Double Chin? Have You Tried Injecting Acid?

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Me and my glorious double chin in stage make-up.  Photo by Doug Spearman

Chins, like human bodies, come in lots of different shapes and sizes.  But, as they do with human bodies, our society’s screwed up stereotypes of beauty try to tell us that there are only certain chins that are acceptable.  And then the medical industry steps in to make money from this ridiculous notion. Enter Kybella.

Kybella is an Allergan product.  If that company sounds familiar it’s because they also sell Latisse (it will grow your eyelashes and don’t worry, that eye discoloration is probably temporary,) and the lap band device that tries to use stomach binding to force body size manipulation. This is a company that has committed atrocities of research, and once ran a contest where the prize was a dangerous abdominal surgery that you could “gift” to a friend or family member.

Kybella involves a series of injections of deoxycholic acid into the chin to destroy the fat cells. According to their website:

KYBELLA® is a prescription medicine used in adults to improve the appearance and profile of moderate to severe fat below the chin (submental fat), also called “double chin.”

Moderate to severe fat below the chin?  Seriously.  We’re talking about a double chin like it’s a medical problem? Also, if you have only “mild” fat below the chin apparently you’re shit out of luck. These people will stoop to literally any low to make money.  As my friend CJ Legare says – this is about stealing our self-esteem, cheapening it, and selling it back to us at a profit.

So what are we risking to have a differently shaped chin?

KYBELLA® can cause serious side effects, including trouble swallowing and nerve injury in the jaw that can temporarily cause an uneven smile or facial muscle weakness. In clinical studies, nerve injury in the jaw resolved on its own in a median of 44 days (range of 1 to 298 days), and trouble swallowing resolved on its own in a median of 3 days (range of 1 to 81 days).

The most common side effects are swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness and areas of hardness around the treatment area. These are not all of the possible side effects of KYBELLA®. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects.

And for what are we risking a possible 298 days (that’s almost 10 months!) of nerve damage and 81 days of trouble swallowing? Here are some “before and after” pictures from their own website (you can click on the images to enlarge them:)

Lucky that they labeled them “before” and “after,” otherwise it would be hard to tell which is which.

And how much are we paying for these chin transformations? According to, around $5,400.  For some perspective, I could choose to have a slightly different looking chin or I could pay for 2,168 school lunches for kids who need some help.

I think that this passage from their website captures the full on ridiculousness of this entire situation:

Do you have some extra fullness beneath your chin? Maybe it’s something you’ve had your whole life, something that developed over the years, or something you noticed recently. This is a condition called submental fullness, which some people refer to as “double chin.”

People are allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies, regardless of the reason or risk.  I just want people to be aware that there’s a lot of money being made by companies who are convincing us that normal things (like double chins, fat bodies, any and all signs of aging) are somehow “problems” requiring dangerous and expensive medical interventions. I also want people to be aware that we don’t have to buy into that. We have the option to opt-out of that system.  The option of finding love for our double (triple, quadruple) chins, our fat bodies, our grey hair and wrinkles, and we can use our time, energy, and money for other pursuits.

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19 thoughts on “Double Chin? Have You Tried Injecting Acid?

  1. I wish we could include GIFs in our comments because this needs a whole slew of applause GIFs

  2. Hi Ragen,

    I love the podcast you did with Meret! Great job keep it up! Glad to have you as a resource in the community. You have been very helpful for my clients and I never knew you were based in LA just like me.

    Where are you based? I am in Beverly Hills. One of my clients you have really inspired currently thank you!!

    I look forward to hearing from you. Btw how is your triathlon training going? When is it? Which one is it?

    Healthy Regards,


    Robyn L. Goldberg, RDN, CEDRD Nutrition Therapist 360 N. Bedford Dr. #414 Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (310) 273-0413

  3. Sure, I’ll have a helping of this stuff while I lose four pounds from swallowing that stomach balloon. Better get the balloon first because afterwards I won’t be able to swallow it. Yeesh.

  4. Don’t you just love the way magazines like Glamour fill their pages with ads for crap like this? But wait, here’s an actual article following the ad which discusses – you guessed it – precisely this new wonderful treatment the cosmetic/medical industry has bestowed on us fat-chinned folk. Because guys can benefit from this too, the ad insists.

    I particularly love it when a magazine like Shape blares on and on about loving your shape, no matter what it is. And then comes the slew of ads and article-endorsements for chin-acid injections, Botox, fat-freezing etc …

    1. Fat-freezing?

      OK, the first thing that came to my mind was stashing my fat in the freezer to save it for later.

      The second thing was freezing off a wart.

      So…. Do they cut you open, and stick the liquid nitrogen into the wound, to get to the subcutaneous fat, or do they freeze the skin to death, and hope the fat beneath it goes away, too?

      I think I prefer my first option, thanks. I don’t know how or why I’d use it, but it still appeals to me way more than the other option.

      1. They cool the fatty area to rupture the fat cell membranes, then your body carries away that “waste” tissues and it reduces the area. Scary.

  5. First shame- them blame- them we have the solution and fee scale. It never ends. it is too lucrative telling women (mostly) to fix, change, alter, improve, realign, remedy, lift, trim, tuck, shade, cover, hide, absolve you of your sins….

  6. Yeah, not a lot of difference and nobody with the kind of double chin I (and Ragen) have. Even when I was at 135 pounds in college, I still had a bit of a double chin. I’m pretty sure it is partly due to a short jaw and how my muscles are laid down over the skeleton.

    If I really wanted to change my jaw shape, I’d feel safer with a chin implant instead of acid potentially causing permanent damage to my face and neck muscles.

    I have extra issues with this because it reminds me so strongly of the poor women who are victims of acid attacks. Sure, that acid is thrown, but the message is still: We don’t like how you are, so we will use acid on you.

    1. I could barely tell any difference in these photos, and yet they went to great lengths to have everything else exactly the same (same hairstyle, same facial expression, same pose, down to the millimeter), so that the slight difference in chins would be as visible as possible.

      It’s amazing in its complete lack of amazement.

      And you know what? I’ve known really thin people with “double chins,” because they were just built that way. And I’ve known “Deathfatz!” people without double chins, because, again, they were just built that way.

      And yet, doctors want to attack with acid. You’re right, Isstrout. It really does call to mind the acid attacks. Gaaah.

      1. You know, there must be a reason they used subjects who pretty much don’t have what could, by any reasonable standard, be called a double chin, or even a dewlap–it’s like weight-loss ads where the before photo has a little softness to their visible flat six-pack.

        In the case of weight-loss ads, I’m pretty sure this is to imply that if you’re bigger than their “normal” BMI model, then you’re REALLY FAT and need to get on their plan RIGHT AWAY.

        In this case I’m not so sure. I suspect it’s because the results of using this stuff on a real double chin might have disfiguring results–very uneven reduction of the areas–or eat through the skin to the outside or into the tonsils or something.

        The very thought is terrifying me.

        1. As far as I can tell, the main difference from the before to after was that they all had a slight smile in the after picture, lifting their face a bit with that smile. I didn’t see any difference under their chins; one woman had some odd puckering behind her “double chin,” but that was it.

  7. There are hardly any differences in the photos. A case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. I wonder if they’d even bother with my double chin!

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