What is Kybella?
Kybella is a brand name for a prescription medication called deoxycholic acid. It primarily treats submental fat accumulated below the chin, often called a “double chin.” Kybella is administered through injections into the fat tissue under the chin.
Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that helps break down and absorption of dietary fat. Kybella destroys those fat cells when injected into treatment areas. Over time, the body naturally eliminates the damaged fat cells, resulting in a more contoured and defined jawline.
Kybella is typically administered as a series of injections spaced several weeks apart. The number of treatments required can vary on the individual and the desired outcome.
How does Kybella work?
Kybella works through the active ingredient called deoxycholic acid, which helps break down and absorb dietary fat. When injected into the subcutaneous fat (fat cells just beneath the skin) in the submental area (below the chin), Kybella destroys fat cells.
The process involves several steps:
- Assessment: A healthcare professional will evaluate your submental area and determine if you are a suitable candidate for Kybella treatment. They will consider factors such as the amount of submental fat and the condition of your skin.
- Marking: Before the injections, the healthcare provider will mark the treatment area to guide the placement of the injections.
- Numbing: Numbing cream or local anesthesia may be applied to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
- Injections: The healthcare provider injects Kybella into multiple points beneath the chin using a fine needle. The number of injections will depend on the amount of submental fat and the treatment plan.
- Fat cell destruction: The deoxycholic acid in Kybella works by disrupting the cell membrane of the targeted fat cells. This process causes the fat cells to break down and become destroyed.
- Inflammation and absorption: The body’s natural inflammatory response is triggered after the fat cells are destroyed. Over time, the damaged fat cells are metabolized and excreted through the body’s lymphatic system.
What are the advantages of Kybella in Double Chin Reduction?
Kybella offers several advantages in the reduction of a double chin:
- Non-surgical: Kybella provides a non-surgical alternative to address submental fat. It avoids invasive procedures such as liposuction or neck lift surgery, which carry inherent risks and longer recovery times.
- Targeted fat reduction: Kybella is specifically designed to target and eliminate fat cells in the submental area. It can effectively reduce the appearance of a double chin and enhance the contour of the jawline, leading to a more defined and youthful appearance.
- Customizable treatment: Each Kybella treatment plan is tailored to the individual’s needs and goals. The number of injections and sessions can be adjusted based on the amount of submental fat and desired results, allowing for personalized treatment.
- Gradual and natural-looking results: As the body gradually eliminates the destroyed fat cells, the reduction in submental fat occurs progressively over time. This natural process helps to achieve results that appear more gradual and natural, avoiding an abrupt change in facial appearance.
- Minimally invasive procedure: Kybella injections are minimally invasive, involving only small injections in the targeted area. The process is typically well-tolerated, and numbing techniques can enhance patient comfort during the treatment.
- Limited downtime: Compared to surgical options, Kybella generally involves minimal downtime. While some temporary side effects like swelling and bruising may occur, they typically subside within a few days to a couple of weeks, allowing individuals to resume their normal activities relatively quickly.
- Long-lasting results: Kybella provides long-lasting results because the treated fat cells are permanently destroyed and eliminated from the body. Once the desired outcome is achieved, further treatment is optional.
What causes a double chin?
A combination of factors can cause a double chin. Here are some common causes:
- Excess weight or obesity: One of the primary causes of a double chin is being overweight or obese. When a person gains weight, they can accumulate fat deposits throughout the body, including the area below the chin.
- Genetics: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to storing fat in the submental area. Certain traits and body characteristics, such as a family history of double chin, can contribute to developing submental fat.
- Aging and skin laxity: As a person ages, their skin gradually loses elasticity and firmness. Losing skin elasticity can contribute to sagging skin and a double chin appearance.
- Poor posture: Slouching or poor posture can weaken the muscles in the neck and chin area, leading to a more prominent appearance of a double chin.
- Muscle weakness: Weakness or underdevelopment of the muscles in the neck and chin area can contribute to double chin formation.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or menopause can contribute to weight gain and fat distribution changes, potentially leading to a double chin.
- Lifestyle and diet: Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet high in calories and unhealthy fats, can contribute to weight gain and the development of submental fat.
It’s worth noting that some individuals may have a double chin due to a combination of these factors, while others may be more genetically predisposed to it. While specific lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, regular exercise, and maintaining good posture, may help reduce the appearance of a double chin. However, some people may struggle to eliminate submental fat through these measures alone. Medical interventions like Kybella or other treatments may address the specific concern in such cases.
Perfect candidates for Kybella
Ideal candidates for Kybella treatment are typically individuals who:
- Have noticeable submental fat: Kybella is specifically designed to target submental fat, so candidates should have a visible double chin or excess fat in the area below the chin.
- Are in good overall health: Candidates should be in good general health without any significant medical conditions that may interfere with the treatment or healing.
- Have realistic expectations: Candidates must have reasonable expectations about the outcomes of Kybella treatment. While it can effectively reduce submental fat, it may not achieve the same results as surgical procedures like liposuction or neck lift surgery. Open communication with a healthcare professional can help set appropriate expectations.
- Are committed to the treatment process: Kybella treatment typically involves multiple sessions spaced several weeks apart. Candidates should be willing to undergo the recommended number of treatments and follow the treatment plan as advised by their healthcare provider.
- Have skin elasticity: Good skin elasticity is essential for achieving optimal results with Kybella. If the skin in the submental area is significantly sagging or lacks elasticity, other treatment options, such as surgical procedures, may be more suitable.
- Are not pregnant or breastfeeding: The safety of Kybella has not been established during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, so it is generally not recommended for individuals in these situations.