Does Kybella Really Work to Remove a Double Chin?

double chin treatment
A large number of people struggle with a double chin at some point in life, and the issue is especially common as we age. Studies have shown that we are just as self-conscious about our double chins as we are about wrinkles around the eyes. Luckily, there is now an easy and noninvasive treatment available, called Kybella. Here at Dermatology Center of Acadiana in Lafayette, LA, our board-certified dermatologists perform this on a regular basis.

But is this injection safe, and how does it work? Can it be as effective as more invasive procedures such as liposuction? Read on to find out why this innovative method of addressing double chins works so well and how you can regain the contours of your youth easily and quickly.

The Causes of Double Chin

Double chin treatment refers to the pouch of fat or tissue that may appear below your face, which often looks like a second chin. In medicine, it is also called submental fat. Many people believe that the main cause of this issue is obesity and weight gain, but although this can be a factor, some people experience the issue due to aging or even genetics. It usually occurs in people over the age of 40, but some patients experience it earlier in life.

The first thing most doctors advise is to change your diet and exercise, making sure you live a healthy lifestyle. This is especially the case if your submental fat is due to obesity. If this does not solve the issue, you may need an alternative treatment, and the safest one out there is this injectable. Unlike liposuction or surgery, it is non-invasive and quick.

How Kybella Helps

The treatment was approved by the FDA in 2015 and is an injectable made up of deoxycholic acid, a substance that is naturally present in your body. As such, your body will recognize it and be unlikely to react negatively to it. Your board-certified dermatologist will perform a series of injections in strategic places on your chin, where the substance will start to break down your fat cells immediately.

Over the next several weeks, the deoxycholic acid will do its job and your body will start to break down the dead fat cells. As a result, the fat in your chin will appear to melt away slowly, and your jawline will revert back to its original, elegant form. Since it was approved, the treatment has been a favorite in clinics around the country because it is minimally invasive and does not require downtime, unlike liposuction or other methods of reducing a stubborn double chin.

The Science Behind the Treatment

A synthetic version of deoxycholic acid, a substance also found in human bile, will be injected into your chin. Usually, there will be 15-25 injections per treatment, and you may require several appointments depending on the extent of your double chin. The acid will then start to break down the membranes of your fat cells, essentially dissolving the problem. Your own lymphatic and circulatory system flushes out these broken cells in the next four to six weeks.

The Benefits of Double Chin Treatment

There are a number of benefits of using this treatment, including the speed of both your appointment and the recovery, the fact that it is very safe, and the permanent results you can see from it. This last factor means that it is also a cost-effective option, as you won’t need recurring treatment once your fat cells have been dissolved.

Safe and Non-Invasive Treatment

With deoxycholic acid, there’s no need to worry about adverse side effects or long recovery times, because the treatment is not invasive and simply involves several injections. Due to the fact that your body will recognize the substance, it won’t cause an allergic reaction, and the acid will simply be disposed of alongside the dead cells once it’s no longer needed.

To make sure that your treatment is as pain-free and easy as possible, your dermatologist may numb the area beforehand by applying a numbing cream. This will be discussed with you in the initial appointment.

Quick Appointment

Most appointments addressing your double chin removal can be completed in under an hour, so many of our patients come to us in their lunch break and then return to work in the afternoon. The average number of treatments needed is three, but depending on your situation, you may only need two or as many as five. This will depend on the results you expect and the extent of your double chin treatment.

As well as quick treatment, this injection offers you the chance to get back to your regular activities right away. Unlike during liposuction, there’s no need to worry about extensive downtime after each of your appointments. We may advise you to avoid certain things such as makeup for the first few hours or days, but this is unlikely to affect your day-to-day activities significantly.

Permanent Results

Perhaps the best thing about the treatment is the fact that you only need to complete it once and the results are permanent. If you’re past your teenage years, fat cells can’t grow back, so the ones that are melted away by the deoxycholic acid won’t return. That’s why you will never regain your double chin to the same extent, and you’ll be able to retain your perfect jawline for years to come.

Despite this, it’s important to commit to a healthy lifestyle after your treatment. Even though a part of your submental fat will have been melted away, not all fat cells will have been removed. If you gain a significant amount of weight, you may experience a double chin again, although it will be smaller than before. The best thing you can do to support your treatment is to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.

Am I a Good Candidate?

Now that you know that Kybella offers permanent results to the vast majority of patients, you may be wondering whether you’re a good candidate. As a general rule, anyone who has struggled with a stubborn double chin, despite adjusting their diet and exercise, will be a great fit. Although this is not a weight-loss treatment, it can significantly change your appearance and increase your confidence if you suffer from submental fat due to aging or genetic factors.

The best way to find out whether you can benefit from this injection is to contact us and set up your initial appointment. Your dermatologist will evaluate your situation and decide whether submental fat really is the issue. In some cases, your double chin may be caused by other factors, such as a loose neck or a small jaw bone. In such cases, we may advise an alternative that better suits your needs.

How It Works

The treatment is easy and quick, and you may start to see results as soon as a month or six weeks after your initial injections. But despite this, it’s important to follow all of your doctor’s orders so that you can avoid complications and enjoy the full benefits of the treatment. Let’s now explore what your journey with Kybella may look like, from the initial appointment to the final results.

Before Your Treatment

You will be asked to bring your full medical history to your initial appointment so that we can make sure that you are in good general health. We will discuss your struggle with your double chin and what you hope to achieve with this treatment. Your dermatologist will also speak to you about the expected results and how many appointments you may need to book.

Before beginning the injections, you might be advised to stop taking certain medications and applying certain skincare products if we believe they can interfere with the treatments. This is especially true with blood-thinning products such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

The Injection

On the day of your appointment, drink enough water and keep your face clean so that there is no risk of infection afterward. Do not apply makeup, as your skin needs to be bare for the treatment. Your dermatologist will either apply numbing cream or an injectable anesthetic to the area so that the deoxycholic acid injections will be as painless as possible.

Once this has taken effect, you will be given your injections with a small needle. You will start to feel them working right away, but the effects will become apparent in the weeks and months following your treatment. Your dermatologist may apply some ice to the area to make sure there is no swelling, and then you are free to go.


You may be given some instructions for aftercare. To further prevent swelling, many doctors advise that you use a warm compress, and to avoid any irritation, you will be asked to keep your skin free from makeup for the next 24 hours. You can cover up the area with a scarf or a shirt if you desire. All signs of the injections should disappear within 4-5 weeks, and you will also start to notice some initial results at this time.


The majority of our patients start to notice the change in their appearance at around the time of their second appointment. In general, your treatments will be spaced out and you will need to wait around six weeks in between. Depending on your treatment plan, you may visit the clinic between 2-5 times, and each time, you will notice a difference in the way your profile appears.

Although your doctor’s treatment plan is likely to be accurate, it can always be adjusted as you go along. For example, you may decide that you are not quite satisfied with the results after you have completed the recommended number of appointments, so we can add an extra session to make the change even more drastic. Once you’re happy with how your contours look, your doctor will take a photo and compare it to the ‘before’ shot, so you can see the change.

Re-Discover Your Perfect Profile Now

Many people struggle with their double chin reduction, which can significantly affect their self-confidence and enjoyment of life. But there’s no reason to simply accept the situation. With an easy, safe, and effective treatment like Kybella available, you can get your profile back to its original shape in no time. Despite the fact that it is noninvasive, this method can work just as well as surgical procedures, without any of the downtime or risk.

To get started, book your initial appointment at the Dermatology Center of Acadiana in Breaux Bridge or Lafayette, LA. Our experienced and board-certified dermatologists will speak to you about your options and devise a treatment plan that will have you looking your best for the rest of your life.