CoolSculpting at Home: It’s Dangerous and Doesn’t Work

 In CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting at home

CoolSculpting at home won’t freeze away fat. It may freeze your skin and cause damage however. Learn why you can’t freeze fat at home.



CoolSculpting  has become one of the most trusted and reliable methods of reducing stubborn fat bulges. This growing popularity has a bit of a dark side, though – while CoolSculpting is safe and trustworthy, its success has resulted in a proliferation of do-it-yourself fat freezing treatments.

Finding CoolSculpting at home instructions is just a single Google search away. These instructions provoke a few important questions: Do these home-made solutions produce results as reliably as an FDA-approved technology does? Can I realize the same safe and impressive results at home with a couple of ice packs?


CoolSculpting treatments result in a reaction called cryolipolysis, or cold-induced cell death. It has been clinically proven by multiple independent researchers that this reaction results in fat reduction. Fat cells suffer this cell death in cold temperatures that are warm enough to leave skin unfrozen, making this technique possible.

During CoolSculpting, a stubborn, fatty bulge, like belly fat, is slightly suctioned into a hand applicator. Fat responds to cold by receding from the skin, but this suction keeps the fat pinned in place. With suction established, the device blasts the fat with temperatures that don’t waver outside of a target range, from 39 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. At those specific temperatures, the cold will rupture fat cells while the skin remains entirely safe. Destroyed fat cells are gradually cycled out by the lymphatic systems and, after a small number of weeks have passed, the cells are excreted out of the body.¹

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Cryolipolysis requires that the cool temperatures remain within a target range for a long enough time to trigger the death process in the fat. When using ice packs with DIY CoolSculpting, there’s no sure way to neither get them to a target temperature nor ensure that the temperature of the pack remain cold enough. The instant that an ice pack touches skin, the skin’s heat will transfer to the ice pack, which rapidly moves the ice pack out of the target temperature range.

Related Article: How Much Does CoolSculpting Cost? >>


Without the applicator suction, CoolSculpting simply wouldn’t work. Cold external temperatures send fat cells further into the body, both to protect the fat and important internal organs. During CoolSculpting treatments, suction guarantees that the subcutaneous fat remains next to the skin’s surface so that the cold temperature penetrates and affects the fat. Without an applicator exposing the fat to cold temperatures from multiple angles, the cold won’t penetrate deeply enough into the fat.


While ice packs aren’t capable of freezing fat, they can freeze skin. This makes DIY CoolSculpting not just ineffective, but also potentially dangerous. Extreme temperatures can do permanent harm to the skin and surface tissue in a matter of minutes. CoolSculpting maintains a safe temperature range and uses a proprietary gel pad that prevents skin damage by insulating the skin from the cold. The CoolSculpting machine also comes with multiple safeguards to protect clients. The temperature gauges are carefully calibrated. What’s more, the device will automatically shut down if the temperatures leave the safe range so that the skin is in no danger.

Learn more about CoolSculpting side effects >>

Without built-in safety mechanisms, and because fat has the ability to evade cold temperatures, all attempts to freeze subcutaneous fat without a CoolSculpting machine could result in permanent skin damage before any fat succumbs to cell death.

Hospitals have already reported seeing self-inflicted injuries from DIY CoolSculpting attempts. The Journal of Wound Care released a comprehensive case study investigating the deep wounds that can emerge from attempts to replicate CoolSculpting at home.¹ Many disturbing images of ice pack-induced frostbite can be found in the study. The featured patient of the study attempted to produce CoolSculpting results with ice packs instead of trusting in a CoolSculpting specialist. The Journal of Wound Care concluded that any DIY CoolSculpting method was potentially dangerous, and warned that further injuries like those pictured would follow from additional attempts.


CoolSculpting at home can seem like a great bargain at first, but hopefully these illustrations of the dangers of DIY CoolSculpting show that the cost of professional CoolSculpting is worthwhile. To guarantee that your fat-freezing experience is safe and effective, schedule a consultation with a professional. Reach out to The Spa for CoolSculpting and receive the most advanced, safest care in West Hartford, CT. You can reach The Medspa online or by calling (860) 206-8191 to schedule a free consultation online.


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