Dr. Kelly Collins talks Sculptra Aesthetic, an injectable that helps gradually replace lost collagen
Dr. Kelly Collins talks Sculptra Aesthetic, an injectable that helps gradually replace lost collagen.
Get ready, everybody! There’s a tool that is amazing for addressing the cause of issues that affect our faces and bodies as we age. It doesn’t matter if you’re a patient in your 20s or your 70s, you can benefit from a product called Sculptra Aesthetic.
I’m beyond excited to try this product on my body for the purposes of lifting and improving skin thickness and elasticity and replenishing lost volume. Sculptra has been used in Europe since 1999 and was FDA approved in this country in 2004 to treat fat loss in immune-compromised patients.
Cosmetically, though, smile lines, laugh lines, temples and chin wrinkles are areas of the face that can be restored with Sculptra. And, there are a lot of other places on the body that respond beautifully to Sculptra Aesthetic, too. Chests, breasts, jawlines, butts, hands, and areas of cellulite are just a few areas that can be rejuvenated and made more youthful with Sculptra. The purpose of Sculptra Aesthetic is to rebuild structure and restore definition to the face and body, which is why it’s often referred to as the “Liquid Facelift” or “Liquid Bodylift.”
Sculptra is another tool in the anti-aging arena that doesn’t just plump and soften lines and wrinkles like hyaluronic acid fillers. Instead, it’s injected deep into the dermis under the skin to provide structure, support, and volume. Sculptra is made from a substance called poly-L-lactic acid and, once injected into our bodies, the particles become absorbed and stimulate collagen production in a major way. Poly-L-lactic acid is not derived from human or animal sources and has been used for years in medical-grade products like dissolvable sutures and IV tubing, and is biologically inert, making Sculptra safe with no concern for allergic reactions.
It’s important to make sure that the healthcare provider you’re visiting for Sculptra sessions is properly trained, since it’s injected very differently from facial fillers. Tell your physician about any health conditions you may have, as well as if you’re using aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications daily, since their use could affect the outcome of your Sculptra treatment.
A good physician will be able to assess how much Sculptra is appropriate for the areas of your face or body that you wish to improve upon. It’s normal protocol for your physician to treat your face or body with Sculptra, then wait and reassess if further treatments are necessary. It’s also important to not overtreat on the first session, as lumps and bumps are more likely. The great thing is that side effects from Sculptra are less likely than from hyaluronic acid fillers, so there’s no need to worry about an adverse reaction since the possibility is miniscule.
Results from Sculptra typically increase over time and get better and better with each session. Once you have achieved a level of correction that you’re happy with, you can enjoy results for a much longer amount of time than hyaluronic acid fillers are able to provide, as Sculptra lasts about two to three years. A good rule of thumb to figure the amount of Sculptra needed in your face is one vial of Sculptra for every decade of life you have accomplished, but there are, obviously, exceptions to this rule. Sculptra costs anywhere from $600 per vial and may be as much as $1,200 per vial at some medical offices.
A lot of practices require pre-payment of your Sculptra treatment, similar to how cosmetic surgeries are booked because Sculptra has to be made seven days before your visit, and if not used, it must be thrown out and wasted. Most patients do need around three sessions administered over a few months spaced two or three weeks apart to achieve amazing results.
So, what can you expect to happen at your Sculptra appointment? The actual Sculptra injections are done with a fine gauge needle after numbing cream or an injectable anesthetic is applied. It’s a very comfortable, non-invasive procedure with no downtime. Massaging the areas for a couple of days post-injection helps to smooth out the areas and prevent any lumps or bumps from forming.
Sculptra forces our bodies to create a mild inflammatory response, which is the reason why new collagen particles are laid down. It’s important to understand, though, that, immediately after treatment with Sculptra, you’ll feel like you have amazing volume. Just know, however, that this is temporary and due to having just been injected with the bacteriostatic water portion of the Sculptra. Results will not be a “wow” until weeks, or even months after treatment, as collagen is being amped up in the areas that have been injected. So, Sculptra Aesthetic is not for the person who wants to see immediate results. If you can be patient, however, you’ll be so happy you chose this product. Once the results kick in, weeks to months after treatment, they’ll be dramatic and beautiful.
For patients seeking alternative uses with Sculptra Aesthetic, talk to your physician about areas of concern for you. Cellulite reduction, butt augmentation, breast augmentation, and plumping of wrinkled knees or elbows can all be achieved with Sculptra Aesthetic. Check out the numerous before and after photos online of patients who’ve been treated with Sculptra, then decide if it might be the right anti-aging treatment for you.
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