Under-chin fullness, sometimes referred to as submental fullness, can be caused by weight gain, genetics, or the natural aging process. Some patients have this fullness all their lives. In others, it appears gradually over a period of years. In still other patients, submental fullness develops as part of the aging process. The great thing about Kybella is that it destroys the fat cells responsible for that fullness, improving the profile of chin and helping you look younger.
How Does Kybella Eliminate Fat Under the Chin?
Kybella’s active ingredient is synthetic deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid occurs naturally in the body and helps break down and absorb dietary fat. Once it has been injected, this acid destroys fat cells, resulting in a noticeable reduction of fullness during the weeks following treatment.
Because those fat cells are gone permanently, the results patients achieve with this injectable treatment will last the rest of their lives with no need for maintenance appointments. Another benefit associated with Kybella is that it has been found to result in a subtle tightening of the skin on the chin. This further enhances results and means you’re not left with loose skin once the fullness has been resolved.
For individuals struggling with submental fullness, surgery and liposuction used to be the primary treatment options. This injectable is an exciting alternative because it’s completely non-surgical and non-invasive, yet it offers noticeable results. It is the only FDA-approved injectable that reduces submental fat. And in an era when social media means we’re seeing more pictures than ever of ourselves from every angle, patients are increasingly seeking out this convenient treatment option.
How Does Injectable Treatment Work?
Each treatment lasts 15 to 20 minutes and involves a series of injections. We’ll begin your appointment by marking the injection sites and then applying a topical numbing agent to ensure your comfort. After the injection, the synthetic deoxycholic acid will get to work gradually killing off fat cells, which will then be metabolized by the body in the weeks to come.
For some patients, we recommend multiple treatments, each scheduled at least one month apart, and many patients see results after two to four treatments. Because each patient has a different chin profile and a different distribution of fullness, we develop a custom treatment plan for each individual. Each of your treatments will take place on-site in our comfortable practice.
What Causes Submental Fullness?
Some patients assume that the fullness that sometimes develops under the chin is a result of weight gain. Although that’s sometimes the case, there are actually a number of different factors that can cause submental fat, some of which patients have no control over.
It’s not unusual for the chin to develop a little extra padding as an individual progresses into middle age. Another change that occurs as the body naturally ages is that collagen and elastin levels in the skin start to decline, which means the skin becomes less able to bounce back. As a result, the skin begins to loosen, which may further contribute to the appearance of fullness in the chin.
It’s hard to overlook the genetic component of submental fullness. If your grandmother has a full chin, there’s a decent chance that your mother has the same chin and that you do as well. It’s hard to fight the influence of genetic history, which is why so many patients to turn an injectable treatment to resolve this condition.
Most patients are surprised to learn this, but poor posture can sometimes weaken muscles in and around the chin, contributing to the appearance of fullness. The skin in the chin area can begin to lose elasticity if the muscles in this area are not consistently used.
Although it’s not automatically the reason you have a little extra fullness in the chin area, your diet and weight can have an influence. Consuming a diet that has a concentration of high-caloric and processed food can contribute to weight gain as well as the development of submental fat over time.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
If you’re interested in learning more about this treatment and whether or not it’s right for you, the first step is to schedule a consultation with our medical director, Dr. Jeanne Fitzsimmons, MD. Dr. Fitzsimmons will meet with you to review your medical history and talk with you about your cosmetic concerns and goals. She’ll help you decide if this is a good treatment option for you, but there are several signs that you may be a particularly good candidate.
You’re Bothered by Fullness in Your Chin Area
Many patients are unhappy, self-conscious, or even embarrassed about the appearance of their chin. In some cases, the condition can begin to affect the patient’s self-confidence. If you are genuinely bothered by the appearance of your chin and find yourself trying to hide it behind scarves and turtlenecks, it may be time to explore this treatment.
Your Chin Makes You Look Older Than You Really Are
Having a heavy chin can sometimes make you appear older or heavier than you are in real life. If your chin is starting to take a toll on your appearance, this injectable treatment may be an option.
You Have a Healthy Lifestyle
If you live a relatively healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a careful diet, but you have submental fat that won’t go away, you may simply be predisposed to having a full chin. For patients with a genetic predisposition to a full chin, this injectable treatment can be particularly effective.
The Problem Is Not Loose Skin
Sometimes when patients are dissatisfied with the appearance of their chin, the problem has more to do with loose skin than a natural fullness. But if your chin concerns are truly the result of a natural fullness or a certain amount of extra fat in the jaw area, you may be an especially good candidate. This treatment hones on fat cells and eradicates them, but it does not target lax skin.
You Don’t Want Surgery
Plastic surgery is another way of resolving submental fat, but not every patient is interested in surgery, and not everyone is a good candidate for such an invasive procedure. If you want to achieve a noticeable improvement in the appearance of your chin, but you don’t want to achieve it through surgery, this injectable treatment is a great alternative.
This treatment is highly effective, but it won’t offer immediate results or give you a fast fix in time for an upcoming event. It can take anywhere from four to six weeks to see results after treatment, and some patients require several treatments. The results this injectable offers are well worth the wait, but you’ll have to be patient.
What Other Treatments Can Help My Chin?
There are a number of non-invasive treatments available that can tighten loose skin or tone down stubborn areas that have resisted diet and exercise. Some of these treatments can be used to address the chin, although none are specially developed to treat the tight angular area around the chin like Kybella is.
CoolSculpting, for example, is a fat reduction treatment that uses external applicators to chill targeted fat cells to the point that they disintegrate and fade from the body over a period of weeks. While CoolSculpting can be used on the chin and neck, it’s not as easy to use this treatment system on the tight, small areas of submental fullness that most patients are looking for help with.
Ultherapy is another non-invasive treatment system that can be used on the chin. Ultherapy works to tighten the skin by stimulating the body’s own production of collagen and elastins. While Ultherapy can improve the appearance of loose skin in the chin area, it doesn’t specifically resolve the issue of fullness under the chin.
What About Exercises?
Some patients also turn to exercises and stretches that work their chin in a way that aims to get rid of the fullness. However, there is no scientific evidence that exercise can effectively address submental fullness, which can develop in different patients for different reasons.
Can Over-the-Counter Creams Help?
Many of us reach for over-the-counter serums and firming creams when signs of change or aging in the face start to creep up. It’s important to keep your skin cleansed and moisturized, and some of these creams can help tighten the skin. But when it comes to eradicating that frustrating fullness under the chin, moisturizing creams are no match for an injectable like Kybella.
Does a Healthy Diet and Exercise Help?
Committing to a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a careful diet, is a great step to take. And depending on the root causes of your submental fullness, it’s possible that adopting a healthy lifestyle will help you lose a little weight and subtly influence your chin. Your results still won’t be as great as what you can achieve with Kybella, but it could be a step in the right direction.
Can My Skincare Regimen Make a Difference?
Maintaining a conscientious skincare regimen that includes cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing with high-quality products is another important step toward keeping your skin healthy and looking its best. Taking this step won’t ward off submental fullness or get rid of fullness that has already developed, but it will ensure that you’re putting your best face forward.
Is Submental Fullness Cause for Medical Concern?
Millions of Americans struggle with submental fullness, and although many of them seek treatment for this condition, they usually do it purely for cosmetic reasons. For some patients, having a full chin can be embarrassing and can take a toll on the self-confidence, but for most, this condition poses no cause for medical concern. In fact, many patients live with this condition for years.
Take the First Step
Whether you’ve always had your grandmother’s chin or you’ve only developed some extra volume in the lower face in the last couple of years, submental fullness can be a frustrating condition. But it’s not something you have to live with. Our practice can help you resolve this issue and give you a profile you can be proud of. Call Anazao MD in Steamboat Springs, CO, today and schedule a Kybella consultation.