Does CoolSculpting (aka Cold Fat Removal) Sting, Burn, or Leave Any Marks?

You’ve heard about CoolSculpting, the fat freezing procedure that uses cold to remove fat for good. It’s the number one choice when it comes to a nonsurgical way to target and destroy pockets of pinchable fat with no surgery, no needles, and no downtime. Using cold fat removal for body sculpting is the latest trend, but it’s not new technology. The first FDA clearance for cryolipolysis (or using cold to kill fat) was in 2009, so cold fat removal isn’t a new technique.

At Element Body Lab, we focus exclusively on CoolSculpting. We are the gold-standard practice elevating the experience for CoolSculpting in Dallas. Today, we’re talking about the side effects of CoolSculpting and what to expect after a treatment.

Before you decide you’re ready to freeze away fat for good, make sure you meet with a qualified team. You need a physical exam and treatment plan developed by a medical doctor after receiving medical clearance. CoolSculpting is in fact a prescription in the State of Texas. Enough legal mumbo jumbo… let’s real talk.

What Does Cold Fat Treatment Feel Like?

CoolSculpting is the safest and best way we’ve discovered to target unwanted fat without surgery. That said, the procedure (like anything else in life) does have risks involved. Using cold fat treatment to target and eliminate fat for good can cause a bit of discomfort during the treatment. It’s not intolerable or “painful”, but it does sting.

During your consultation process, you’ll discuss CoolSculpting, and how cold removes fat with a CoolSculpting Specialist, as well as the safety components with a medical professional.


A CoolSculpting Specialist can discuss the normal descriptions we’ve heard along the way describing the CoolSculpting treatment. Generally, we hear that the initial cold sensation can sting, tingle or burn slightly until the treatment area becomes numb, which takes anywhere between 5-7 minutes.

Once the treatment area is numb, you’re comfortable for the remainder of your cold fat sculpting session. When the handpiece is removed after CoolSculpting, it can feel like a cold foot in a hot bath or cold hands by a fire in the wintertime. The sensation of pins and needles is temporary and the stinging will subside quickly. After the cold fat treatment is completed using CoolSculpting, the Dallas CoolSculpting Experts always (and we do mean ALWAYS) administer a manual massage to the treatment area. This massage can sting and burn, or feel like you’re rubbing on top of a bruise.

What Side Effects Occur with Cold Fat Removal?

Immediately after a cold fat sculpting (aka CoolSculpting) treatment, you can expect:

  • Redness and firmness
  • Transient blanching and/or mild bruising around the edges of the treatment area
  • Tingling and stinging

The massage returns the tissue to a normal setting, causes a rapid reperfusion of blood to the treatment area, and improves your cold fat sculpting results by up to 67%. Pretty cool, huh? Immediately after treatment, you should expect the “butter cup” that CoolSculpting has become notorious for! It’s the most exciting view of all for our CoolSculpting Specialists when the tissue is firm and crystalized. It’s the only proof of our cold fat treatment until we see you 6 weeks after freezing the fat.

Here’s a photo of a patient who treated her axillary puff (aka armpit fat) immediately after treatment (left) and immediately after the massage (3 minutes later). As you can see, the tissue is firm and red prior to the massage, with a gel-trap imprint.

CoolSculpting under arm before and after

When you leave your CoolSculpting Dallas treatment for cold fat sculpting, don’t expect any major marks or indications that you’ve been treated. Results develop slowly over the course of 3 months. You should expect and plan for some normal (and temporary) side effects, all of which will be discussed during your consultation process. Normal side effects can (sometimes, not always) include:

  • Redness, bruising, and swelling
  • Tenderness, cramping, and aching
  • Itching, skin sensitivity, tingling, and numbness. (Numbness can persist up to several weeks after a cold fat treatment)

There are additional risks involved in CoolSculpting, which will be discussed at your consultation with Element Body Lab, the Dallas CoolSculpting Experts or can be found on our Patient Safety Data Sheet .

Ready to get started? Schedule your free consultation with the Dallas CoolSculpting Experts at Element Body Lab. All you have to lose is unwanted fat. Give us a call at 214-897-3006 to learn more from a CoolSculpting Specialist.

Until then,
Happy freezing!
Element Body Lab, The Dallas CoolSculpting Experts

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