Collagen helps to keep skin looking smooth and young. As we age, collagen production decreases, and facial fat is lost, leading to facial wrinkles and folds. Sculptra® is a cosmetic injectable that helps to gradually replace lost collagen and lost volume, reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles and folds, while leaving the skin looking smooth and supple. Sculptra® can provide refined, natural-looking results that may last up to two years.
What is Sculptra® and how does it work?
Sculptra® is made from poly-L-lactic acid, a biocompatible and biodegradable substance, which is safe and is naturally broken down and absorbed by the body. This substance has been used for years in dissolvable stitches, as well as for soft tissue implants and other types of implants. During treatment, Sculptra® is injected into the deep dermis, where it reinforces skin structure and provides a framework for the body’s natural collagen production, which will help to restore lost volume. As collagen is replaced over time, folds and wrinkles will gradually soften, leaving you looking naturally younger.
How is Sculptra® different from other fillers?
Unlike other fillers which smooth wrinkles by filling in the spaces beneath them, Sculptra® targets the underlying causes of the signs of facial aging. Sculptra® works in the deep dermis to reinforce the structure of the skin and to help replace lost collagen. While other fillers typically show immediate results that last about 6-12 months, Sculptra® works gradually to subtly correct shallow to deep wrinkles and folds, with results that may last up to 2 years.*
What areas can be treated with Sculptra®?
Sculptra® is FDA-approved to help correct mild to deep facial wrinkles and folds, “smile lines” between the nose and mouth (nasolabial folds), “marionette lines” between the lips and jaw line, and wrinkles in the chin. Off-label uses include treatment for hollowed temples and facial contour deficiencies. Sculptra® is also often used off-label for full face volumizing and for the hands.
Is Sculptra® safe and are there any possible side effects?
Sculptra® is made from a synthetic material that is naturally absorbed by the body as lost collagen is replaced. This material is safe and has been used in dissolvable stitches and as a facial injectable for decades. Sculptra® does not contain human, animal, or bacterial components, and no allergy testing is required prior to treatment.
Side effects from Sculptra® are typically mild and rare. Temporary redness and swelling at the injection site is possible. These effects usually resolve within a few days and can be covered with makeup if desired. In some cases, small, non-visible bumps may develop under the skin within 6 to 12 months of the first treatment.* These bumps may resolve on their own. Occasionally, visible bumps may develop, along with redness or other color change in the treatment area.
How many treatments will I need?
Sculptra® works gradually over a series of treatments to help replace lost collagen and reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and folds. On average, a series of three sessions over the course of several months will provide natural-looking, long-lasting results.* Dr. Feng will discuss with you what treatment schedule will give you the best results.
Can the results be seen immediately?
Sculptra® works gradually to produce subtle, natural-looking, and long-lasting changes. In the days immediately following your procedure, you will notice a fullness that may improve the appearance of wrinkles. This immediate fullness results from inflammation and water that accompanies the Sculptra®. Once this fullness subsides, hollowness will temporarily reappear and then gradually improve as collagen is replaced in the weeks following treatment. You may want to be re-evaluated in 4 weeks to determine if more Sculptra® is needed.*
How long will the results last?
Sculptra® provides outstanding, long-lasting results that may last up to two years after your last treatment. Treatment results and longevity will differ with each patient.* Touch-up sessions may be required to maintain the desired outcome.
Can Sculptra® be combined with other procedures?
Yes. Various dermal fillers and other cosmetic injectables, such as BOTOX®, are often used concurrently to treat a variety of facial areas. Additionally, different types of fillers can be used synergistically as part of advanced layer techniques. For example, Dr. Feng may elect to use one filler in the deep dermis to provide structural foundation, another in the mid-dermis to replace lost volume, and a superficial filler to help smooth away surface lines and wrinkles. Sculptra® may also be used in combination with laser treatments or other procedures for even better results. Dr. Feng will discuss with you what procedure or combination of procedures may best suit your specific needs.
How can I prepare for Sculptra® treatment?
During your initial consultation, Dr. Feng will thoroughly discuss your goals and expectations, including possible risks and the best way to prepare for your treatment. As much as possible, patients should avoid taking aspirin and ibuprofen-containing products (such as Advil and Motrin), St. John’s Wort, high doses of vitamin E supplements, and other blood thinners (unless medically necessary) for 1 week prior to treatment in order to minimize the risk of bruising. Patients should also avoid red wine and multivitamins for 2 days prior to treatment.
What should I expect during treatment?
Sculptra® treatment is performed on an outpatient basis in our offices. The procedure is quick and simple, with minimal discomfort. Sculptra® will be injected into the treatment area using a fine needle. A topical anesthetic will be used to increase patient comfort. You can resume your normal activities immediately following treatment.*
What should I expect after treatment?
Mild swelling and bruising is possible, but not usually present, for a few days following treatment. This depends on the location treated and the amount of filler that is needed. You may take Tylenol for discomfort if there is any, but don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen, which may increase bruising. Anti-bruising products containing Arnica Montana and Bromelain are offered and topical care discussed. Dr. Feng will determine which aftercare product is right for you. You will be instructed by Dr. Feng how to perform a facial massage in the 5 days after treatment, which will help to maximize your results. After treatment, patients may also choose to have LED therapy, which is known to significantly improve healing time and decrease inflammation.