Sculptra Aesthetic for a More Youthful Appearance
What is Sculptra?
Sculptra aesthetic is an injectable that is different from neurotoxins (like Botox and Dysport) and Dermal Fillers (like Juvederm and Restylane). Neurotoxins (toxin for short) are used to smooth out wrinkles by paralyzing specific muscles that cause them. Dermal fillers are made out of a natural substance, hyaluronic acid, and are used to fill hollows and lines of the face. Dermal fillers are temporary, because the body breaks them down over time.
Sculptra is very different from toxins and fillers, but it is often confused with them. Sculptra is made of Poly-L Lactic Acid or PLLA for short. PLLA is a substance that has been used in medicine and surgery for decades, and is known to be safe in the human body. Sculptra, when injected into areas of wrinkles and volume loss generates new collagen in those areas. Over time this decreases wrinkles and fills areas of hollowing, leading to a progressively more youthful appearance. This improvement is seen over a period of 1-2 years. This is in stark contrast to the effect of dermal fillers, which have a dramatic effect right away, but fade over time. In a year, there is no filler left. But with Sculptra, the effects are getting even better at a year. In many ways Sculptra works in the opposite way as fillers. They often complement each other in their use.
What is Sculptra used for?
Sculptra is the ideal injectable for many areas of the face. Temples often become concave as we age. Sculptra is a very safe way to fill out the temples without the risks involved with filler in this very sensitive area. Sculptra can also be used to bring out the cheeks, lower face and jawline. The results from Sculptra are very long-lasting and natural looking.
What is the procedure like?
We first place a topical anesthetic on the skin. Then the Sculptra is mixed with additional anesthetic before injection. There is very little discomfort with the procedure. You will feel numb for about 20 minutes due to the anesthetic. There is no pain when that wears off. Because Sculptra is diluted in water, your face will be swollen after the procedure.The water is absorbed by the body over about 2 days. The procedure takes less than an hour. We recommend self-facial-massage after the procedure.
How long does it take to see results?
The results of sculptra can start to be seen within 1-2 months, but the improvement happens over 6-24 months.
How much Sculptra will I need?
This very much depends on the person and what areas are being treated. Typically patients will receive 4-6 vials. We generally inject 2 vials each visit.
Is Sculptra safe? What are the risks of Sculptra?
Sculptra was first FDA approved in the 1990’s and has been shown to be very safe. Because it is dissolved in water, it is unlikely to block a blood vessel and cause the kinds of complications that can occasionally be seen with dermal fillers. The main side effect we see is occasional bruising, which of course is temporary. We use the accuvein to minimize bruising. When Sculptra was first being used, there were often firm nodules that would form under the skin. These are extremely rare now because our protocols now use a much higher dilution.
We like using Sculptra because it gives very long-lasting natural effects and is very safe. This is why we have combined Sculptra into the GlowLift– our signature non-surgical facelift.