Sodium Deoxycholate for Submental Contouring

Shannon Humphrey, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Katie Beleznay, MD, FRCPC, FAAD; Jean D. A. Carruthers MD, FRCSC, FRC (OPHTH), FASOPRS


Skin Therapy Letter. 2016;21(5) 

In This Article


As a first-in-class injectable therapy, deoxycholic acid, was recently approved by Health Canada and the US Food and Drug Administration, as Belkyra™ and Kybella®, respectively, to treat submental fullness. It is not approved for use in other facial areas or sites on the body. As a minimally invasive treatment, it can be performed in the office, results are visible in two to four treatments, and recovery is relatively quick. Different from facial injectables like fillers and neuromodulators, maintenance treatments with deoxycholic acid are not required to sustain the effect over time or to reduce skin laxity. Clinicians should ensure sufficient submental fat is present to justify injection of deoxycholic acid. They should also be cautious to avoid injuring anatomic structures in the submental region when injecting the synthetic compound.