Does frost bite kill fat cells?

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Dean Kane of Baltimore Answers Question Regarding CoolSculpting

Q. In a botched at home CoolSculpting attempt I have given myself frostbite. I placed cool packs directly on my sides for 15 min. and the hospital has confirmed that I gave myself frost bite. I’ve learned my lesson and WILL NOT do it again, it is swollen, red, painful and could have serious permanent damage. But if I have given myself frostbite for nothing I will be seriously pissed. So for the damage I have done, will I at least have killed some fat cells and have some effect of CoolSculpting? A. Frostbite is a cold injury to the layers of the skin and like a heat burn will injure the epidermis, dermis, fat and even cause skin loss and changes in sensation from lack of circulation or direct cold injury. Thank you for sharing your photo. It appears that you have cold injured the first layer of the skin and will not experience a fat loss result. It is helpful but does not show the “whole” picture of what happened or what can occur. For this reason, please continue in your care with your primary care physician. There are many DIY (do it yourself) kits and remedies to “freeze” fat. As you unfortunately found out, such a desired remedy can fail and injure you. CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is tried and true. It is a complicated device created scientifically and clinically trialed to cycle cooling (never freezing) to a point where fat cells particularly are stimulated to die. This is called “programed death” or apoptosis. The machine itself has many layers of safety including anti-freezing sheets and internal monitors to adjust the cooling cycle so frostbite will not occur. There are non-FDA approved machines promoted in physician offices as well. Do not use them! They too do not have the safety mechanisms integrated into the device to keep from complications. Please consider consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Certified CoolSculpting Team to achieve your safe and effective non-surgical fat loss results. I wish you the best!   This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.
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