kybella?

There are no significant preparations you should undertake before your Kybella treatment. Kybella is a non-surgical procedure, so it’s basically a half-an-hour treatment with no substantial implications to your life directly prior or after whatsoever. What you can do, though, is avoid ibuprofen and other meditations that thin your blood such as fish oil, vitamin e, green tea, aspirin to prevent any bruising. Washing your face thoroughly before the treatment should be self-explanatory, but in case you’re too nervous beforehand, we’re here to remind you!

How Many Kybella Treatments Will I Need?

This is not a question that gets answered in a blog post. Every individual is different, and so are their double chins! The number of Kybella treatments depends on the current state of your submental fat, as well as your desired results. Rest assured that your injector is likely an experienced one and knows what they should be doing for the most efficient double chin removal!

Does Kybella Hurt?

If you get the topical anesthetic, chances are you won’t feel a thing while getting injections. Some patients experience a burning sensation as the deoxycholic acid works its magic but this sensation quickly resolves within minutes. You may feel a bit sore and experience swelling after Kybella treatment. We encourage patients to avoid anti-inflammatory medications and simply stick to Tylenol if pain control is needed.

How Long Does It Take to See the Results of Kybella Treatment?

You will see the results of a Kybella treatment after four to six weeks. Depending on the initial state of your submental fat, this may be enough for you. You are, however, likely to know it from the start, as your injector will determine the state and the number of treatments needed to get the desired look of your neck!

How Long Do Results Last?

Unlike in the case of other injectables (Botox, fillers), where the effect gradually fades, and touch-ups are necessary, the results of Kybella are permanent. Once it destroys the fat cells, they won’t come back. However, this does not mean that you are magically left with zero chance of ever getting double chin back. If you slip into the vortex of overeating and not leading a healthy life, remaining fat cells in the areas that were not treated may expand over time.

Am I The Right Candidate for Kybella?

Kybella is a rather safe injection, so if you do have a double chin, chances are you are an ideal candidate for the treatment!

However, some states and conditions may stop you from getting Kybella for your own sake.

You shouldn’t get Kybella if you have trouble swallowing or any bleeding problems. Additionally, if you had prior neck surgery, a neck lift, a facelift or liposuction on the neck, Kybella may not work, so it’s important to let your injector know about these procedures.
If you’re pregnant or nursing, please wait for a while because the research on the effect of Kybella on a fetus or infant is still ongoing. Same goes if you’re planning to get pregnant anytime soon.

Generally, you’re the right candidate for Kybella if you’re at least 18 years old, healthy, and have a moderate amount of neck fat. But do talk your injector to be on the safe side!

Are There Any Side Effects of Kybella?

Side effects of Kybella that are quite common and not to be afraid of, are light to moderate swelling, redness in the area of injection, bruising, temporary numbness, and minor pain. They usually occur after the first treatment. You can combat pain with over-the-counter Tylenol, but even if you don’t, it won’t last long. Any questions regarding side effects after treatment should be discussed directly with your practitioner.

On the other hand, if you experience weakness in muscles in your face, trouble swallowing, significant swelling or a crooked smile, it means that a nerve may have been temporarily injured, and you need to report it to your doctor immediately. You also need to get emergency medical help if you experience difficulty in breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips because that means you have experienced an allergic reaction to Kybella.

Some patients may experience numbness in their neck and firmness in the points of injections. This will go away after two to three weeks.

I Want It! So, How Much Does Kybella Cost?

The price of Kybella injections depends on where you live – as well as how many treatments you will need and how much product is used in each treatment! Rest assured your injector will come up with a personalized plan that will reflect the price in the best way possible. For reference, at Vibrant Skin Bar in Phoenix, Arizona, a vial of Kybella costs $600.00, and people usually need two vials per treatment. Since Kybella is considered a cosmetic procedure, it is unfortunately not covered by insurance.

I’m Still Not Sure... Are There Any Other Ways of Double Chin Removal?

Yes, there are. There is always liposuction, but that’s surgery. As such, it requires general anesthesia and comes with all downsides of surgeries, such as extended periods of downtime and more aftercare. There are also methods such as truSculpt iD, or CoolSculpting, or laser. We’ll write about those in detail soon, so come back if you’d like to learn more.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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