Kybella is an FDA-approved nonsurgical injectable treatment for fat reduction in the submental (under the chin) area. It dissolves the double chin fat cells and leaves you with a finely defined jawline. The treatment is minimally invasive and usually requires no downtime, but it does come with occasional mild-to-moderate side effects.
One of the most common Kybella side effects is swelling.
Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about Kybella swelling—what causes it, how long it lasts, and what you can do to prevent or reduce it.
What Causes Kybella Swelling?
Kybella swelling results from the body’s inflammatory reaction to the treatment. Swelling is especially common in people who have a lower tolerance to Kybella’s main ingredient, deoxycholic acid.
The following may additionally increase the chances of Kybella swelling:
- Large fat deposits under the chin and, consequently, larger doses of Kybella
- Many injection sites close together
- First-time treatment
- Inexperienced Kybella injectors
It is crucial to book a Kybella treatment at a reputable medical spa with experienced, Kybella-certified medical providers.
How Long Does Kybella Swelling Last?
Inflammation and swelling usually appear right after the treatment. Patients report that the swelling often peaks two to three days after the treatment and resolves within one month. The recommended time between Kybella treatments is one month, but consult your medical provider before scheduling another treatment if swelling from your first treatment has still not resolved by then.
How to Prevent Kybella Swelling
Luckily, there are things you can do to minimize the chances of swelling after the Kybella treatment.
- Salt and sugar intake a few days before and after the treatment.
- Alcohol and nicotine a few days before and after the treatment.
- Blood-thinning medications, as advised by your medical provider.
- Fatty acid supplements, as advised by your medical provider.
- Skin products that contain glycolics and retinoids a few days before and after the treatment.
- Rigorous exercise a few days after the treatment.
- Exposure to sun and heat a few days after the treatment.
- Other cosmetic treatments, as advised by your medical provider.
How to Reduce the Swelling After Kybella Treatment
If swelling appears after Kybella despite your best efforts to avoid it, you may reduce it by:
- Taking over-the-counter antihistamine, as advised by your medical provider.
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication.
- Gently massaging the lymphatic area.
- Applying cold packs (ice wrapped in a cloth and applied to the treatment area).
- Using a chinstrap wrapped around the chin and neck for more compression.
- Sleeping with your head in the upright position the first couple of days after the treatment.
- Drinking a lot of water.
For more tips, make sure to read our article Kybella Aftecare: Top 9 Things You Need To Know.
When Should You Contact Your Doctor?
If the swelling doesn’t subside after one month, or if you have any concerns about its size and duration, visit your medical provider.
If the swelling is accompanied by other symptoms, it may be a sign of an infection or another serious side effect. They are extremely rare, but should you experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor immediately:
- An uneven smile
- Weakness in facial muscles
- Difficulty swallowing
- Open sores and ulcers
- Oozing from open sores
- Hair loss at the injection site
- Damaged skin tissue (necrosis)
Kybella is the only FDA-approved fat-reduction injectable treatment for the submental area. Though mild-to-moderate swelling is a common Kybella side effect, it usually resolves on its own quickly. With proper care before and after the procedure, you’ll need minimal recovery and can soon enjoy a visibly improved jawline and neck profile.