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Belkyra: All About The Fat Dissolving Chin Sculpting Treatment

Move over Botox, there’s a new buzz treatment in town.

25/09/2017 10:10 AM AEST | Updated 26/09/2017 12:56 PM AEST
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Have you heard of Belkyra? It's a relatively new treatment that's just come to Australia. Called Kybella in the U.S, Khloe Kardashian helped the procedure gain momentum by becoming the official spokeswoman.

Essentially the treatment is about dissolving fat around the jawline, neck and under the chin. It's for those who are uncomfortable with a double chin or pouch of fat around the jaw. As the saying goes, 'if you can grab it, you can jab it'.

Just like Botox is a brand name for a wrinkle reduction product (as is Dysport, Vistabel and Azzalure), Belkyra is the brand name for one type of fat dissolving injection. In fact, Belkyra is made by Allergan, the same company which makes Botox.

Though, confusingly, there are other brands of fat dissolving injections which essentially do the same thing -- that's why you'll hear the procedure called different things. The injection can also be used in other areas, not just the chin.

Laser Clinics Australia have just started performing a Chin Sculpting procedure across their clinics nationally.

What is chin sculpting?

"Chin Sculpting is a cosmetic injectables treatment which uses a prescription medicine containing synthesised deoxycholic acid," Doctor Jonathan Hopkirk from Laser Clinics Australia told HuffPost Australia.

"When injected below the chin, the compound breaks down the fat cells which the body then absorbs and excretes. It was first used in Europe. In 2014 it was approved and used in cosmetic injectables treatments across Europe, USA and now Australia this year."

The type of acid used is a compound which is found naturally in the body.

"Deoxycholic acid is found naturally in the body, aiding in digestion and the absorption of dietary fats. The deoxycholic acid drug substance used in chin sculpting is synthetically derived," Hopkirk said.

What happens during the procedure?

Before the area is treated your therapist will run you through what's expected.

"A comprehensive consultation process assesses suitability for the treatment. Chin sculpting is carried out with a series of injections and requires no incisions. During the treatment we apply a numbing agent to help avoid discomfort."

"The injecting treatment zone is marked out accurately using the patient's anatomical landmarks for guidance. Injection amount varies and is catered to the patient's anatomy," Hopkirk said.

Between 20 to 40 injections is pretty standard. Although the area is numbed, the procedure can still be a little unpleasant. Once completed, the body then breaks down and metabolises the fat.

The downtime? Expect the area to swell up quite a bit, as what you're doing is essentially doing is triggering a defence mechanism within the body. Your neck, chin or that might look like a puffy frog for several days. Scarves and turtlenecks are your friend during this time.

The results

"Results will vary from client to client, but you should expect initial swelling and discomfort which can be treated with ice and simple over-the-counter pain medication."

"The treatment itself takes 20 to 40 minutes. We review results with our clients on a weekly basis and then bi-weekly basis between treatments. The majority of clients will have visible results in two to four treatments," Hopkirk said.

Follow up treatments are spaced four to six weeks apart.

"At least two treatments are necessary and some clients can see great results after only two treatments."

As for its safety, it has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration here in Australia.

"The injectable prescription medicine used in the chin sculpting treatment is TGA-approved and has been clinically proven. It is made by a global manufacturer of leading brands and best-in-class products. When injected below the chin, the compound breaks down the fat cells which the body eliminates."

The price

The procedure isn't cheap. At Laser Clinics Australia each treatment of Chin Sculpting will set you back $1290. Belkyra is priced similarly, though varies from clinic to clinic. The good news is that unlike Botox which usually requires twice-yearly upkeep, once the fat is dissolved you're pretty much done.

"Typically a maintenance injection may be needed after four to five years," Hopkirk said.

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