With the aging process itself prompts
our bodies to store fat (where we don’t want it, such as from the waist down),
and yet we lose fat from our face. As we age, the cheeks lose their fullness,
along with their ability to support the
nasolabial folds. Volume loss in the
face is an inevitable sign of aging, and losing the fat makes wrinkles and
furrows more pronounced.
Just like a deflating balloon, you can remove some of
the excess skin to make it tight again, as in the case of a facelift. But in
other cases you can get a remarkable result by replacing lost volume with injectables. This is why both surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation
place such an emphasis on restoring the volume and plumpness that is associated
age, the cheeks lose their fullness, along with their ability to support the nasolabial folds. Sculptra is not a filler but rather a collagen catalyst that
stimulates your own collagen to grow. Rather than explaining lost volume like
the replacement fillers, stimulating fillers like Sculptra contain microscopic
particles that actually prompt your skin to produce more collagen, in turn
rebuilding the skin’s support structure and restoring a more youthful
appearance. This product works like how one would throw grass seeds into dirt,
and then watch them start growing.
Sculptra relies almost exclusively on the
body's collagen production to cause a more global increasing of volume of the
How Sculptra Works
Image courtesy of Sculptra
Rather than injecting directly into a
wrinkle, you have Sculptra injected into a general area to fill and it grows in
over time. The basic principal behind its use is that is stimulates an
inflammatory response with the patient’s deposition of soft tissues over time.
The boost in collagen
is simply an immune reaction to the filler that helps plump the injected area
from within, and Sculptra decreases the appearance of the
nasolabial folds by
building up the mid-face. Rather than filling lines – Sculptra adds volume that
lifts the soft tissues and in turn diminishes the lines. Sculptra re-contours the
face with using mechanical force in a way that smoothes the folds and furrows.
Image courtesy of Sculptra
Sculptra has been used off label for
cosmetic purposes as it was originally indicated and FDA approved to treat the
atrophy of facial fat associated with HIV. Sculptra is produced from Dermix
Company. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons have been using Sculptra on healthy
patients for a number of years now. Most patients require an average of two to
three treatments spaced three to four weeks apart for optimal results. Some
results can last up to a year or two, however; most patients see the longevity of
this product to be around nine months.
Treatment takes about 10 minutes, during
which your doctor will give you 10 to 20 injections. Local anesthetic is
normally used before hand to numb the treated area and most patients do not feel
most pain. Because Sculptra is delivered with saline, you can expect some
swelling from the injections; however this will dissipate within 24- 48 hours
after the procedure.
Sculptra comes as a powder, must be mixed
with water and local anesthetic at least two hours prior to use, preferably
mixed 24 hours prior to use. One vial can produce 6-10 cc of product. The
initial effect only lasts for a few days.
The fluid is absorbed, but the powder
is left behind. The powder causes the skin to get thicker.
Anywhere from three to six
spacedone to two
months apart, are needed.
Vigorous massaging is needed 5 times per day for a
few weeks after the material is injected (this is done by the patient at home).
Sculptra is very good for replacing lost volume in the cheeks.
You might have some soreness at the
injection site, however normally the pain is not much. You normally will not see
an improvement with Sculptra until the second or third treatment. Some patients
claim the “gradual results” with Sculptra are a plus if you want to keep this
from family or friends, as the results are not immediate. When improvement
becomes visible over two to four months, it isn’t at all obvious to others that
anything is being done.
What it is:
Microscopic particles in a
synthetic carrier gel
Longer lasting results than most fillers
Requires a serious of
How long it lasts:
Manufactures states – Eighteen
to Twenty-four Months