Out of all the parts of your body that can end of plump with unwanted excess weight, one of the most troublesome is the fatty tissue that can amass itself right under your nose — the notoriously unsightly double chin. Surgery to remove the unattractive fat deposit, however, can be extremely costly and painful to carry out. That’s why many who live with double chins are rejoicing at a new decision made the Federal Drug Administration that will allow a new injection to be used that thins out fatty neck areas easily and painlessly.
Scientifically known as the “submental area,” the problem area for double chins, can now legally be attacked with a chemical called Kybella. Though the drug is synthetic, it mimics the behavior of another naturally occurring substance within the body: deoxycholic acid, which eases the absorption of fats into the bloodstream by deconstructing them, according to the FDA press release.
Kybella is cytolytic drug, meaning that it breaks down the membrane of the cell when it interacts with it. The drug doesn’t just perform this function on fats, though. If the procedure is not done correctly, instead of getting rid of your double chin, you could be getting a skin graft to replace damaged tissue. Amy G. Egan, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, warned that the drug is specifically tailored to submental fat and that consumers should be cautious when seeking a doctor to perform the procedure.
“Treatment with Kybella should only be provided by a licensed health care professional, and patients should fully understand the risks associated with use of the drug before considering treatment. It is important to remember that Kybella is only approved for the treatment of fat occurring below the chin, and it is not known if Kybella is safe or effective for treatment outside of this area.”
While the FDA approval does invite those looking to drop their double chins a chance to do so safely and legally, the drug is still quite dangerous in the hands of an unexperienced administrator. Nerve damage can result in unwanted debilitation of the patient’s smile, other facial expressions, and even swallowing. Swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness and areas of hardness in the treatment area may also occur, even when the drug is properly used.
Starting immediately, patients looking to get rid of their double chin can be begin receiving up to 50 injections of the drug per session — though each visit to the doctor must be separated by at least one month.
[Image via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]