How Do You Get Rid of Love Handles?

Love handle treatment in San Diego.

Despite the name, very few people with love handles feel affectionate towards them. These pockets of excessive fat that appear on the sides and the lower back are prominent on a shocking number of people. Contrary to popular belief, their existence is not limited to those who are obese. There are many who exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, yet are still plagued by their dreaded love handles. Even after following strict exercise regimes designed to target this area, generally little is seen in the way of results. Without an effective way to "spot reduce" the love handles through exercise, many are left searching for another way to get rid of them once and for all.

Ineffective Methods of Getting Rid of Love Handles

While losing weight, in general, may be effective in reducing the appearance of your love handles, there is no guarantee that any weight will be lost from this area in particular. As discovered in numerous research studies, you can reduce your overall body fat and tone muscles through exercise, but you cannot choose which areas your body will opt to burn fat reserves from. Certainly, maintaining a healthy weight and staying active is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle, but if you are depending on diet and exercise alone to get rid of your love handles, you may be disappointed.

Treatment Options for Love Handles

To target this region of problematic body fat, you will need to utilize more effective tactics. Here are some viable medical treatment options.

Deoxycholic Acid Injection

This treatment consists of injecting deoxycholic acid directly into the love handles. As the solution makes its way through the layers of fat, it causes a reaction within the body. This reaction causes the fat cell wall to harden, and it eventually begins to break the cells down. This technique is effective in decreasing the appearance of love handles, though most patients find that several procedures are required to reach their desired level of fat reduction. The process is minimally invasive compared to others, though each session may consist of up more than 50 injections on each side. You may opt to have a numbing agent applied before the needles are injected. Typically, some swelling and tenderness is expected for several days after the procedure.


A more widely recognized treatment option, liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat pockets from underneath the skin while smoothing and reshaping the area. This procedure typically requires only one treatment, though the process is much more painful to recover from than all other methods.


Harnessing the power of cold temperatures, CoolSculpting is a non-invasive method for decreasing pockets of excess fat. This technique relies on a cooling device to freeze away stubborn fat cells. It is only mildly painful and has safety features in place to prevent irritation or freezing of the skin. In a recent research study, CoolSculpting was shown to reduce fat by as much as 20% during a single session. Unfortunately, however, this means that multiple sessions will be required for most individuals attempting to get rid of love handles, which can be time-consuming and expensive

Topical Deoxycholate

For those who are seeking a convenient and painless option to defeat their love handles, a topical deoxycholate cream may be best for you. This cream harnesses many of the same benefits as the deoxycholic acid injections, yet without the pain associated with injections. Simply apply the cream twice a day to the love handles and watch them fade away gradually over time.

Love Handle Treatment at CDCRI in San Diego

If you are searching for a way to defeat your stubborn love handles, contact us today at the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute to discuss your best options, whether through traditional methods or a clinical trial.