Some of the most common cosmetic concerns that come with age are now some of the easiest to manage. We are proud to provide several treatments that offer our patients an alternative to invasive surgical lifts. For long-term results that stem from natural collagen remodeling beneath the skin, we turn to Sculptra.
What is Sculptra?
Sculptra would be better described as a collagen synthesizer than a dermal filler. Generically, Sculptra is PLLA, or poly-L-lactic acid, the same chemical that our muscles make after we exercise. We refer to it as poly-L-lactic acid because numerous individual molecules of lactic acid connect in a string called a polymer. This synthetic product is biocompatible and biodegradable. When introduced to tissues that have atrophied with age, Sculptra does something far different than other wrinkle-reducing injectables.
How Does Sculptra Work?
Most of the popular wrinkle-reducers and volumizers have a mechanism of plumping lines and wrinkles. They do so with hyaluronic acid, which encases water molecules in the treatment area, leading to smoother skin. Sculptra is different. When the solution of poly-L-lactic acid is absorbed into the dermis, a temporary scaffolding is created to support superficial tissue. This is why slight improvement is apparent immediately after treatment.
In addition to adding subtle volume with microparticles, the PLLA in Sculptra also stimulates the production of new collagen. So, in contrast to standard dermal fillers that diminish over a few months’ time, Sculptra continues to work beneath the surface, leading to progressively younger-looking skin.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Sculptra?
Most of us face concerns related to collagen depletion and the subsequent loss of volume in the face. Men and women of all ages (as young as their twenties and older than their seventies) use Sculptra routinely to correct the signs of aging. Patients should be in good general health and have an understanding of the progressive nature of facial rejuvenation that stems from this treatment. Prior to Sculptra treatment, Laser & Mohs Dermatology of New York will perform a brief consultation and skin assessment to confirm the appropriateness of this product for the needs expressed by the patient.
Sculptra Treatment Areas
The two most common areas of treatment include the temples and sunken cheeks. Additionally, doctors approve of Sculptra to treat marionette lines on the chin, nasolabial folds, and chin creases.
As an injectable anti-aging treatment, Sculptra does not warrant significant recovery time. Patients should wait several hours before applying makeup or skincare products to their treatment area. It is possible that slight swelling and tenderness may occur after injections. This is usually a mild, temporary side effect.
- To minimize swelling or discomfort after Sculptra treatment, patients may apply an ice pack for short periods of time.
- Patients should consider brief facial massages for the first five days after treatment. We discuss the details of this post-injection follow up during our consultation.
- Until all redness and swelling have subsided patients should avoid UV light. No tanning lamps or unprotected sun exposure.
How Long Does Sculptra Last?
Sculptra Aesthetic is formulated to achieve a noticeable restoration of facial contouring that progressively improves as new collagen strands develop. Patients typically notice the full effect of treatment within 4 to 8 months after the final round of injections (up to 6 may be necessary, depending on the degree of volume loss). Once the skin is optimally supported by new collagen, the results last two years or more. In clinical studies, observation of results stopped at 25-months.
An interesting detail about the results from Sculptra treatment is that they can occur so subtly and gradually that patients may feel like nothing is happening. To see the effects in action, we suggest looking at pictures from a few months before treatment as improvements progress.
Schedule a Consultation
Learn more about Sculptra and how it can help you achieve the lasting rejuvenation you desire. Call our Midtown Manhattan dermatology office at (212) 391-8600.