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The science of Coolsculpting began with a Popsicle. Scientists at Harvard University noticed that children had a tendency to develop dimples in their cheeks after eating frozen treats. The condition even has a name, Popsicle panniculitis, that refers to the death of fat cells in the facial area after exposure to cold.

Children and babies have more fatty acids in their cheeks and other parts of the face than adults do, which is why exposure to cold foods can cause damage to that fat. The researchers who developed Coolsculpting took things a step further and began to test using freezing temperatures to destroy fat cells in pigs.

Instead of simply putting Popsicles on the area, the scientists developed a suction device that exposes fat cells to cold temperatures for an hour at a time. Since only the fat cells are targeted, other areas, such as the skin cells, aren’t damaged by the cold.

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