At our practice in Tifton, Georgia, dermal fillers are a perennial favorite. In this post, we’re shining a spotlight on Sculptra, which works differently from other dermal fillers like JUVÉDERM or Restylane. We’ve put together answers to common questions to help you understand more about this exciting volumizer.
What is Sculptra?
Sculptra is a volumizing filler with the active ingredient poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)—the same type of lactic acid that the body naturally produces. It stimulates the production of new collagen and creates a lifted appearance in the cheeks and other areas.
How is Sculptra different from most injectables?
Although the patient experience with Sculptra injections is much like using other fillers, its effect is actually quite different. Most fillers, especially those based on hyaluronic acid (HA), are a gel formulation that works passively, filling and lifting the target area. Sculptra works by stimulating your skin to make its own collagen. This is a gradual process that takes 6 to 8 weeks. So, you need to be patient and wait for the beautiful result that will evolve over time.
Who is a good candidate for Sculptra?
Age and skin health determine how well you respond to Sculptra. Women and men of varying ages who want beautiful, natural enhancements from their dermal fillers see me for Sculptra in Tifton. They come from Albany, Valdosta, Cordele, and other Georgia cities.
Does Sculptra do more than just restore volume?
Because Sculptra works by stimulating your skin to enhance collagen production, it is unique in being able to improve skin texture and tone in addition to lifting and adding volume when desired.
Can Sculptra improve skin texture without adding unwanted volume?
Sometimes you don’t need extra volume, you just want improvement in skin appearance. That’s when I blend Sculptra in a hyperdilute fashion, stimulating collagen to just improve the dermal scaffold without adding any volume.
Where on the body can you use Sculptra?
Because of Sculptra’s ability to enhance volume or just to improve skin texture it has extremely flexible indications. We use volume to lift cheeks, enhance the jawline or fill in the temples, just to name a few areas. It is also used for buttock volume and lifting. But in the hyperdilute form, I use it for facial skin improvement when no volume is needed, for improvement in skin texture and tightness on the neck, chest, and even in the upper arms.
What’s the best age to use Sculptra?
As we age our skin becomes less responsive and needs more Sculptra to achieve the desired improvement. But the key is biological age not chronological age. If you take great care of your skin with high grade products at home, have regular aesthetician appointments and shield yourself from the sun, your skin will act like younger, healthier skin and give you a better result. That said, I have patients into their late 70s who have taken great care of themselves and have very responsive skin. Don’t forget in general you will need more Sculptra and more time to see results the older you are. I tend to use Sculptra in younger patients for enhancement and older patients for restoration. Here is a picture of one of my younger Sculptra patients who got an amazing cheek enhancement with Sculptra.
What makes Sculptra unique in providing a natural, subtle enhancement?
Because it takes 6 to 8 weeks to see your results with Sculptra your friends will be hard-pressed to know you had a cosmetic procedure. Many patients choose Sculptra for this very reason, so they have a subtle enhancement. One day people just begin to notice that you look great but without really knowing why.
How long does Sculptra last?
Because Sculptra works by stimulating your skin to make its own collagen, its effect is long lasting, up to 2 years or more. That’s because as you increase the amount of collagen it just becomes a part of you.
Why is Sculptra such a great value?
Although on average Sculptra costs about 15 to 20% more than some other hyaluronic acid fillers, because it lasts for 2 years or longer, it is actually a better value over time. We estimate one vial of Sculptra per decade of life, so in your 40s you might need 3 to 4 vials. But at the end of year two, many patients need just 1 to 2 vials for maintenance. With a hyaluronic acid filler portfolio, if you needed 4 syringes last year, you will need 4 syringes this year. So, often you get 2 years duration from your initial treatment with Sculptra, and afterwards you need fewer vials in maintenance. It’s a win/win value proposition.
Why not just use Sculptra all the time?
Some patients use only Sculptra, instead of other fillers. I feel that I’m an artist when I treat my patients. I think of Sculptra as using a broad brush, sort of like a thin coat of paint on the whole house. That provides overall lifting and skin enhancement. But then I may come back with a hyaluronic acid gel using it as my fine artist’s brush to enhance and correct special areas like the marionette lines, the nasolabial folds, the parentheses, and of course the lips. Or sometimes I use that “fine brush” for a very localized lift at the cheek or chin.
Can you use a cannula to inject Sculptra?
The experience of having Sculptra injected is similar to other injectables. I generally prefer to use a cannula rather than a needle for injecting Sculptra. That’s because unlike a rigid needle, the cannula is flexible and doesn’t have a sharp tip. So it is much less traumatic and much less likely to cause a bruise. The flexibility of the cannula allows me to gently locate the product exactly where I need it using very few insertion points. Often just 2 or 3 insertions on each side of the face allow me to reach the whole treatment area.
Patients in Tifton, Georgia, trust us for dermal fillers, BOTOX®, and other medspa treatments. If you’d like to talk about whether Sculptra is right for you, call us at (229) 238-2007, or use our online form to request a consultation.