With the continued rise of popular injectable treatments like Botox, Fillers and Kybella, many of us may have questions about another highly sought-after injectable on the market, called Sculptra. Is it the equivalent of another dermal filler, or is it something entirely different? The answer is that Sculptra exists in a unique realm of its own, making it a game changer in the field of medical aesthetics and injectables.
What is Sculptra?
In a nutshell, Sculptra is a collagen booster composed of synthetic poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) and is used to restore skin structure and volume loss in the face. Once injected into the dermis, collagen production is stimulated which gradually begins to restore volume, especially in areas where wrinkles or folds are present. Though it takes time (typically around 6-8 weeks) and usually a series of treatments to see the full effects of Sculptra, the results are an improved appearance of sagging skin, restored fullness in hollowing areas like the temples, smile lines and cheeks, and an overall more youthful “sculpted” appearance.
Sculptra is known as an excellent option for patients who may want to gain volume in the face and achieve subtle and natural improvements to signs of aging, oftentimes without the use of fillers. Unlike Hyaluronic Acid-based fillers like Restylane or Juvederm, effects of Sculptra are not immediate, but collagen that has been stimulated by Sculptra is known to last at least 2 years and can be sustained and improved with regular maintenance treatments, as determined by your injector.
What to expect on treatment day?
Before being injected, a topical numbing cream will be applied or the Sculptra will be mixed with an anesthetic to help with any discomfort. At UFP Aesthetics, our nurse injectors mix Sculptra with lidocaine and apply a topical numbing cream (or additional lidocaine injections) for optimal comfort during treatment. After numbing, Sculptra is injected deep into the dermis, sometimes with the use of a cannula. After being injected, the treatment area is usually massaged by the injector to ensure even spread of the product. The session typically takes between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on how many vials are used, and patients are able to return home or back to work immediately after treatment. Strenuous activity and direct sunlight should be avoided at least until swelling has subsided, or as directed by your injector, who also may recommend at-home massage techniques or icing of the treatment area.
Can Sculptra treat areas other than the face?
While Sculptra is commonly used to treat areas of the face, it can also be used to treat the neck and other various areas of the body where volume loss, hollowness, or crepiness is present. At UFP Aesthetics, our registered nurse injectors regularly treat the face and neck area. A consultation is required prior to treatment to determine if patients are candidates for Sculptra or hyperdilute radiesse, as well as how many vials will be needed, a factor that varies from person to person depending on the degree of volume loss or hollowing.
Who is a candidate for Sculptra?
While there is no right or wrong age to seek out this treatment, Sculptra is often administered to patients who are combating natural signs of aging. That being said, Sculptra can also be used to treat genetic hollowing or volume loss due to circumstances like weight loss or illness. In fact, Sculptra was originally developed to treat patients living with HIV to restore a healthy fullness in the face and was so successful that it later expanded into the field of medical aesthetics.
Whether you are wanting to treat volume loss to restore a more youthful look, or you are finally ready to take steps toward improving genetic hollowness to your cheeks or temples, our team of advanced nurse injectors are here to educate and provide quality treatment every step of the way. To schedule a consultation or find out if Sculptra is right for you, visit our website at www.utahfacialplastics.com or call 801-960-3137.