Is Kybella the Fat Buster Miracle We’ve Been Praying For?

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A new drug that’s been on the market for over a year has just one mission in mind: blasting away your double chin.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not quite so simple as all that. The drug is called Kybella, and it’s an injectible serum that’s a manufactured form of deoxycholic acid, a substance naturally produced by your body to bust fat cells.

Because it works best in small areas, it’s only been approved for cosmetic use in that pesky under-chin area, where so many of us develop the dreaded double (or triple!) chin. Kybella treatments require about six visits, each a month or so apart, to get real results. You might get up to 50 injections with each visit.

Like any other body reshaping services — juvederm, smartlipo, or botox injections, for example — it’s not exactly cheap. Estimates on the Internet are hard to come by; some say each treatment is likely to cost in the realm of $500 (and remember, you need six of them), while others say it’s a $1,300 pop altogether.

One thing’s for sure: Americans are going to want to get their hands on it. Cosmetic treatments rose 5.5% from 2011 to 2012, reaching $11 billion, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Kybella is just the latest in a bunch of non-surgical procedures aimed at the anti-aging crowd — another surefire money-maker. In 2013, the anti-aging skin care market retailed about $2.1 billion in sales in the U.S.

Kybella does have some side effects — about 4% of patients experience a temporary lopsided smile if injections cut to close to nerves in the jawline. There’s also bound to be some bruising and swelling around the injection areas, but those pass, too.

The bottom line: Does it work? Picture evidence from around the Internet points to Yes — but these are never the most accurate sources. If you want to downsize your chin space, it might be best to dig a little deeper into the long-term lasting effects of this drug (which, remember, has only been on the market for a year).

Do you know anyone who’s tried Kybella? Has it worked for them?

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