Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid) is a synthetic filler and classified as a biostimulator, that is injected deep into the dermal layer of the skin to temporarily boost facial volume and stimulate the production of collagen. Sculptra is unlike other dermal fillers, intended as a one-time treatment regimen consisting of several injection sessions. Results may take several treatment sessions to appear, but because Sculptra stimulates the body to produce collagen, or neocollagenesis, it is considered to be a semi-permanent solution.
Sculptra can be used to plump up hollowed areas in the face, intended especially for large surface areas such as moderate to deep nasolabial folds, lipodystrophy and HIV-associated lipodystrophy, and temporal hollowing. Sculptra can also be used to rejuvenate the hands by adding age-associated loss in volume. Using a small needle, Sculptra is placed under the skin in the areas of the face that have diminished volume due to fat and collagen loss. Most patients undergo a series of four treatments spaced several weeks apart before seeing optimal results.
Before receiving Sculptra injections, you should make sure that your skin is clear of active infections, as Sculptra can exacerbate the condition. You should also cease your intake of blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements for two weeks before treatment to reduce the instance of bruising and swelling at the injection sites.
Local anesthetic is not needed for Sculptra treatments, though the option exists for patients who may wish to reduce discomfort.
- A single Sculptra treatment session is usually brief, lasting around 20 minutes. Dr. Vallecillos will clean the areas to be treated, and use a very fine needle to administer Sculptra where facial wrinkles have presented, usually around the eyes, nasolabial lines (the wrinkles that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth), mouth, and the chin.
Who is a candidate for Sculptra?
You should consider Sculptra if you suffer from moderate to deep nasolabial lines or folds, or other facial wrinkles, specifically around the eyes, mouth, and chin. Sculptra is intended for adults and as a one-time, long lasting treatment for facial wrinkles.
What is the recovery time for Sculptra?
There is little to no recovery time after a Sculptra treatment session, and most patients return immediately to their normal daily activities. Some patients may experience temporary swelling and redness near the injection sites, which usually resolve within 2-3 days.
Are there risks or side effects with Sculptra?
Sculptra is FDA-approved for the treatment of facial wrinkles, and has low associated risks. Complications are rare but can include the formation of granulomas, or localized inflammation due to an uneven distribution of the filler. Dr. Vallecillos may recommend lightly massaging the treated areas in the days following an injection to help distribute the filler and reduce this risk. Patients may experience swelling, itching, sensitivity and inflammation near the injection sites, but these are temporary and should resolve on their own.
How long do the results last?
Sculptra has been shown to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in patients for up to two years. You can maximize results by completing the treatment regimen as prescribed, and maintaining excellent skin care thereafter.