Fitness + Well-being

Can a New Drug Zap Your Double Chin?

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About 70 percent of participants in a 2014 survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery about cosmetic procedures pointed fingers at chin and neck fat as a "top concern," per the Washington Post.

But a drug just approved by the FDA looks to banish double chins, ABC News reports.

Kybella, which drug manufacturer Kythera Biopharmaceuticals says could be available by June, is a form of the naturally occurring deoxycholic acid; It's injected into the body, where it penetrates fat cells and attacks their outer membranes, causing them to burst, ABC News reports. The FDA says patients can receive up to 50 injections per session — though it emphasizes they should be administered by a "licensed health care professional" — with a cap of six sessions that are at least one month apart, according to AP. The injections take about five minutes in total and need just a few days to heal, ABC adds. 

But they're not for everyone: Side effects may include bruising, pain, swelling, numbness, and even a few short-lived swallowing episodes, NBC News reports. And the president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery worries that "once it is approved, people will start to use it for other areas of the face or for larger volumes [of fat] in other areas" (e.g., your butt or gut, which is a no-no). But Kythera says patients who finish treatment won't need more to maintain results, as reported in the LA Times.

There's no shelf price yet, but the doctor in charge of investigating Kybella during clinical trials says it will likely be "in line with other injectable procedures," meaning expect "several hundred dollars," the Times adds.

(In related news, researchers at the University of Iowa have a new theory about where our chins come from in the first place.)