What Are the Benefits of Sculptra?
Its benefits are owed to the way it works inside the body. Its active ingredient is poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), a synthetic material that is both biocompatible and biodegradable. These attributes are important because they trigger the body’s natural healing processes. This means a resurgence in the natural production of collagen and elastin.
Collagen is the main component of your skin’s structure. Together with elastin, it forms a network of tightly woven proteins that keeps skin looking smooth and plump. But aging causes most body processes to slow, including the rate at which cells divide. This leads to a loosening of fibers under the skin’s surface, causing the supportive network to lose its integrity.
Collagen and elastin production also slows as we grow older. Facial skin starts to acquire wrinkles and depressions as a result. Mature skin is also:
- Slower to heal
- Less effective in secreting protective oils
- Less able to stay hydrated
- Thinner in nature
- Prone to sunken and sagging appearances
PLLA is recognized as a bio-stimulatory dermal filler. Unlike injectables made with hyaluronic acid (HA) – designed to immediate plump skin without necessarily promoting collagen production – PLLA does stimulate collagen synthesis. This, therefore, is how Sculptra works; it restores a crucial ingredient to your facial structure so skin is once again lifted and smoothed.
Because of the way this treatment works with your body, it produces results that are completely natural-looking. The injectable itself is not responsible for adding contours or erasing wrinkles; instead, it is the subsequent collagen that reinforces skin’s structure. You therefore look more like yourself prior to the effects of aging, with more volume and less sag.
Subtle and Gradual Improvements
Patient rust in cosmetic therapy has significantly improved in recent years. This is owed in no small part to treatments that enhance your appearance without completely altering it. Sculptra is an example of these treatments, delivering results that gradually appear rather than instantly develop overnight. it is ideal for patients who want to look fresher and younger without alerting others that they’ve undergone treatment.
It’s true that HA fillers deliver results more quickly, but those injections typically require maintenance appointments every three to six months. This therapy provides noticeable improvements within a week, with optimal results developing in the coming months. It’s important to remember that collagen production takes time, but as it’s happening, the overall health of your skin is also improving.
Improved Skin Health
This last point brings us to another benefit, one that helps distinguish Sculptra from other dermal fillers in that it improves skin health from within. HA fillers are great; they work effectively, deliver beautiful results, and help patients look and feel younger. But they don’t rejuvenate skin’s health like this filler does, giving way to effects like:
- An enhanced tone for clearer skin
- A thicker dermis layer to restore volume
- Firmer skin that shows your natural contours
- A softer and silkier texture that gives a natural glow
These attributes are owed to increased collagen; the importance of this protein to skin’s health cannot be overstated. It provides skin with its overall youthful appearance and can correct a number of concerns, including nasolabial folds, fine lines near the eyes and in the forehead, and the general tired look that can make you appear older than you are.
Delayed Signs of Aging
By increasing collagen production, we also help delay the development of additional lines and wrinkles. This remains true as long as collagen levels are boosted, meaning you not only treat existing signs of aging but also keep your face looking younger for longer.
This treatment is an injectable that we deliver quickly and easily into deep tissues, meaning it is only minimally invasive. This correlates to little downtime so you can get back to the activities you know and love. With just a few instructions – like massaging the treatment site five times a day, five minutes each time, for five days – you can help results develop more quickly.
While you can resume most activities immediately after treatment, we suggest you delay exercising until the next day. This is far less than you would need to do with most other treatments that require lengthy pre- and post-op guidelines to prevent skin irritation.
Little Risk for Adverse Reactions
With time, the body processes PLLA into carbon dioxide and water that gradually get absorbed. This reflects its biodegradable nature, meaning patients have very little risk of allergic or other adverse reactions. Providing us with your medical history will help further determine if this is a safe treatment option for you.
It’s hard to pinpoint which of these benefits is the most valuable, but long-lasting results rank pretty high. In a survey, 80 percent of patients reported feeling happy with their results 25 months after treatment. Results can indeed last for two years or longer. When compared to other treatments, such as those that modulate muscle movements, this is a stand-out feature.
As you might have guessed, the difference is in the way Sculptra works. It is not a filler that plumps skin with a thick gel, nor does it restrict muscle contractions. Instead, it sparks production of the skin’s primary source of health: collagen.
Fight Against the Aging Process
You already know that body functions become slower and less effective with time. But other factors also contribute to an aged appearance, including facial muscle movements. Lines like crow’s feet, frown lines, and those in the forehead are commonly the result of muscle contractions. Each time you smile, squint, or otherwise move your face, wrinkles become more visible. When coupled with the effects of gravity, wrinkles can eventually turn into folds.
Damaging UV Rays
Sun damage is another contributor. With regular exposure to UV rays, collagen fibers break down more quickly than they normally would. The body tries to compensate by producing more elastin, which in turn leads to a disorganized formation of fibers. On the outside, you see a weathered appearance that looks leathery and feels rough; internally, the inefficient rebuilding process only causes wrinkles to grow deeper.
The hallmark of healthy skin is constant cell regeneration. Throughout this process, collagen is also broken down and removed to allow the generation of new fibers. Smoking, however, impedes collagen production so that as the old is broken down, its replacement is slow to take over. This contributes to the formation of wrinkles.
We’ve all heard you are what you eat, and your face proves that it’s true. When your body metabolizes sugar, for example, it converts it to glucose. This substance adheres to collagen and, in the process, damages it. Sodium has a similar effect in that it causes blood pressure to spike. This, too, has been linked to age spots and wrinkles.
Additional foods that contribute to wrinkles include:
- Processed meats
- Potato chips
- Sweet treats, such as cupcakes and cookies
Frequently Asked Questions
We know you need more information, and we’re happy to provide it. Each treatment consists of a series of injections delivered to areas that need wrinkles erased or volume restored. Discomfort is minimal, thanks to our precise application and the fine needle used. The injections take about 20 minutes, and your whole session usually lasts less than an hour.
We then schedule a follow-up appointment six to eight weeks after treatment. This allows us to evaluate your progress and determine if you need another treatment. Some patients see considerable results after just one session, while others need two or three. This depends on the level of your collagen damage and personal treatment goals, which we’ll discuss during your consultation.
Are Results Really Long-Lasting?
They are. Studies confirm that treatment results remain visible for 25 months. One clinical study showed that 40 percent of patients continued seeing the effects of treatment three years later. In our experience, most patients need maintenance appointments every two to four years – much less frequently than other dermal fillers.
What Is the Difference Between This Treatment and a Facelift?
A facelift serves two crucial purposes: to remove excess skin and correct sags. These objectives give the face a “lifted” look that reduces the effects of aging. This procedure does not, however, restore volume. Think of it like a grape turning into a wrinkled raisin. Injecting the raisin with volume will reduce wrinkles and give it back a plump shape. Conversely, removing its skin will not revive its shape.
What Are the Sculptra Treatment Instructions?
We may advise you to stop certain medications for about a week before your session, including:
- Omega-3 supplements
- Vitamin E
These can contribute to post-treatment bruising. After treatment, feel free to use ice if you experience discomfort and remember to massage the area. This helps disperse the injectable and produce faster results.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
Many parts throughout the face can benefit from injections. These include:
- Marionette lines
- Wrinkles near the eyes
- Smile lines
In each of these areas, we can provide volume for a more youthful appearance. But it’s important to remember that the face relies on symmetry; this means that if you want to fill in your cheek hollows, we may also recommend you do the same in your temples to maintain balance. Along the jaw, we can redefine contours and give you a more symmetrical appearance.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Sculptra Treatment?
Men and women alike can benefit from these injections. Most candidates seek to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We also recommend that you be in good health and have reasonable expectations, meaning you understand that treatment will complement your features rather than change them.
This treatment is also ideal for those who have lost facial volume after significant weight loss. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those with skin infections or other serious medical conditions, will likely need to delay treatment. The best way to determine your candidacy is by scheduling a consultation with our office.
Your Personal Time Machine
You already know you don’t need a time machine, but we like to think of this treatment as one designed personally for each patient. Sculptra can be customized to meet your beauty goals, and its long-term results mean you’ll keep your youthful appearance for years. Call the offices of Dr. Steven Dayan in Chicago, IL, today and schedule your consultation.