Blog SculpSure Warm or Cold? A Comparison of Non-Invasive Fat Reduction Treatments

Warm or Cold? A Comparison of Non-Invasive Fat Reduction Treatments

You eat super well. You workout hard. You still have stubborn pockets of fat that won’t go away. So you’re considering body sculpting. While there are many options out there, warm and cold treatments are the two most common. However, there are some differences in what your experience may (or may not) entail from treatment day on.


WarmSculpting™ with SculpSure® treatments

Before Treatment

First, your provider will work with you to customize the device’s four applicators to your exact shape and size. Once at your appointment, she or he will place a belt holding the applicators in place on your desired treatment area. After the belt is secured, each applicator will be locked into the frames.

During Treatment

When the machine turns on you’ll feel a cooling sensation. This will be intermittently followed by a deep warm, tingling sensation as the device’s advanced 1060 nm light-based technology cycles on and off, raising the temperature of the fat cells between 42 and 47 degrees Celsius. This precisely targets, disrupts, and destroys fat cells beneath the skin.

After 25 minutes,1 you are all set to go. Not one minute of downtime is necessary!

After Treatment

And for two weeks after treatment, you may experience mild side effects may occur including temporary tenderness, swelling or tissue firmness in the treatment area. That said, research has proven WarmSculpting treatments are generally well-tolerated.2,3

Hopefully, you will be happy with your natural-looking results! Clinical studies have shown an 83% to 100% patient satisfaction rate.2,3,4


Fat Freezing

Before Treatment

You arrive at your provider’s office for your treatment. She or he will apply a clear gel pad to your treatment area as a barrier between the cooling panel and your skin. (The allotted treatment areas will be limited by how much fat can be suctioned into the applicator.)5

During Treatment

Next, you’ll feel sucking and cooling sensations as the applicator adheres to your body. This could also be accompanied by pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping for about 10 minutes.5

After that, the area will become numb. Hang out for anywhere from 35-60 minutes and then your provider will detach the applicator. You may have a frozen bulge where the applicator once was so the provider will give you a brief massage to rewarm and smooth out the area. This may be uncomfortable. It’s possible you may need some downtime afterwards.5

After Treatment

If you’re getting the submental (under the chin) treatment, you might feel a sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after treatment. For other body areas, your typical side effects could include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity.5

Due to fat freezing technology, unevenness in treatment areas has been reported. Clinical studies have shown a 73% to 93% patient satisfaction rate.6,7,8


Everyone is different, so above all, we recommend discussing the options with your doc to make the most informed decision. Do what’s right for your body and what makes you feel beautiful inside—and out!


The SculpSure device is a non-invasive laser body contouring system, intended to permanently eliminate fat cells through non-invasive lipolysis of the abdomen, love handles (flanks), back, inner and outer thighs, and under the chin (submental). Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed. WarmSculpting treatments are not intended for weight-loss results or for people who are obese. Mild side effects may occur, including temporary tenderness, swelling, or tissue firmness in the treatment area. Please consult with your physician to see if WarmSculpting treatments are right for you.

©2020. Cynosure, LLC. All rights reserved. Cynosure and SculpSure are registered trademarks of Cynosure, LLC. WarmSculpting is a trademark of Cynosure, LLC. Cynosure, LLC owns exclusive rights to photography. Use of photography without written permission of Cynosure is prohibited.

1 Optimal results are generally achieved through a series of treatments
2 Katz B, Doherty S. A multicenter study of the safety and efficacy of a non-invasive 1060 nm diode laser for fat reduction of the flanks. Paper presented at: 2015 Annual American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Conference; April 22-26; Kissimmee, FL.
3 Average patient discomfort rating of 3.7 on a scale of 1-10; Bass L, Doherty S. Non-Invasive Fat Reduction Of The Abdomen With A 1060nm Diode Laser. Paper presented at: 2015 Annual American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Conference; April 22-26; Kissimmee, FL.
4 Submental clinical study. Data on file.
6 Dierickx, C. C., Mazer, J.-M., Sand, M., Koenig, S. and Arigon, V. (2013), Safety, Tolerance, and Patient Satisfaction With Noninvasive Cryolipolysis. Dermatol Surg, 39: 1209–1216. doi:10.1111/dsu.12238.
7 W. Grant Stevens, Eric P. Bachelor; Cryolipolysis Conformable-Surface Applicator for Nonsurgical Fat Reduction in Lateral Thighs, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 35, Issue 1, 1 January 2015, Pages 66–71,
8 Zelickson, B. D., Burns, A. J. and Kilmer, S. L. (2015), Cryolipolysis for safe and effective inner thigh fat reduction. Lasers Surg. Med., 47: 120–127. doi:10.1002/lsm.22320.

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