Are you unhappy with the appearance of smile lines, marionette lines, and chin wrinkles on your face? Unfortunately, these nasolabial folds and wrinkles are a common sign of aging, which worsen as collagen diminishes in your skin, making it less elastic and firm. Sculptra® Aesthetic is an FDA-approved injectable treatment that erases these lines and wrinkles using a biocompatible substance called poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which prompts the body to naturally kickstart its own collagen production. That means you can get natural-looking results that last for years rather than months, unlike other injectable treatments on the market today.
What is Sculptra®?
Sculptra® is not your average injectable treatment. When people think of injectables, they might think of dermal fillers and Botox, which provide instant results by immediately restoring volume or relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkles. Sculptra® is different. It works over time by stimulating natural collagen growth, which in turn improves the look of the skin. After treatment, you will not see peak results until about 6 months in—well after other injectables may have faded and required repeat treatment.
How it works
PLLA is a biocompatible substance that helps the body gradually replace collagen through its own natural processes. When Sculptra® is injected, the PLLA starts working under the skin right away, but it will take time for full results to develop. The PLLA molecules will be absorbed by the body, and this provides the nutrients necessary to reignite collagen production. Collagen is responsible for making the skin taut and smooth, so a boost in collagen will help smooth out the lines and wrinkles bothering you in the lower half of the face. It will be like someone has hit “rewind” on the aging process.
Why we love it
Sculptra® Aesthetic provides real results that last. It yields beautifully natural-looking results because it works by stimulating the body’s own collagen production rather than simply replacing material that’s been lost. This also makes treatment long-lasting, so you won’t need to keep scheduling upkeep visits to look your best.
What to expect
When you visit a physician trained in prescribing Sculptra® Aesthetic, you can rest assured that treatment will be safe, quick, and convenient. Your doctor will determine the appropriate number of injections and treatment sessions for your skin, and each session will only require a few minutes to complete. Injections are placed deep within the dermis, and a topical anesthetic may be used to make the process more comfortable.
How many treatments are needed?
Each patient is unique, but 3-4 treatment sessions will usually be required. These visits are so quick and simple that they could even be done on your lunch hour.
Possible side effects
Side effects with Sculptra® tend to be minimal, though some patients will have temporary redness, swelling, tenderness, pain at the injection site, bruising, lumps, or itching on the treated area.
Questions and Answers
Is the Sculptra® procedure painful?
Patients do report varying levels of discomfort with Sculptra® injections, because every person has a unique pain tolerance. For most, injections cause little to no pain, and topical anesthetics may be used to further reduce any discomfort.
Is there any downtime?
You can return to your normal routine quickly after Sculptra® treatment. You may need to avoid applying makeup or participating in strenuous activities for several hours, but you should not have any serious side effects that prevent you from going about your routine.
How long will results last?
One of the best things about Sculptra® Aesthetic is its long-lasting results. Most patients report still seeing satisfactory results 24 months after their treatment! Of course, your timeline may vary depending on your skin type and the level of damage corrected with your initial treatment.
How long has Sculptra® been available?
Sculptra® has been in use worldwide since 1999, and has been approved by the FDA for the correction of nasolabial folds, such as smile lines and marionette lines.
Are you a good candidate?
If you are considering Sculptra®, you should be looking to target lines and wrinkles that develop on the bottom half of the face—specifically around the nose and mouth. You should also be in good general health without any conditions that may affect your immune system. Sculptra® is not a quick-fix treatment and will take time to achieve full results, so you should have clear expectations about the treatment timeline before your first injection.