The new injectable Kybella dissolves fat under the chin. (Photo: Getty Images).
Before Botox, people who wanted to look younger had only one pretty drastic option—going under the knife. Today, thanks to lasers and injectibles they can walk into a doctor’s office on their lunch break, and see a difference on their way out. As a result, invasive surgical procedures like facelifts are less popular (128,000 facelifts procedures in 2014) while Botox keeps going up (6.7 million procedures in 2014).
Now that the FDA has approved a new injectable called Kybella that dissolves fat under the chin, you can expect to see the same shift in how people tackle their waddles. It’s the biggest thing to hit the beauty industry since Botox, and with even Millennials experiencing sagging jowls thanks to “tech neck” it is primed to be a hit.
Before Kybella, the only two options for getting rid of chin fat were to have liposuction, laser liposuction, or a surgical neck lift—all of which require significant down time. When Kybella hits the market in June, however, patients will be able to have a non-invasive option that is done over the course of several minutes in their doctor’s office.
So who is it best for? Manhattan dermatologist Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, one of the doctors participating in the FDA’s clinical trials for Kybella, says it works best on people who have a mild to moderate amount of fat under their chin. Who should steer clear? “Patients often need more than one treatment, so for those who have excessive amounts of fat or are obese it’s not going to be cost effective,” explains Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. The price is still to be determined, but it could be upwards of $1000 for each treatment with as many as six treatments needed.
To apply Kybella, a doctor creates a grid of dots targeting the fat under the chin and then does multiple injections in one session. Patients may see some bruising, redness, and swelling for up to a week. In addition, Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas says to expect a heavy waddle the next day, that will last up to a week, as the fat melts away. After a few weeks, patients will start to see a change. “In my experience you can start to see a result after the first treatment,” says Alexiades-Armenakas. Injections can be given once a month for up to six months. The patients who respond best will “see the fat under the chin go from convex to concave.”
Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas says that the downside to Kybella is that the injections melt the fat, but don’t tighten skin. For a non-invasive treatment that both removes fat and tightens skin, she has had success with the VelaShape III. “I am seeing really good fat removal in as little as one treatment, and you get the skin tightening benefits too.” Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas also likes vShape, a device that uses radio frequency to eliminate double chins. “I have seen a lot of fat reduction, and you won’t get the bruising that you can get with other devices,” she explains. “It’s best for people with small amounts of fat who want a significant skin tightening component.”
Would you try Kybella?