Full-thickness wounds resulting from 'do-it-yourself' cryolipolysis: a case study

J Wound Care. 2016 Apr;25(4):S30-2. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2016.25.Sup4.S30.


This report reviews the case of a 55-year-old woman who suffered frostbite while attempting a 'do-it-yourself' version of cryolipolysis without the guidance of a medical professional. Cryolipolysis is a well-understood process through which the careful application of below-freezing temperatures is used to induce adipose cell death while sparing the skin, reducing body fat. This patient used dry ice in lieu of professional medical equipment, resulting in 4% total body surface area full- and partial-thickness wounds to her abdomen. Ultimately, the more superficial wounds healed with xenograft and a silver-impregnated dressing. The superior, deeper wound was excised and primarily closed with a fleur-de-lis panniculectomy. Her hospital course and recovery were uneventful. This case illustrates how online information of dubious quality can put the uneducated patient at risk of injury. Health-care professionals should be aware of the questionable resources available online, and should help patients become more discerning consumers of online information. Strategies to prevent such injury should be developed on a national scale.

Keywords: CoolScuplting; cryolipolysis; cryolysis; frostbite; internet; lipocryolysis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Biological Dressings*
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Cryotherapy
  • Dry Ice / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Frostbite / etiology
  • Frostbite / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures*


  • Dry Ice