Submental Fullness

Submental fullness, sometimes referred to as “double chin”, is a common yet undertreated facial aesthetic condition. It can impact a broad range of adults, including both men and women, and can be influenced by several factors such as aging, genetics and weight gain, and is often resistant to diet and exercise alone.

If you’re bothered by submental fullness, you’re not alone. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS)

  • 67% of people said they’re bothered by under-the-chin fullness, or double chin
  • People are just as bothered by under-the-chin fullness as they are by lines and wrinkles around and under their eyes

How it works

Kybella is administered by injection into the area of undesired fat. Each treatment takes approximately 15 minutes. At NewSkin Laser, Dr. Alan Darush, we measure and mark the area that needs to be injected.  Topical numbing medications are applied for patient comfort.   Multiple small injections with a small needle is used to administer the acid. Many patients see visible results after 2 – 4 treatment sessions, but up to 6 separate treatment sessions may be needed in some patients for optimal results.  Each treatment should be spaced 5-6 weeks apart.

Kybella is a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid.  This acid is normally found in our gallbladder released into the intestine and aids in breaking up fats that we eat.  Kybella is a synthetic version that is synthesized in the lab.

Before treatment, a temporary grid is placed on the area to be treated allowing injections to be precise.  Then, the area is numbed using small numbing injections.  Once numb, Kybella is injected.  Multiple small injections are required to disperse the medicine evenly for a smooth result.

Once  injected, it starts to break apart the fat cells right away.  Due to this mechanism of fat breakdown, there is some inflammation associated with the injection which is cooled down by using ice.  Destruction of fat cells will cause some swelling as well.   Within 15 minutes, it is no longer active, and its effect on the fat cells is complete.    The amount of swelling one gets is variable, but in general, the bigger the treated area, the more swelling one gets.


Kybella has been evaluated in multiple studies in over 1,600 patients. Patients who participated in the trials were graded on a 5 point scale.  After 6 treatments, about 15% of patients had a 2 grade improvement, and about 70% of participants had a 1 grade improvement. What this means is that most people saw noticeable improvement.

The most important thing about results is that they are permanent.  Once fat cells are destroyed with Kybella, they never return.

Side effects of Kybella

NOTE:   Please make sure injection of Kybella is done by an experienced physician as there are numerous side effects including injury to the nerve. 

Temporary swelling, numbness, and hardness of the treated area is common. They can last for over 30 days in a small percentage of people. More rare side effects include more dramatic swelling which occurs in an even smaller percentage.

Rare, but more concerning, side effects include damage to the nerves that effect the smile and difficulty swallowing. In clinical trials, these all resolved spontaneously.

The effect of reducing a double chin

Submental fullness is a common problem that affects a large number of people. In a recent survey, 68% of respondents said they were bothered by it. Submental fat can occur in all people who are genetically predisposed to developing it regardless of their weight. Reducing it leads to a more balanced and harmonious facial appearance, and an improved sense of well-being. In the clinical trials, patients who saw improvement (which were most), were more happy, less self-conscious, and felt less overweight than before treatment.

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