Women's Health

ICY TO THE CORE

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You can burn fat through working out. But how about freezing it to death?

The latter is the reruns, a million people tried the procedure in the past year alone, and a recent survey found that 83 percent of patients consider the $700-at-minimum treatment “worth it.” Here’s how it works: A vacuum-like machine holds the skin, and the fat behind it, against a cold plate, which freezes the fat cells. Multiple studies have shown these cells do indeed crystallize and die and are eliminated by your immune system over a few months. (If you gain weight, the fat on those areas can come back.) Potential side effects are temporary and include swelling, tingly nerve pain, and bruising, all of which can last a couple of days or weeks. “To minimize bruising, avoid anticoagulants like fish oil, vitamin E, and NSAIDs,” says dermatologist Suzanne Kilmer, M.D. Most people find the process more numbing than painful, but the very sensitive can ask their doctor for an Rx pain med to take beforehand.

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