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It often comes as a surprise to many that their necks give away their age. This area doesn’t always get the same amount of care as the face which is why it can have some wrinkles, lines, and some skin sagging even if the skin on the face is in excellent shape. All of these can be a challenge to deal with but not impossible to address altogether.
Double chins, for example, can now be dealt with effectively with the help of new cosmetic procedures that are non-invasive and do not require surgeries. Back in the day, you might need to be willing to do some silly activities and use some outrageous contraptions to get rid of some pesky under chin and neck fat but that’s not the case anymore. If this is what you’re struggling with, you now have a number of treatment options available.
Speaking of options, your journey will most likely start or greatly involve reading about the Belkyra vs. Kybella debate. These two treatments both promise to deal with ‘submental fullness’ or the doctor-speak for double chin. Choosing between the two can be an important step for many in moving forward in dealing with improving their body contour.
Belkyra vs. Kybella: What’s the Difference?
To help you in choosing between Belkyra vs. Kybella, let’s take a closer look at what these two treatments are first. Technically, they’re the same thing, both are fat-dissolving injections that use a prescription medicine containing deoxycholic acid as its main active ingredient. They’re also from the same company, Allergan Inc.
Both Kybella and Belkyra are forms of mesotherapy which is a cosmetic technique that uses injections in order to improve the appearance of one’s skin. It’s been around since the early 1950s and can involve a wide range of substances – from synthetic to homeopathic. The key characteristic of this procedure is that it introduces certain substances in the subcutaneous fat in order to rejuvenate and tighten the skin.
Kybella was the first to enter the scene in 2015 and took the beauty industry by storm. The idea of melting fat through an injection offered a whole different way for folks to improve their appearance effectively, quickly, and without too much fuss. Belkyra took things further since it was from the same company that manufactured Botox.
Why are these procedures separate if they’re the same thing? Let’s break it down to further discuss the details of these two treatments.
Belkyra is a fat-melting procedure offered by Allergan Inc, the same people behind Botox and Juvederm. This is an FDA-approved injectable treatment that uses deoxycholic acid to destroy fat cells in the neck and below the chin area.
This treatment is minimally invasive since it only injects a substance onto your skin. It often requires two to six sessions for it to deal with submental fat and will only usually take about 15 to 30 minutes per session.
The treatments will be spaced from one to three months depending on your doctor’s recommendation. This means that the treatment period can take at least nine months or more.
Results for Belkyra can start showing at around the second session or up to the 12th week. Maximum results will be noticeable around the sixth month or so.
How It Works
Belkyra works with the aid of the active ingredient known as the deoxycholic acid. This is a naturally occurring chemical in the body which is classified as a secondary bile acid. It’s a metabolic byproduct of intestinal bacteria, produced during food digestion. The body actually uses it in emulsifying fats so the intestines can absorb it.
The deoxycholic acid used in Belkyra is a synthetic version. Its performance is rather straightforward: it destroys fat cells upon injection to the problem area. Afterwards, the fat cells will be handled by the immune system and naturally excreted out of the body.
The Belkyra procedure is also very straightforward. Like with other cosmetic treatments, you’ll start with a consultation with your doctor. This cannot and should not be skipped as it’s crucial for assessing whether you’re a suitable candidate for the treatment or not.
Once you’re cleared by the doctor, you will then be scheduled for a treatment session. Since this is a non-invasive procedure, it doesn’t require major alteration of your schedule. It can be done on any day at your convenience and you can go about your day after without any fuss. It will not hamper your ability to drive or perform a good deal of activities after.
On the day of the procedure, you’ll be prepped accordingly. The injection sites will be marked based on your doctor’s assessments. A numbing agent will then be applied to the injection areas to prevent discomfort. The procedure will consist of about twenty to forty injections.
Technically, Belkyra does not have a downtime as it won’t restrict your capabilities after the procedure. However, it’s normal to experience puffiness after the treatments so you might want to take your appearance into consideration when making plans after getting the injections.
Like with other non-invasive fat-melting treatments, Belkyra’s results are quite permanent. Since it uses a substance that will destroy fat cells, it will lower the number of fat cells in the neck and under the chin area.
As adults cannot grow new fat cells, this means that there are fewer of them that can expand once you gain weight or other factors kick in. This can promise a less prominent double chin and more long-lasting results.
It should be noted, however, that Belkyra will not prevent the concerns that lead you to getting the procedure. Since submental fat can be caused by aging, genetics, and excess weight, you can still get the double chin back. There will be several ways to keep it off, however, so you can also do those in combination with the said procedure.
Make sure to let your doctor know if you have any allergies to prescription medication, dyes, foods, or preservatives as well as if you have gone through other treatments and surgeries in the past couple of months. If you have any health conditions that are on or surrounding the neck area, have bleeding disorders, high likelihood of getting infections, or trouble breathing or swallowing, you should also let your doctor know.
During the procedure, expect some unpleasantness as well. Despite the numbing, it’s normal to experience some mild stinging or burning upon getting the injection. Some bruising and redness might also take place. Applying an ice pack will be recommended by your healthcare provider.
Swelling, however, is a typical reaction to the injection. This is why you might still want to skip public appearances right after the treatment as the treated area could be a bit lumpy and swollen for a day or two after the procedure.
Allergies are one of the top risks that come with Belkyra. This is why assessments are done prior to the scheduling of such procedures. While bile acid is naturally occurring, the synthetic version is still a prescription drug with a number of additives. The other components may cause an adverse reaction to some folks so it’s important to look into such details.
Belkyra also tends to have a long list of potential side effects but most of them are normal and mild. They are also quite rare to happen but it would still be vital to keep an eye out on them. However, if you experience any of the following, make sure to tell your doctor immediately:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Uneven smile
- Skin discoloration or sore in the treatment site
- Loss of taste
- Numbness or loss of skin sensation in the neck or mouth areas
- Scarring and tissue death in the treatment site
If you experience the following, seek immediate medical care:
- Breathing difficulties
- Swelling in the treatment area or any surrounding area
- Rashes or hives
Is it for You?
Is Belkyra for you? Well, if you’re over the age of 18, in good, stable health and weight without any food or medication allergies and with healthy skin in your neck and under chin area, you might be a suitable candidate for this procedure.
If you’re pregnant, prone to getting infections, currently dealing with a health concern, or not ready to get multiple treatments, Belkyra isn’t for you.
As mentioned above, Kybella and Belkyra are practically the same things. They’re just different brand names for the prescription medication they use but both still use deoxycholic acid as the main ingredient.
What might be notable about Kybella, however, is that it received the 2015 Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough Award. This recognition is given to the beauty advancements that were found to be unique and exciting by the publication. It’s an annual award chosen by the magazine’s editors.
Kybella is also an FDA-approved cosmetic procedure so consumers can be assured that it’s generally safe to go through. Of course, other factors should still be considered but under the right circumstances and with the right patients, it shouldn’t be as risky as other fat removal cosmetic surgeries.
How It Works
Like with Belkyra, Kybella works with the help of the deoxycholic acid injected into the treatment site. It will then melt and destroy the submental fat cells, leaving you with an improved contour in your under chin and neck area.
The procedure with Kybella is very similar, so there’s no need to go into details. It will start with a consultation wherein your doctor will assess your health and the treatment area. They will then decide how many treatments you’ll need and give the necessary information you need.
On procedure day, numbing will be applied to the treatment area and it will be marked by your doctor. This procedure is highly customizable and your doctor will decide on how much will be injected to certain areas on a case to case basis. Once you’re marked, the injections can commence.
Again, around twenty to forty injections can be made during this procedure and it can last from 15 to 30 minutes. Some slight stinging and burning can be experienced.
After the procedure, swelling on the treatment area is normal. Some folks recommend bringing a scarf to cover up your neck and chin area after the session.
It should be highlighted that while Kybella will not necessarily prevent you from carrying out your normal routine post-procedure, the swelling might still slow you down a bit. While this is a normal reaction to the injections, the swelling can be quite unsightly.
So for someone who wants to get rid of the bulging, sagging, or the general submental fullness, this may seem to be counterintuitive. Technically, it doesn’t have any downtime but some folks might still want to take some time out after getting the treatment.
Kybella (and Belkyra, for that matter) also do not promise instant results. While there may be some noticeable change after the first treatment, many will need up to six or more sessions to get the contour they want. This can also take a while, so patience will be necessary for this procedure.
What makes it a solid option, however, is that it comes with some skin-tightening effects as well. It will not only get rid of the fat deposits under the chin and neck areas but it will also improve the skin’s elasticity there. This is why a lot of doctors are big fans of this procedure.
As mentioned above, there are several side effects that can come with Kybella. Allergies are at the top of the list as well as pain and some skin issues. Many of them are normal and will go away after a while, however. But if you experience any of the things listed above, make sure to seek your doctor as soon as possible.
Is it for You?
Kybella can suit many healthy people over the age of 18 if they do not want to get surgery for their stubborn double chin and neck fat. If you’re in good shape, without any allergies to medications or foods, and with healthy skin in your neck and chin area, there’s a good chance that you’ll be a suitable candidate for this procedure.
Belkyra vs. Kybella: Which One is for You?
Since these two procedures are technically the same, picking a side in the Belkyra vs. Kybella debate shouldn’t really be too much of a worry. You can base your decision on a few things like which treatment is easily available to you, which one will suit your budget best, or which clinic in your area has the best reviews for such procedures.
On many occasions, the best results are provided by the best doctors so be discerning in choosing one. Some doctors may underdose patients because they’re scared of swelling and downtime. Avoid those to ensure that you’ll get the results you want.