Does CoolSculpting Hurt?

When considering CoolSculpting, one of the most common questions people ask is, “Does it hurt?” Let’s delve into the pain experience associated with this innovative fat-reduction treatment.

Understanding Pain Perception: CoolSculpting – Does It Hurt? What Does CoolSculpting Really Feel Like?

It’s important to recognize that pain is subjective, varying from person to person. Each individual’s tolerance level plays a significant role in how they perceive discomfort during the procedure. 

While many of our clients think that CoolSculpting is totally painless, others struggle with the sensations during and after the treatment. With CoolSculpting, there is no topical numbing other than the treatment itself. Cold is a natural anesthetic, so usually clients go numb within 5-10 minutes of the treatment beginning, and there’s only mild discomfort at a few parts of the treatment itself.

Woman relaxing during CoolSculpting treatment

Is CoolSculpting painful? Does CoolSculpting hurt during procedure?

  • Initial Sensations: In the first 5-10 minutes of the procedure, clients may experience sensations akin to ice packs being applied to the skin. This phase can involve stinging, tingling, and a burning sensation before numbness sets in.
  • Numbness: Once numbness takes effect, which typically lasts throughout the active treatment session (ranging from 35 to 75 minutes), the discomfort subsides significantly.
  • Post-Treatment Massage: Following the removal of the applicator, a “warm up” sensation ensues. Providers administer a post-treatment massage aimed at enhancing patient outcomes. While this may feel uncomfortable, it is a crucial step in the process

Immediately after the treatment, the skin will look very red, which resolves quickly – usually within minutes or hours.

What to Expect During a CoolSculpting Treatment

Each client’s treatment is unique because CoolSculpting is a highly customized treatment itself. The number of applicators, the size and shape of the applicators, and the equipment being used all play into the comfort levels you can expect, along with any amenities the practice offers.

CoolSculpting Elite At Element Body Lab

At Element Body Lab, we offer the most up to date technology available from CoolSculpting as of 2024. It’s called the CoolSculpting Elite and it’s the 3rd iteration of the CoolSculpting device. When CoolSculpting originally launched, the machine used cooling panels, which looked similar to a vice grip in a workshop. It required a tremendous amount of suction, leading to a fairly uncomfortable patient experience. 

Many years later, CoolSculpting launched the CoolAdvantage handpieces, which were redesigned as cooling cups. This allowed for tremendously less suction, improving the patient experience overall. Additionally, techniques for more natural looking and impactful outcomes were developed as providers fully learned the artistry available with the treatment itself. 

In 2021, the CoolSculpting Elite technology launched, still utilizing the cooling cups, but with a wider design, allowing for better contact and less tension on the surface fo the applicator. This ultimately translates to about 30% more contact with the cooling panels over the previous technology, meaning more aggressive outcomes for clients and a better, less painful experience with treatment.

Also, the Elite technology allows for multi-area sculpting so we can treat twice the fat in half the time, cutting down on treatment time and getting you as a client in and out of the office much quicker. 

Individualized Care – Customized Treatments

Much like all aesthetic treatments, CoolSculpting is a highly customized treatment. Element Body Lab understands that each client’s goals and experience is unique. That’s why we prioritize personalized consultations to address concerns, discuss medical history and experiences, and tailor treatments to you! Book a consultation online.

Our providers are the highest trained team in Texas, and our owner is one of the few National Trainers on CoolSculpting technologies. We’re proud to be a CoolSculpting dedicated facility with such a high patient satisfaction rating and encourage you to read our reviews and/or if you’re ready to learn more about CoolSculpting for yourself, book a consultation with our team today. 

Pain After CoolSculpting

  • Normal Recovery: Following the procedure, clients may experience redness, swelling, bruising, and numbness. Discomfort typically lasts for a few days to a few weeks, often described as tender to the touch, similar to a sunburn with underlying bruising.
  • Rare Side Effects: While rare, some individuals may experience late onset pain characterized by nerve discomfort, occurring 3-5 days post-treatment. This sensation ranges from minimal itching to intense discomfort resembling glass shards under the skin. Rest assured, our medical team is available to provide support and intervention if needed.

Holistic Remedies and Support for Pain After CoolSculpting

  • Self-Care Strategies: In addition to medical intervention, holistic and at-home remedies can help alleviate discomfort. These include alternating ice and heat, wearing compression garments, practicing gentle stretching and exercise, staying hydrated, and utilizing topical treatments and medications as recommended.
  • Depending on medical history, you can also consider stretching and exercise (such as yoga), increasing water intake, topical massage and/or treatments like Alastin TransFORM or Arnica topical gel, and medications such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Benadryl. 

Understanding the pain experience associated with CoolSculpting empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their treatment journey. At Element Body Lab, we’re committed to ensuring your comfort and satisfaction every step of the way. Book a consultation today and take the first step toward achieving your desired body contour.

What is the downside of CoolSculpting?

When considering CoolSculpting, there’s no shortage of information you can find, including some of the downsides. With any decision you make, there are risks and side effects to consider. Pain and discomfort can happen after CoolSculpting, albeit fairly rare. About 15% of our patients report pain or discomfort that lingers more than a day or 2. In contrast, about 93% of patients report being satisfied or very satisfied with their results after 2 or more sessions to the same targeted area. 

Part of the decision is weighing the pros and cons – the results that you’ll see after treatment with the temporary pain and/or discomfort of freezing & killing those fat cells.

Additionally, there are other risks, all of which are covered during a consultation or are available for review in the Patient Safety Data sheet, which can be accessed here

Ready to learn more about CoolSculpting and explore your options? Contact us today to book a  consultation!

Ready to get started in Dallas, Texas? The first step is a consultation with us.