Emsculpt vs CoolSculpting: Which is Right for You?

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Thanks to improving technology, non-surgical and minimally invasive treatments have come a long way in the last decade; reducing downtime and providing impactful results. Non-surgical body sculpting is no different and shows no signs of slowing down, now that more and more manufacturers in the aesthetic space are releasing their own versions of fat-melting, fat-freezing solutions. While all not all are suited for everyone, these treatments have been proven effective for the right candidates. However, sifting through the differences between treatments can be difficult so that’s why we did that for you. Keep reading to learn the difference between CoolSculpting and Emsculpt.


This one is a tie! Both treatment systems are FDA-approved. This means that the FDA deemed both treatments to be safe and effective when performed by a qualified practitioner. While CoolSculpting has been available for over 5 years now, the Emsculpt system has been studied for over 2 years and was proven to be safe and effective by 7 clinical trials before being released to the public.


Emsculpt is the only treatment that builds muscle while also reducing fat at the same time. These treatments are typically done 4-5 times in a span of two weeks. Patients will start to notice results after 3-4 weeks and also have the option to continue treatments to maintain their results. Since this treatment is so new, there’s not a lot of information about maintenance treatments yet. EmSculpt is said to remove up to 19% of fat in the treatment area but also increase muscle mass by 16%.

CoolSculpting is FDA-Approved to remove up to 22% of fat in the treatment area, after 12 weeks post-treatment. What gives CoolSculpting a more competitive edge is its release of multiple hand pieces throughout the last few years. This allows patients to have fat reduction in all sorts of areas, big and small. CoolSculpting has also debuted CoolTone™, which will be advantageous for muscle toning as well.


Results from these two treatments are pretty different, and hard to compare. For those looking for a more shredded or ripped look (and who are already fairly lean), EmSculpt is the clear winner. For those looking to remove “pinch-able” rolls of fat, CoolSculpting is the clear winner. But most patients fall somewhere in between these 2 extremes, and that’s where a doctor’s analysis of the underlying issues (skin, fat, or muscle) will help you to determine which is the better option.


Emsculpt is said to be painless and there is no downtime. So far there are no known adverse reactions to the treatment. During treatment, patients described mild discomfort, but not pain. After treatment, most patients described muscle soreness the next day, as if they'd just had a good workout. The panels used in EmSculpt do not use any hot or cold temperatures to remove fat or use suction to stay in place making the treatment very comfortable.

CoolSculpting works by killing fat cells with cold temperatures, using a curved suction-based handpiece. Most patients will experience numbing during the procedure due to the cold temperatures. Some patients find this numbness during and after treatment uncomfortable but not unbearable. However, the CoolSculpting CoolAdvantage system has been available for several years now, citing more comfortable treatments with less tingling or numbness after the session.

Overall, it sounds like EmSculpt may be the more comfortable treatment due to its lack of temperature changes.


With CoolSculpting, patients will experience some redness and possibly a numbing sensation for a couple of hours to days post-treatment. If a patient is bothered by this they may find some restrictions in their clothing choices. According to the manufacturer, EmSculpt does not have any physical signs post-treatment but patients may feel muscle soreness similar to post-workout soreness, which could range in intensity depending on the muscle mass of the patient. 

This one is a tie depending on what is important to each patient. While both muscle soreness or a numb treatment area are not serious side effects, depending on a person’s lifestyle they could be bothered by either one.

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Posted by Supriya Dermatology