WHAT IS SCULPTRA?
Formally known as Sculptra Aesthetic, this surgery-free dermal filler adds volume primarily to specific facial areas by injecting a synthetic and biocompatible type of collagen called Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA). The overall result from the PLLA microbeads is a restored plumpness to folds and sunken areas from increased thickness to skin texture. You will also happily notice an overall lifting effect to your face. Though long-lasting, Sculptra is a temporary boost and must be maintained through touch-up treatments. But the overall benefit is that as the microbeads dissolve, they are replaced to some extent by natural collagen.
FDA-approved for full cosmetic use in the United States since 2009, Sculptra actually increases your own collagen production around the injection site. Sculptra is also successfully used worldwide in more than 20 countries, including Canada and Europe.
You will be pleased as the soft, youthful contours gradually return for a natural and not overly “stuffed Chipmunk” look that is a common experience from using other products on the market today.
CANDIDATES FOR SCULPTRA
Sculptra is exceptional at treating facial lipoatrophy (volume loss) due to aging, weight loss and HIV or AIDS in people 35-60 years of age. Most patients, including those with HIV and AIDS, who are in general good health should be compatible with the Sculptra PLLA because it is biologically inert. This means that there is no to a very low risk of developing an allergic reaction to the formula. However, in the case of a damaged immune system from HIV or AIDS it is best to consult with your physician as Sculptra treatments could cause an adverse reaction. Also, people who have skin rashes or infections may not be right for Sculptra.
SCULPTRA FOR FACIAL SKIN
Rather than solely acting as a filler, Sculptra addresses the underlying problem of your lax skin. Because Sculptra’s primary purpose is to act as a Collagen replacement (and stimulate new collagen growth), it is good to understand how this important fibrous protein works in your body. Collagen is found in connective tissue that keeps skin supple. Together with another protein called Elastin, they provide structure and firmness to your skin. Unfortunately, your skin loses Collagen at the rate of one percent each year after you reach your 20’s. And of course, UV exposure creates further harm to collagen in the dermis (second layer of skin). That means the skin also loses elasticity which eventually generates the deep folds and hollows in your face. This is why it is imperative to increase your Collagen levels as you age to help restore a tighter and fuller face.
Scuptra is best used for added volume in the nasolabial folds (the space between the nose and mouth) or “smile lines,” chin wrinkles, sunken temples and hollows found in the cheeks and cheekbone areas.
Sculptra is not recommended to be used as a lip enhancement or line-filling product.
The following uses are considered “off-label” and not currently available at Skin Specifics Medical Spa. We wanted to let you know about Sculptra as a viable option in the event that you are considering any of these listed procedures.
SCULPTRA FOR BUTTOCK AREA
Have you been wondering if there is a non-invasive way to raise your sagging buttocks due to childbirth, aging, or lifestyle? Even with the most diligent squat routine and carb-free diet, gravity still can ruin the shape of your backside.
Sculptra is available in a series of injections for a “Butt Lift” that offers subtle improvement to height, texture, contouring and some volume increase. The advantage over fat grafting or implants is that there is little “down-time.” And you will receive the same benefit of increased collagen production for continuing help with skin firmness.
SCULPTRA FOR HAND AND CHEST REJUVENATION
Your face isn’t the only area that develops wrinkles from lack of collagen. Environmental factors causes textural damage in these delicate areas as well. Using a Sculptra treatment program will strengthen the soft tissue in the chest’s v-shaped region so that skin looks smoother and thicker. The thinning skin on your hands will also realize increased volume and a more even surface appearance. Scuptra is safe, effective and there is little to no recovery time.
SCULPTRA FOR BODY CONTOURING
Loose skin hanging over the elbows, knees, and triceps (upper arms) also suffer from a decrease in the skin’s elasticity. The non-surgical alternative of using Sculptra for a body contouring of these areas will also improve the appearance of skin crepiness. You will also enjoy the increased lift to these troublesome body zones. The risk is lower than surgery and there is minimal recovery time.
ALTERNATIVES TO SCULPTRA
FDA-approved Radiesse is a non-invasive injectable filler. It’s formula uniquely contains Calcium Hydroxylapatite which is a mineral-like compound found naturally in your bones. Radiesse will also stimulate Collagen production. It works best to add volume to cheeks, jaw line, and the deep “marionette” folds. The greatest advantage of Radiesse has to do with the longevity of its improvements which last for up to three years. There is no “downtime” after the procedure. Results are usually visible within 7 days, after the injection site swelling goes down.
RESTYLANE/PERLANE AND JUVEDERM
Restylane/Perlane and Juvederm are all FDA-approved non-surgical injectable fillers made with non-animal Hyaluronic Acid (HA), a natural sugar-based compound found in tendons, ligaments, and human dermis that works by binding water to promote plumpness in your skin. HA eventually will leave your body without any residue. There is no recovery time for these fillers. Also, these products have the best safety profile on the market thus far.
Restylane is primarily best for fine lines. It is also great for mouth lines and adding fullness to the lips. It can last up to 18 months.
Perlane is mainly best used for deeper wrinkles and larger volume replacement. It helps with “smile” lines and the corners of the mouth. Perlane will last up to six months.
Juvederm’s formula tends to work best for deep facial wrinkles and acne scars. It is also will work on fine lines. It is wonderful for lip enhancement and to re-contour facial features. The look is very natural and can last up to one year.
To reduce your recovery time by limiting any bleeding or bruising from injections then please avoid the following for two weeks before your procedure:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Motrin, Aleve, Advil)
- Gingko Biloba
- Fish Oil
- Vitamin E supplements
Tylenol is recommended for pain relief during this time. Consuming Arnica pills a day in advance of injection and continued for a few days after helps to prevent bruising. It is also suggested to eat a lot of leafy greens and increasing your intake of Vitamin K will help with bruising and swelling.
SCULPTRA SIDE EFFECTS
No serious side effects are consistently reported with use of Sculptra. However, the following might occur depending upon the individual:
- Site pain
- Small or larger bumps under the skin
As with any procedure, the cost will vary depending upon the amount of Sculptra and number of visits needed to reach your desired cosmetic goals. Depending on your age, severity of the problem you are trying to correct, among other factors, each treatment costs between $600-$2,000 for an average of 2-3 treatments spaced 6-10 weeks apart.
After your initial investment, there may be only one visit per year to maintain your new look. This makes Sculptra a very cost-effective treatment.
Please take important note that patients with HIV or AIDS will be covered by some insurance plans in the United States for Sculptra injections. Dermik (the manufacturer) also offers a Financial Assistance Program to help HIV or AIDS patients pay for their Sculptra Treatments.