No matter how much you exercise or how closely you stick to a healthy diet, some fat pockets just refuse to budge. The area under the chin can be particularly stubborn, which is why treatments like Kybella and CoolSculpting are such game-changers. 

These FDA-approved procedures are non-surgical alternatives to liposuction that help eliminate unwanted fat. If you want to get rid of a double chin, you’ll want to consider one of them. But when deciding between CoolSculpting vs Kybella, which should you choose? Here’s how the two treatments compare. 

How Kybella and CoolSculpting Work

Kybella is an injection of deoxycholic acid, which is a key acid for fat metabolism in the human body. It breaks down the fat cells, causing them to release the fat in them into the body’s waste system so they can be flushed out from the body. While the treatment won’t prevent future weight gain, it will prevent fat from collecting specifically under the chin again. 

CoolSculpting is based on a process called cryolipolysis, which achieves similar fat destruction through cold therapy. The targeted application of low temperature damages adipose cells, inducing a fat-release effect. 

Kybella vs CoolSculpting Key Factor Comparison 

When deciding between Kybella and CoolSculpt, it’s important to consider the following key factors: 

Kybella and CoolSculpting Similarities

  • CoolSculpting and Kybella have similar effects but through totally different mechanisms of action. 
  • Both treatments target the cells that hold adipose tissue, which results in fat no longer accumulating in a specific area. 
  • With both treatments, results aren’t immediate, and seeing the full effects may take up to 3 months.
  • Both treatments are FDA-approved for the purpose of clearing unwanted fat from below the chin. 

Treatment Experience

During a Kybella treatment, the deoxycholic acid is injected several times by a registered nurse or doctor. The injector has a lot of control to target the spots that need the most treatment. The injection isn’t especially painful, although patients may experience some discomfort in the days after the injection, as the deoxycholic acid begins breaking down fat cells.

During a CoolSculpting session, an applicator is attached to the chin with suction. It cools the skin down significantly, which can be uncomfortable but isn’t usually painful. Afterward, the treated area is massaged by the provider, which can be somewhat painful. It’s common to experience some soreness in the days following treatment. 

Treatment Area

Kybella is a targeted treatment that’s intended specifically for getting rid of fat under the chin. CoolSculpting can be used on a broader range of areas including the stomach and flanks.

It’s worth mentioning that the applicators for CoolSculpting are “one-size-fits-all”. Some providers mention that they don’t always adhere well in cases of a smaller pocket of fat under the chin. For that reason, Kybella might be a better option for those with a smaller double chin, or as a “finishing touch” after several CoolSculpting sessions. 

Number of Treatments

With Kybella, some patients may achieve their desired results with just one treatment, but others may need more. The maximum number of possible injections is 6, spaced one month apart.  

With CoolSculpting, the number of required treatments will vary depending on the starting condition and desired results. As with Kybella, some will see results within one treatment, while others may need more. 


With both Kybella and CoolSculpting, the total cost depends on the number of treatments you’ll need, which varies widely from person to person. At SEV, a single vial of Kybella is usually $550. By comparison, a single chin CoolSculpting treatment usually costs between $1000 and $1500 depending on the clinic. 

Risks and Side Effects

With Kybella, it’s common to experience swelling, bruising, numbness, redness, pain, or hardness in the treatment area. The side effects are considered mild and normally resolve within a few weeks. In rare cases, patients may experience some facial asymmetry or muscle weakness due to nerve damage, but that usually resolves on its own

CoolSculpting has similar side effects, including redness, swelling, bruising, numbness, and tingling. Worryingly, CoolSculpting has also been implicated in a very rare complication called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, which actually leads to the reverse effect, causing the treated area to actually accumulate more fat. 

Other Treatment Options

While Kybella and CoolSculpting are the most recognizable treatment options for unwanted fat, there are other non-surgical options that can help. 

Evolve Body Contouring is ideal for toning and trimming up areas like the abdomen, thighs, and arms. It firms the skin and helps reduce fat through radiofrequency and electro-muscle-stimulation, which aren’t associated with the same risks as cryolipolysis. 

Morpheus8 uses microneedling and radiofrequency to deeply heat tissue below the skin. It’s highly effective at reducing a double chin by addressing both skin laxity and adipose tissue. Morpheus8 is suitable for other body parts such as the abdomen or thighs, and it’s also extremely effective at reducing cellulite and stretch marks. 

Which to Choose? Kybella vs CoolSculpting

If your chief debate is between Kybella or CoolSculpting, we think it makes the most sense to consider the condition of your chin as well as what side effects you’re willing to risk. 

Kybella is often highly effective for small yet persistent pockets of fat under the chin, while CoolSculpting may work better on larger double chins. The side effects of the two treatments are similar, but CoolSculpting comes with a concerning, albeit rare complication. 

If you’re also starting to experience some sagging, a skin-firming option like Morpheus8 might be better for addressing a double chin, while Evolve will be best for larger treatment areas. 

If you’re not sure if you’re a great candidate for any of these treatments, or you still have some questions, don’t hesitate to book a consultation! We’ll be happy to talk you through your options, so you can feel confident about the treatment you choose.