What is Sculptra? – Introlift Medical Spa FIND A TREATMENT JUST FOR YOU!

What is Sculptra?

Female Patient Receiving Sculptra injections in face

If you have been looking for a way to clear fine lines and wrinkles, as well as tighten sagging skin, Sculptra is something that you should definitely know about.

This injectable dermal filler has been around since 1999, and, thanks to its long-lasting results that look completely natural, Sculptra treatments have become so popular in recent years.

WHAT ARE DERMAL FILLERS?

Sculptra is a type of dermal filler.

Not sure what dermal fillers are?

They are special solutions that are designed to be injected underneath the skin.

Why would you do this?

Because the fillers have the effect of adding volume back into the skin. This then gives the skin a much smoother and tighter appearance.

Animated image of skin layers before and after filler injection

There are quite a few different types of dermal fillers out there…

What’s the difference between them all?

They each consist of a different solution, and this is what sets them apart. Each solution will have its own pros and cons, giving people plenty of choice when it comes to choosing the best filler for them.

WHAT IS SCULPTRA MADE FROM?

While the most common dermal fillers out there are made from either hyaluronic acid or collagen, Sculptra is a little different…

Sculptra is made from Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA).

Never heard of this before?

It’s basically a synthetic form of natural lactic acid, which is something that your body produces whenever it has been physically exerted. Being completely synthetic, Sculptra does not contain any animal products or by-products, making it vegan-friendly too.

WHAT DOES SCULPTRA DO FOR THE SKIN?

As mentioned above, dermal fillers smooth away fine lines and wrinkles, while restoring volume and tightness to the skin.

However, unlike some of the other fillers out there that offer up immediate results, it takes a little longer to see results after a Sculptra treatment.

Why?

Because Sculptra works as a bio-activator and a collagen stimulator.

What does this mean?

It means that Sculptra stimulates your skin into producing more and more collagen. This gives you a more gradual result, as the smoothness and volume only becomes visible once your skin has built this extra collagen.

Why is collagen so important?

Because collagen is one of the main structural proteins that gives your skin its firmness and smoothness. While your skin does produce collagen on its own, the amount of collagen that it produces declines quite rapidly with age. In fact, once you reach your mid-20’s, the amount of collagen your skin produces drops by about 1.5% each year. 

Wondering why you can’t just use topical products to increase your skin’s production of collagen?

You can, but collagen is produced quite deep in the skin, in the dermal layer. Topical products rarely penetrate deep enough to bring about a significant effect in collagen production.

Since Sculptra is injected directly into the skin’s dermal layer, this brings about a much more noticeable change.

So, how long does it take to see the results after a Sculptra treatment?

It usually takes between three to four months.

Why so long?

Because this is how long it takes for your skin to naturally build up new collagen.

WHAT DOES A SCULPTRA TREATMENT ACTUALLY INVOLVE?

If you’ve never had a dermal filler before, you are probably wondering what the procedure is actually like…

Well, you would first be required to book yourself in for a consultation. You will need to provide a full medical history, and also disclose any allergies or other medical issues you may have. This is to ensure that Sculptra is a suitable treatment for you (it isn’t for everyone, which you will find out about further down).

Once the day of your treatment rolls around…

Your doctor will first mark out an injection grid on the area of skin you are wanting to treat.

This is another way in which Sculptra differs from some of the other dermal fillers out there. While many of the others can be injected into just one area, Sculptra is usually injected laterally across a part of your skin.

Why?

Because of the way in which Sculptra stimulates collagen production. You want your tight and smooth results to be even around your entire face, as this will help your face to retain its natural shape. This is also why Sculptra results tend to look so natural.

After determining your injection grid, an anesthetic will be used so that you don’t feel any pain at all during the injections. This will either be a local or a topical anesthetic, depending on what your doctor prefers to use.

Once the anesthetic has kicked in, your doctor will then begin to inject your skin.

Does it hurt?

Most patients say no, although it does feel a little strange having the injection needles inserted. What many people don’t realize is that the actual Sculptra solution also contains numbing agents. This helps to prevent any pain from within your skin as well.

After the Sculptra solution has been injected into your skin, your skin will then be massaged to ensure that the solution is distributed evenly underneath your skin. This prevents an excess of collagen building up in one area.

SUBSEQUENT TREATMENTS

Because Sculptra is designed to bring about long-term effects, you will usually need more than one treatment.

How many treatments will you need?

This varies depending on your own individual circumstances, from the area of skin being treated to your age, weight and activity levels.

Usually, a person would require at least three treatments, with these being carried out over the space of quite a few months. The older you are, and the wrinkles and folds you are trying to treat, the more treatments you will need.

Of course, your subsequent Sculptra treatments will only be carried out a few months after your first one. This is important as it allows you to see how your results are progressing before opting for another treatment.

Worried about the cost?

Certain clinics, such as the Introlift Medical Spa, offer package deals for patients who would like to book themselves in for multiple treatments. While you can purchase each vial of Sculptra individually, you could also opt for a package of two or five vials, enabling you to save quite a bit of money.

Wondering how long each treatment takes?

This depends on the size of the area you are having treated. However, it usually takes between 15 and 40 minutes for a Sculptra treatment to be carried out.

After you have your first set of Sculptra treatments, you can then book yourself in for annual top-up treatments to help keep your results consistent.

WHERE ABOUT ON THE FACE AND BODY CAN SCULPTRA BE INJECTED?

There are quite a few different types of dermal fillers out there…

What’s the difference between them all?

They each consist of a different solution, and this is what sets them apart. Each solution will have its own pros and cons, giving people plenty of choice when it comes to choosing the best filler for them.

WHAT IS SCULPTRA MADE FROM?

While the most common dermal fillers out there are made from either hyaluronic acid or collagen, Sculptra is a little different…

Sculptra is made from Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA).

Never heard of this before?

It’s basically a synthetic form of natural lactic acid, which is something that your body produces whenever it has been physically exerted. Being completely synthetic, Sculptra does not contain any animal products or by-products, making it vegan-friendly too.

WHAT DOES SCULPTRA DO FOR THE SKIN?

As mentioned above, dermal fillers smooth away fine lines and wrinkles, while restoring volume and tightness to the skin.

However, unlike some of the other fillers out there that offer up immediate results, it takes a little longer to see results after a Sculptra treatment.

Why?

Because Sculptra works as a bio-activator and a collagen stimulator.

What does this mean?

It means that Sculptra stimulates your skin into producing more and more collagen. This gives you a more gradual result, as the smoothness and volume only becomes visible once your skin has built this extra collagen.

Why is collagen so important?

Because collagen is one of the main structural proteins that gives your skin its firmness and smoothness. While your skin does produce collagen on its own, the amount of collagen that it produces declines quite rapidly with age. In fact, once you reach your mid-20’s, the amount of collagen your skin produces drops by about 1.5% each year. 

Wondering why you can’t just use topical products to increase your skin’s production of collagen?

You can, but collagen is produced quite deep in the skin, in the dermal layer. Topical products rarely penetrate deep enough to bring about a significant effect in collagen production.

Since Sculptra is injected directly into the skin’s dermal layer, this brings about a much more noticeable change.

So, how long does it take to see the results after a Sculptra treatment?

It usually takes between three to four months.

Why so long?

Because this is how long it takes for your skin to naturally build up new collagen.

WHAT DOES A SCULPTRA TREATMENT ACTUALLY INVOLVE?

If you’ve never had a dermal filler before, you are probably wondering what the procedure is actually like…

Well, you would first be required to book yourself in for a consultation. You will need to provide a full medical history, and also disclose any allergies or other medical issues you may have. This is to ensure that Sculptra is a suitable treatment for you (it isn’t for everyone, which you will find out about further down).

Once the day of your treatment rolls around…

Your doctor will first mark out an injection grid on the area of skin you are wanting to treat.

This is another way in which Sculptra differs from some of the other dermal fillers out there. While many of the others can be injected into just one area, Sculptra is usually injected laterally across a part of your skin.

Why?

Because of the way in which Sculptra stimulates collagen production. You want your tight and smooth results to be even around your entire face, as this will help your face to retain its natural shape. This is also why Sculptra results tend to look so natural.

After determining your injection grid, an anesthetic will be used so that you don’t feel any pain at all during the injections. This will either be a local or a topical anesthetic, depending on what your doctor prefers to use.

Once the anesthetic has kicked in, your doctor will then begin to inject your skin.

Does it hurt?

Most patients say no, although it does feel a little strange having the injection needles inserted. What many people don’t realize is that the actual Sculptra solution also contains numbing agents. This helps to prevent any pain from within your skin as well.

After the Sculptra solution has been injected into your skin, your skin will then be massaged to ensure that the solution is distributed evenly underneath your skin. This prevents an excess of collagen building up in one area.

SUBSEQUENT TREATMENTS

Because Sculptra is designed to bring about long-term effects, you will usually need more than one treatment.

How many treatments will you need?

This varies depending on your own individual circumstances, from the area of skin being treated to your age, weight and activity levels.

Usually, a person would require at least three treatments, with these being carried out over the space of quite a few months. The older you are, and the wrinkles and folds you are trying to treat, the more treatments you will need.

Of course, your subsequent Sculptra treatments will only be carried out a few months after your first one. This is important as it allows you to see how your results are progressing before opting for another treatment.

Worried about the cost?

Certain clinics, such as the Introlift Medical Spa, offer package deals for patients who would like to book themselves in for multiple treatments. While you can purchase each vial of Sculptra individually, you could also opt for a package of two or five vials, enabling you to save quite a bit of money.

Wondering how long each treatment takes?

This depends on the size of the area you are having treated. However, it usually takes between 15 and 40 minutes for a Sculptra treatment to be carried out.

After you have your first set of Sculptra treatments, you can then book yourself in for annual top-up treatments to help keep your results consistent.

WHERE ABOUT ON THE FACE AND BODY CAN SCULPTRA BE INJECTED?

Female patient's neck before and after Sculptra injections

Sculptra can be injected just about anywhere where you want to increase your skin’s collagen content.

The most common areas for this treatment are the cheeks and temples, as well as the chin and jawline.

However, it is now becoming quite common for Sculptra to be injected into the body too. The décolletage is one area that often displays visible signs of aging earlier than the rest of the body, which is why many are now opting for Sculptra in their neck and chest.

Since Sculptra also adds definition to the area where it has been injected, this treatment is now also being used more and more by people who want to bulk up their muscles. The injections can be carried out in the thighs, the triceps, the pectorals, and any other areas where you want to give off the appearance of increased muscle mass.

HOW LONG DO THE RESULTS LAST FOR?

Sculptra results last for quite a while, usually between two to three years.

This is longer than some of the other dermal fillers out there, and this is because Sculptra is regarded as a more permanent filler.

Hyaluronic acid fillers can actually be reversed within 24 hours. All you need for this is an injection of hyaluronidase, which is an enzyme that dissolves the filler.

There is nothing that can dissolve the Sculptra filler once it has been injected. However, the Sculptra solution is very similar to that of dissolving stitches, and it works in a similar way. After about six months, your body will naturally start to absorb the filler. By this time, your skin will have already built up quite a bit of new collagen.

Animated image of skin layers with wrinkles skin, collagen added and smooth skin

SCULPTRA SIDE EFFECTS

Just like any other cosmetic procedure out there, Sculptra does come with a few side effects.

However, there isn’t actually a downtime after the treatment, with most patients able to immediately resume their normal daily activities.

While this may be the case, there are a few potential side effects that you should be aware of, such as:

  • Swelling at the sites of the injection
  • Mild bruising
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Tenderness
  • Lumps in the skin

The bruising is a hit-or-miss – some people experience this each time they have the treatment carried out, while others rarely experience any bruising at all.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to keep bruising to a minimum:

  • Cut out blood thinners – everything from vitamin E and fish oil to alcohol and aspirin can thin the blood, exacerbating any bruising. If you take a supplement of any sort, make sure that you check in advance whether or not it has the effect of thinning the blood
  • Arnica – Arnica is a herb that is extremely effective at minimizing bruising. This should be taken before your sculptra treatment, as well as during your skin’s recovery period
  • Don’t have any other treatments at the same time – opting for Sculptra alongside other treatments can sometimes lead to more bruising. It is best to have Sculptra carried out on its own
  • Ice – icing your skin both before and after your treatment will help to shrink your blood vessels and minimie bruising
  • Massage – massaging your skin can also help to reduce bruising and lumps, especially if you do this with a cream that contains either Arnica or vitamin K. Massaging your treated area is very important, as this ensures that the particles from the Sculptra solution continue to be dispersed through your skin, rather than all of it gathering in one area

If you do experience any bruising or redness, this is likely to be quite mild and can usually be easily covered over with some makeup.

WHO IS SCULPTRA SUITABLE FOR?

Sculptra works well on all skin types and tones, but isn’t suitable for everyone.

If you fall under one of the following categories, then you will likely find that another type of dermal filler would be better suited to you:

  • If you have recently used a blood thinner
  • If you have a bleeding disorder
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you are allergic to any of the ingredients within the Sculptra solution

CHOOSING A CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST

Your Sculptra results will only be as good as the person who is injecting them.

The injections need to be placed quite deep into the skin, and the injection grid needs to be well thought out in order for the results to look natural. Your Sculptra solution may also need to be diluted with saline first, as this helps to reduce the risk of lumps, bumps and bruising. This is something that only an experienced practitioner will do.

Ideally, the dermatologist you opt for should have plenty of first-hand experience with Sculptra. If your dermatologist has only ever used Sculptra a couple of times, you would likely be better off choosing someone who is more experienced.

Although the results from a Sculptra treatment do take longer to become visible than other types of dermal fillers, the fact that these results bring about a long-term change in your skin makes this more than worthwhile. If you think that Sculptra may be exactly what your skin needs, feel free to get in touch with Introlift to find out more.

2019-04-18T22:23:34+00:00