What is Sculptra?
Sculptra is a synthetic injectable material known as “poly-L-lactic acid.” Poly-L-lactic acid is biocompatible (a material that does not harm the body) and biodegradable (able to be broken down by the body). Poly-L-lactic acid has been widely used for many years in dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and other types of implants. Sculptra is a great injectable material that is used to fill in large areas. It is a soft product that is most commonly used to subtly enhance the hollows of cheeks, soften prominent chins, correct mild to severe nasal labial folds, plump wrinkles and restore facial volume that has diminished due to facial fat loss associated with aging. It is not used for lip enhancement. Multiple injections may be required, however, once the desired affect is achieved the results can last up to two years. No skin test is required.
How Does It Work?
Sculptra® Aesthetic is carefully injected below the skin where wrinkles or fat loss have occurred. Sculptra does not correct the underlying cause of fat loss but will help improve the appearance by increasing skin thickness in treated areas. Sculptra appears to stimulate your own body to produce natural collagen and this increases facial volume over time. Sculptra provides a gradual increase in skin thickness and volumizes deep hollows in the face It is most often used for cheek augmentation, facial contouring and volume restoration. The deeper the wrinkle or defect, the more Sculptra is required. However unlike the majority of fillers, it takes a series of treatments to achieve appropriate correction. Injections are typically done monthly for 2 to 5 treatments depending on the level of correction desired.
Does It Hurt?
As with any injection, injections with Sculptra may hurt. Topical anesthetic is applied ½ hour prior to treatment to minimize discomfort . Furthermore, anesthetic is mixed with Sculptra; this mixture helps to achieve a level of comfort during your treatment session.
Is It Safe?
The most common side effects with the use of Sculptra include injection-related side effects at the site of the injection such as bleeding, tenderness or pain, redness, bruising, or swelling. These side effects generally last, on average, 3 to 7 days. One possible delayed side effect with Sculptra can be small bumps under the skin in the treated area. These small bumps may not be visible, and you may notice them only when you press on the treated skin. These bumps tend to happen within the first 6 to 12 months after the first treatment. Occasionally, these bumps go away on their own. Visible bumps, sometimes with redness or color change to the treated area, have also been reported. As with all procedures that involve an injection through the skin, there is a risk of infection.
What to Expect Following Treatment
Immediately following a treatment session you may experience some redness, swelling, pain,or bruising. These signs usually go away in a few hours to a few days. Within the first 24 hours after treatment, an ice pack should be applied for a few minutes at a time to the treatment area to help reduce swelling. Excessive sun and UV lamp exposure should be avoided until any initial swelling and redness has resolved.
If you are interested in learning more about Sculptra, call today and schedule a consultation with the cosmetic professionals at the Skinworks Dermatology.