Spilling the Tea on Sculptra

Are you looking for the fountain of youth? Well, look no further than Sculptra. Sculptra is injectable poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) that stimulates the skin’s natural regenerative process to replenish lost facial collagen. As we age, we intrinsically lose collagen at a rate of 1% per year, with a 25% loss of collagen at the age of 45. This natural aging process is what causes a weakening in skin structure, which creates fine lines and wrinkles. Sculptra focuses on the underlying cause of aging, the symptom of collagen loss. Sculptra works deep within the dermis to revitalize collagen production and restore the skin’s inner structure and volume.

So, what is this PLLA and how does it work?

PLLA is a synthetic, biocompatible, biodegradable, plant-based polymer and has been used in various medical applications for more than 3 decades. The microparticles of PLLA are injected in the appropriate dermal plane inducing a controlled inflammatory response that leads to encapsulation of the microparticles and simulation of collagen within the dermis. This response is what helps improve the inner structure of the dermis layer to smooth facial wrinkles and volume. PLLA is absorbed by the body within 24-48 hours and is naturally broken down as it is fully replaced with new collagen growth.

How soon will I see the results?

Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, Sculptra is not an instant result. Immediately after injection, you could have an appearance of increased volume, but this is the expansion of the surrounding tissue with sterile water used to mix. A few days later you might look like you did before, know this is normal and temporary. You can see visible results appear within the first few treatment sessions. Sculptra can last up to 2 years with the gradual generation of the new volume (collagen) and giving more structural support that gives result in youthful-looking skin.

Am I a candidate for Sculptra?

Sculptra is indicated for use in people with healthy immune systems for the correction of shallow to deep nasolabial folds, contour deficiencies, and other facial wrinkles. Sculptra is not indicated at this time for anyone that has a known allergy to poly-L-lactic acid, a history of keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring, is pregnant, nursing, or under the age of 18 years of age,

Will I need multiple treatments?

A typical treatment with Sculptra is 3 injections over a course of 3-4 months. Each individual will have different recommendations for the best possible results. A general rule of thumb is for each decade expect one vial (ie: 30’s=3 vials, 40’s=4 vials)

Is there any downtime or additional post-treatment care?

There is minimal downtime with Sculptra. It is recommended to not recline, exercise, or wear makeup 4 hours after treatment and to avoid saunas, hot tubs, or steam baths for 2 weeks. Avoiding sun and UV light until swelling and redness disappear is also suggested. It is advised that after treatment injected areas are massaged for 5 minutes, 5 times a day, for 5 days (5x5x5) Massaging the treated area assists the PLLA microparticles to be evenly distributed into the dermis and minimize small nodules.

Some common side effects noted are injection site swelling, tenderness, redness, pain, bruising, bleeding, itching, and small lumps.

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Brittaney Devane

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