What is Sculptra®?
Sculptra is a filler product intended for the restoration or correction of the signs of facial fat loss, also known as lipoatrophy. It is popularly used to treat the appearance of aging skin folds, sunken eyes, hollowed cheeks and indented chin surfaces. Providing an estimated improvement rate of about 80% of the treated areas, the results from Sculptra treatment are fully evident after about three to six treatment sessions and last for a period of up to two years.
Sculptra is composed of a synthetic injectible material known as "poly-L-lactic acid." Poly-L-lactic acid is a synthetic material found in dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and various other types of implants due to its biocompatible and biodegradeable properties. A natural form of poly-L-lactic acid is produced in the muscles during exercise.
Synthetic poly-L-lactic acid has been in use for over 25 years in various countries.
How does Sculptra work?
Sculptra is injected into the skin in small amounts. The volume immediately fills the depressed area and a difference will be visible right away. It will seem as if the treatment has worked immediately. However, in a few days, the body will absorb much of the water in the Sculptra solution and the patient may look as they did before their treatment. This will be followed by a progressive increase in volume over the next few days or weeks as the dermal thickness begins to expand. We will check a patient in a period of about two weeks after the initial treatment to see if any additional Sculptra injections will be ideal.
Sculptra is not designed to treat the underlying cause of facial fat loss, but improves the appearance of the skin by increasing skin thickness in the treated area.
How many treatments are required?
We will need to determine the amount of treatments needed to treat your facial fat loss during your initial consultation, as well as the amount of Sculptra you will need at each treatment session. Patients with severe fat loss may require anything from three to six treatment sessions. Touch-up treatments may be necessary to maintain the desired effect.
How long does Sculptra last?
How long the results of Sculptra lasts varies depending on the patient. Clinical studies reveal that on average, results last for a period of two years.
How is Sculptra used?
Make-up must be removed before treatment. The area to be treated first be cleaned with an antiseptic. Sculptra is then injected in small amounts using a very fine needle. For our patients with a limited pain threshold we can treat the area with a topical anesthetic to make the procedure painless.
After treatment, an ice pack may be used to reduce swelling. The area should also be massaged thoroughly to allow for an even distribution of the product. (This is not true of all facial injectibles. Some products work best if you do not massage the treated area.)
We cannot treat areas of your face that are experiencing any infections.
Skin tests are not required before Sculptra use.
What are the side effects of Sculptra treatment?
Immediately following Scuptra treatment, the patient may experience pain, swelling, redness, or bruising in the treated area. These effects usually fade in a few hours, but may take as much as two weeks to dissipate. We advise that our patients massage the treated area a few times each day for several days. An ice pack should be applied after treatment to help reduce swelling.
After treatment, it is important to avoid excessive pollution, sun, and UV exposure until any redness or swelling has gone down.
- Authored by: Michael Pasquale