Melt away fat ice cold with Coolsculpting

When you hear the word problem zone, you usually think of stomach, legs and buttocks. For me, unfortunately, the arms are also part of it. I would like to have them better defined and slimmer. My fitness program hasn’t been that successful so far – okay, maybe I don’t work out consistently enough. I’m also curious about the promise of melting away fat with cold. Coolsculpting is the name of the technique. Does it hurt? Does it really work? Field report three months after treatment.

Thanks to Michelle Obama: upper arms are the new cleavage. Well, sure, sleeveless tops just look better when your arms are in top shape. But unfortunately, the signs of the times are showing here, too. On the one hand, there is the decreasing elasticity of the very thin skin on the inside of the arms. On the other hand, fat is deposited here particularly stubbornly, usually in the course of hormonal changes. My mind is made up. I would like to try what is known as Coolsculpting on my arms. The promise: stubborn fat is to be greatly reduced by targeted exposure to cold.

Sounds good and after all, the method has been used over four million times worldwide. What also convinced me: Coolsculpting works entirely without surgery, injections and downtime. By the way, medically the procedure is called cryolipolysis. In the Hamburg practice “Goldbek Medical”, dermatologist Dr. Philipp M. Buck explains to me how it works: “The idea behind removing fat cells through targeted exposure to cold is actually quite simple. Fat cells react more sensitively to cold than the rest of the cell tissue and thus die. The components of the fat cells, the lipids, are slowly released and transported away by the lymphatic system. We use the only procedure in the world for this that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” However, I am further informed, the treatment is not suitable for general overweight, but only for smaller fat deposits.

Do fat cells disappear forever?

And what about risks and side effects? Do fat cells really disappear forever? “There may be some numbness, mild pain, redness and bruising after the treatment – but this usually only lasts a few days. Studies have shown that there is a sustained fat reduction of at least 22 percent,” emphasizes the dermatologist. That gives hope. “You can also repeat the treatment, by the way”. And what does it cost? “About 700 euros per treatment,” says Dr. Buck.

For me, the brand-new applicator called “Cool Advantage” is used. It is particularly well suited for larger areas, such as just on the upper arms, but is also ideally suited for the inner thighs. “The company Zeltiq is constantly working on the further development of the attachments, so that we can now treat almost any part of the body,” explains Anke-Maren Sandrock, who specializes in Coolsculpting treatments at the practice.

And this is how Coolsculpting works

Coolsculpting treatment - fat reduction through cold treatmentThe first step is to mark my “treatment zones” and then apply a cooling gel pad to protect the skin on my arms. Then the applicator is put on. “A vacuum is now used to suck the fatty tissue into the applicators,” Anke-Maren Sandrock tells me before we get started. And something more theoretical to help you understand: “Even at a temperature of +10 °C, the fat cells gradually crystallize. Thanks to new technology, that only takes 35 minutes.” Okay – here we go.

It hurts a little for the first five minutes, but it’s absolutely bearable. After that, my skin is so numb from the cooling that I only feel a slight pressure. In the remaining time I listen to music and can even relax. The time flies by. “The final massage will now hurt again, though,” the Coolsculpting specialist enlightens me. That’s true, though. The hand grips are really firm and are supposed to really break up the fat cells so that they can be transported away by the body over the next two to four months.

My conclusion: the treated areas hurt me for a week, it felt like a moderately severe muscle soreness. Surprisingly, there were no bruises, although I’m actually prone to them. My arms are slimmer and I am super motivated to further optimize the result with targeted fitness.

Cover photo: iStock.com/udra