What is Sculptra?

Sculptra is an FDA-approved synthetic injectable used to correct shallow to deep facial wrinkles and folds. It’s also a collagen stimulator that helps revitalize your body’s own collagen production. It’s made from poly-L-lactic acid, which helps to replace lost collagen. It helps correct shallow to deep facial wrinkles, and folds that appear with aging. The main ingredient is a biocompatible, biodegradable synthetic material that has been used by physicians for decades. This filler provides subtle results that improve over time. 

Since Sculptra helps reinforce collagen, fullness to your shallow-to-deep facial wrinkles and folds that have been depleted over time can be restored. Sculptra is suitable for:

  • Deep folds between the nose and the mouth (nasolabial folds) also called smile lines.
  • The lines framing your mouth (marionette lines).
  • Chin wrinkles.

How is Sculptra Treatment Performed?

A fine needle is used to inject Sculptra, and a topical anesthetic may be used prior to injection. The area is massaged to manipulate the material into position. Treatment generally takes 30 minutes. You can resume your normal activities immediately.

During your consultation, your provider will examine areas of soft tissue deficiency and determine the appropriate number of treatments and the amount of Sculptra you will need. The amount of treatments, as well as the amount of vials needed per treatment, varies drastically based off a number of factors including patient age, injection location, facial symmetry and facial fat content. Most patients require two to three treatments every eight weeks. Some patients do best with a combination of Sculptra and another filler.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sculptra?

Men and women from 25 to 75 years of age have experienced success from these treatments. You’re a good candidate if you want to restore volume to hollow areas of your face that you’ve developed due to aging or weight loss, and if you’re looking for a semi-permanent filler that gives natural, long-lasting results by helping your body produce its own collagen.

Sculptra is not for you if you want to see instant results or have autoimmune problems like multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and vasculitis. Be sure to tell your provider about any other auto immune conditions you have during your initial consultation. You should also avoid Sculptra treatment if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or younger than 18.

What Results Can You Expect?

Results from Sculptra are usually not immediate. A gradual increase in soft tissue and skin thickness occurs, typically within three months. However, results are long lasting – up to three years. Touch-up treatments are needed to maintain the desired effects. Individual sessions and results may vary. 

Does Sculptra Have Any Side Effects?

Sculptra side effects are generally injection-related symptoms at the site of injection, such as redness, swelling, bruising, tenderness or pain, or bleeding.

There is almost zero risk of having an allergic reaction to Sculptra because its main ingredient, poly-L-lactic acid (PLA), is synthesized from lactic acid, which is present in the human body. There is, however, a very slight risk of an allergic reaction to some other aspect of treatment, such as the cleanser used to prepare the area to be treated. Talk to your provider if you have any concerns about allergies or sensitivity to specific substances.

Data from clinical studies of Sculptra indicates that, in rare cases, small and invisible or visible bumps (nodules) in the injection area can occur within a year of treatment. These bumps may be due to overcorrection. Occasionally, the bumps are accompanied by discoloration or inflammation.

The risk of bumps is lessened by proper preparation of Sculptra, accurate placement of the injections and regular massage of the treated areas. Most bumps break down within days or weeks. If the bumps persist, they may need laser treatment, cortisone injections or (rarely) surgical removal.

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