What To Do About A Double Chin


Selfies have made us hyper aware of our favorite features and our flaws – like the dreaded “double chin.” Because this pocket of fat can be caused by extra weight, aging or genetics, even a person of normal weight can have one.

According to Alison Boucher, M.D., a Henry Ford Health board-certified dermatologist, if you’ve always been bothered by a double chin or if you’ve noticed your jaw line isn’t as strong as it used to be, there is a new option available that does not require surgery. A dermatologist can permanently remove this submental fat with a new injectable treatment called Kybella.

A synthetic product, Kybella is similar to deoxycholic acid, which is produced naturally by the body to break down fat during digestion. Through a series of injections done in a doctor’s office, Kybella breaks down the unwanted fat cells. Over several weeks, they are naturally cleaned up by the body through the lymphatic and circulatory systems.

What to Expect with Kybella

“In a 15-minute procedure done in the office, we inject Kybella into the fat pocket under the chin,” says Dr. Boucher. “There can be a slight burning sensation immediately following the injections, but it lasts at most a few minutes and icing the area before and after helps. The entire procedure is quick and non-surgical, requiring no anesthesia or down time. You can go back to work or run errands as soon as you leave the office.”

Because Kybella does cause some initial swelling, “scarf season” is the perfect time to do it, points out Dr. Boucher. The swelling won’t get in the way of going to work or doing your daily activities. After about a week, it is no longer noticeable. Other potential side effects are pin-point bruises under the chin and numbness, but both resolve days to weeks after the procedure.

“Everyone has seen improvement, and patients tell us they look younger and healthier. One patient told me her friends asked if she had lost weight. She had actually gained some weight, but without her double chin she looked thinner,” says Dr. Boucher.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Kybella?

Good candidates are men and women with moderate to severe pinchable fat under the chin. Because it’s non-surgical, there are no major restrictions or warnings for those wanting to have the procedure. However, Kybella can’t improve skin laxity (loose skin under the chin) so patients with mainly loose skin or “turkey neck” may need to opt for a surgical procedure.

Cost of Treatment

While Kybella isn’t inexpensive, unlike other injectables like Botox and fillers, for example, it is permanent. The cost is about $1,200 per treatment. Sometimes promotions are offered, so ask if a discount is available when you are ready for Kybella. Most people need two to four treatments to reach their goal. The procedure is purely cosmetic, so it is usually not covered by insurance.

Coolscupting is another non-surgical option that can be used to reduce a double chin. It uses controlled cooling to kill fat cells. Liposuction is also another option, but it does require anesthesia and more down time.

Call (313) 916-6969 to make an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss if Kybella is the right option for you today.

Dr. Alison Boucher is a board-certified dermatologist who sees patients at Henry Ford Medical Centers in West Bloomfield, midtown Detroit and Troy.

Categories: FeelWell