How To Remove Excess Fat Without Going Under The Knife According To Dr. Earl Stephenson

Haute Beauty caught up with Dr. Earl Stephenson, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Atlanta, Georgia, who dishes on the solutions to the 5 most common questions patients have about their problematic struggle areas including jiggly arms, excess fat and more.


Problem: I have excess fat around my waistline but I don't want to go under the knife. What are my options?

Solution:  Battle of the Bulge is an ongoing war. Non-surgical options have made it more convenient for people to try to win this war and are based in freezing or heating the fat.  Heating the fat involves the use of radio frequency and is marketed under many names such as Thermage and Vanquish. Freezing devices that cool fat are marketed under the device name CoolSculpting. Both methods cause inflammation and breakdown of the fat. This clears the body and improves contour. It may take many treatments and typically is best for localized areas.

Problem: I’m very insecure about my jiggly arms, what treatment can fix this asap?

Solution: It’s summer --  you want to get those arms out and exposed. Most women are concerned about the shape of their arms. Having surgery during the summertime when people are super busy is not convenient. Radiofrequency tightening of the skin is a nonsurgical option that can improve flabby arms and is convenient.


Problem: I have severe discoloration and uneven skin tone. How can I fix this?

Solution:  Discoloration is a common problem especially for people of color. The uneven tone is due to pigment from melanocytes that are stimulated either by trauma or sun exposure. Treatment of discoloration can be somewhat challenging. Some methods that have been used include compounding of hydroquinone solution or cream with concentrations of 6 to 10%. Light chemical peels containing could Kojic acid or low concentration Trichloroacetic acid have also been shown to be effective. No matter which treatment option you choose, sunscreen of at least an SPF of 30 is paramount.

Problem: I want to try laser hair removal this summer, but I am concerned about my sensitive skin. 

Solution: Hair removal with a laser is excellent. There are many types of devices and lasers used for this purpose. In my opinion, people with sensitive skin are best treated with a neodymium: YAG laser. This laser treats all skin types.  Additionally, prior to initiation of the treatment are use an aloe-based facial cleanser to prepare the skin. At the end of treatment, we typically recommend Locoid. This is on my story over a dream that will soothe the skin during the days after laser hair removal.


Problem: I want a perkier butt, but don't want to go under the knife. What are my options?

Solution:  No one likes to think about it but exercise and diet are key.  If your butt is on the small size, flat and/or untoned in appearance, booty exercises are a great way to get the look you desire.  It does take some time for these exercises to have a noticeable effect. Lunges, squats and bridges are some glute-building exercises that are simple to perform. Dermal filler Sculptra has had a resurgence. Once only used as a facial filler, Sculptra is now injected into the buttocks. Sculptra works by gradually creating new collagen. It may require several treatments to achieve the desired results but the results last two years.