If you ask most people what their number one concern is with their appearance, “double chin” ends up on the top of the list.
However, unlike other concerns (under-eye circles or fine lines and wrinkles, for example), there aren’t many over-the-counter skin care products that can help the issue.
If you’re able to visit a licensed skin care provider, Kybella picks up the slack and helps to visibly reduce the appearance of a double chin. Is it worth it? How much is Kybella, and how does the procedure work? We’ve got all you need to know.
What causes a double chin?
In most cases, a double chin is a direct result of carrying excess weight. When people gain weight, they tend to gain it in predictable areas of the body — the face and chin being two of the most obvious. However, that’s not the only reason you may develop a double chin, and plenty of people who are not clinically overweight or obese deal with the same issue.
Part of the problem may come down to genetics, specifically the appearance of the jawline. People who have inherited a “stronger” jawline tend to have less visible fat under the chin, while those with a “softer” one may notice it more obviously.
As we age, we also lose collagen, leading to previously firm areas appearing saggier (including the chin).
Technology also likely plays a part, although research is still in its infancy. Many skin care professionals have noticed an increase in people seeking treatment for double chins.
Some have surmised that it may be related to constantly looking down at our computers and smartphones all day, which can shorten the neck muscles and speed up the appearance of not excess fat under the chin.
In addition, it may also lead to loose jowls, marionette lines (lines that stretch from the corners of the mouth to the chin) and nasolabial folds (lines next to the nose).
What you should know about Kybella
Kybella, the brand name for deoxycholic acid, is an injectable cosmetic treatment that the FDA approved in 2015. It is currently the only treatment of its kind on the market. Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. created the drug to help adults with excess fat under the chin, a concern known medically as submental fullness.
Deoxycholic acid breaks down fat cells present in the tissue and is reserved for moderate to severe submental fat. In fact, studies have shown it to be “extremely effective,” especially for a minimally invasive procedure.
Over time, the fat cells are lysed (killed off) and subsequently metabolized by the body. This does not happen overnight, so it may take up to three months for you to see the final results.
Before the development of Kybella, there were very few ways to get rid of excess fat build-up in this area. As many people were looking for alternatives to going under the knife, Kybella was a very welcome addition to the market.
How is Kybella administered?
First and foremost, Kybella injections are made directly into the submental (under chin) area and should only be administered by a trained, licensed medical professional, like one of Skin Pharm’s advanced practice providers. Any injectable cosmetic treatment has the potential for side effects, so you must have it performed by someone with experience to minimize risk.
WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOUR TREATMENT—
When you first arrive for your appointment, your provider will have you wash your face. This is a crucial part of the process, as it helps to remove bacteria from your skin, which minimizes the risk of infection.
Once you have thoroughly washed and dried your face, you’ll be given cold packs to hold directly against the skin underneath your chin. The reason for this is twofold — the cold temperature minimizes discomfort during the procedure while also getting ahead of any swelling that may happen afterward.
Your provider will also review any pre-existing health conditions and medications (over-the-counter and prescription) that you may have. People with bleeding problems or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not candidates to receive the injections.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING YOUR TREATMENT—
Your provider will draw up the medication and inject it into the tissue under your chin. Most people report the procedure itself is only mildly uncomfortable, but you may have up to 50 injections during your session. The actual Kybella injections usually take no more than 15 minutes.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR TREATMENT—
Once your provider has finished your injections, you will be given another cold pack to reapply to the area. Swelling is an expected side effect of the injections, as it is related to both the physical trauma of the needles and a sign that the medication is working.
While some people choose to return to work after their appointment, you may want to take the rest of the day off if you’re concerned about the appearance of swelling or redness.
What are Kybella’s potential side effects?
Like any drug, there are some risks and side effects with Kybella injections. Many of these are minor and go away within a day or two, but you should report any new, severe, or worsening symptoms to your provider.
These side effects include (but are not limited to):
Head and neck tension
Most side effects are localized to the areas where you received your injections. However, there are other, more severe side effects that may include:
Severe discomfort and tightness in the neck or face
Facial muscle weakness
If you experience any of the above side effects, contact your provider immediately.
How can I reduce the severity of my Kybella side effects?
While some side effects are an expected part of the healing process, there are ways that you can reduce their severity.
One of the best ways to do that is by sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated. This position reduces direct pressure on your injections, minimizing discomfort and swelling. It also maintains the location of the Kybella, so it works in the areas you need it most.
Along that same line, you should also avoid touching, rubbing, or massaging under your chin. You can gently apply ice packs if necessary, but only in 20-minute intervals to reduce the potential for skin damage.
If your swelling becomes uncomfortable, check with your provider about using compression garments temporarily. Certain over-the-counter medications (like Tylenol) may also help but always check with your provider first.
Kybella providers also recommend that you avoid any strenuous activity for at least three to five days post-injection. Doing too much can increase the swelling under the chin, increasing discomfort and leading to a prolonged healing time. It’s best to skip the gym and follow your provider’s guidance.
How much does Kybella cost?
Although reducing the appearance of a double chin is priceless, many people want to know what to expect when it comes to the price of the procedure.
So, how much is Kybella? Compared to other injectable cosmetic treatments, it’s on the higher end. However, keep in mind that Kybella is a permanent solution, while other treatments are only temporary. You won’t have to return for follow-up once the recommended amount of treatments is complete as you would with Botox or filler.
Kybella is priced per vial. At Skin Pharm, Kybella injections cost $1,000 per vial.
For a more specific estimate on how many treatments you’ll need, book a consult! We’d be happy to walk you through your options and give you a more customized treatment plan and an idea of what it may cost.
So, is Kybella permanent?
Good news — in most cases, Kybella is a permanent solution to the appearance of a double chin. There are a few considerations to keep in mind, though.
For one, it may take multiple sessions of Kybella injections for you to reach your goal, and they must be at least a month apart. Depending on the amount of fat you have under your chin, Kybella isn’t a one-and-done procedure with immediate results. However, once your treatments are complete, you’ll be more than happy that you did it.
In addition, Kybella is permanent if you continue to lead a healthy lifestyle. While the fat cells treated with Kybella won’t come back, new fat cells can take their place if you gain weight. We strongly urge anyone who undergoes Kybella injections to eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise at least two to three times a week.
To wrap things up...
So, how much is Kybella? Although the price may be a little higher than other injectable cosmetic treatments, the results you can achieve are permanent.
If you’ve been staring at yourself in the mirror, wondering how you can get rid of your double chin, Kybella may be just the minimally invasive procedure you’ve been hoping for!
Ready to book a consult or schedule your treatment? Reach out today!