The sight of sagging skin under your chin could leave you feeling flustered. Surgical procedures such a liposuction can provide a foolproof way to eliminate double chins, but they are not suitable for everyone and are accompanied by high costs and risks. ATX-101, an experimental injectable drug, is a new non-surgical treatment that can help kill submental fat, or a double chin, with just four injections.
Double chins usually appear when a layer of subcutaneous fat around the neck hangs low and begins to form a wrinkle, which gives off the appearance that a person has a second chin. The amount of loose skin and the amount of fat cells in that region will determine whether a person has a double chin, according to causesofdoublechin.com. This condition is typically common in people who are elderly or obese, but a person of average weight can also bear a double chin.
Developed by U.K. dermatologists at the University of Manchester and McDiarmid-Hall Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, along with dermatologists in France, Germany, Belgium, and Spain, the injection — a specially formulated chemical known as ATX-101 — is designed to kill off the fat cells under the skin.
The injections set off an inflammatory response that prompts the arrival of specialized cells called macrophages into the chin fat, reports the Daily Mail. The remaining debris from the destruction of the fat cells are picked up by the marcophages as the unwanted fat is reabsorbed into the body. The most common adverse effects of the injection are swelling, pain, bruising, numbness, and redness, but none are reported to be treatment-related.
In a report to be published in the British Journal of Dermatology, the developers of ATX-101 investigated the effect of the injections in a trial of 363 men and women aged 18 to 65 who had four injections four weeks apart of the active agent or placebo.
To measure improvements in submental fat, researchers had doctors rate the success of the treatment on a five-point scale, and the participants rated themselves on a seven-point satisfaction scale.
Two different dosages of ATX-101 as well as a placebo were administered to the participants. Out of the patients who received the higher dosage of ATX-101, 65 percent had a reduction in submental fat of at least one point on the fat-rating scale compared with the 23 percent with the placebo. Sixty-six percent of patients were happy with their face and chin appearance compared to 29 percent who received the placebo treatment. A calliper was also used by the researchers, which showed a significant reduction in submental fat with no worsening of skin looseness.
“This study demonstrates that subcutaneous injections with ATX-101 yield a clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction in unwanted submental fat, decrease the psychological impact on patients, and are well tolerated,” said Professor Berthold Rzany, lead author of the study, The Telegraph reports.
Currently in the U.S., liposuction of the neck and jowls is considered to be one of the most clinically rewarding procedures in cosmetic surgery because it can dramatically change a patient’s appearance. The cost of this procedure ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.