Like most people, you're feeling discontent with the way gravity has taken a toll on some areas that were once more plump, tight and volumized. For most of us it doesn't just end there, which is common with age...and with aging, the natural collagen in our skin degenerates and weakens.
In the world of aesthetics, the continual evolving advancements of injectables have given us the advantage to help reverse the signs of aging. They have also given us several non-surgical alternatives. Moreover, there's been an increase in non-invasive options that can basically treat any area of the body, and don't involve going under the knife. (Read Botox at 30? Why Millennials Want Injectables Now.)
Sculptra Aesthetic is a poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) that boosts the bodies natural collagen production, while it also repairs and thickens the skin. It is a collagen-stimulating filler that is used for volume restoration and skin rejuvenation. Sculptra was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 as a cosmetic agent for facial lines.
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), about 32,000 Sculptra treatments were performed in 2017. But instead of just using it as a treatment for fat loss in the face and wrinkles, a growing number of doctors are using the injectable for buttock augmentation. (Read Considering a Brazilian Butt Lift? Here's What You Need to Know.)
Sculptra produces gradual results instead of an instant outcome. But even though they're gradual, the result is longer lasting. Over time, the treatments lift the soft tissues, add volume and repair the underlying skin structure. Technically, it isn't really a filler either, but a collagen stimulator.
The injection doesn't 'fill' the treated area(s) with material, it generates the growth of collagen. Sculptra is also a bio-compatible and biodegradable matter that sparks the activation of collagen production lead by connective tissue cells, known as fibroblasts.
Sculptra has gone above and beyond, and has redefined itself and its capabilities. This injection can be thought of as the jack of all trades in the area of non-surgical, aesthetic treatments. It began as an injectable for facial contouring and 'natural' facial rejuvenation. Now, Sculptra is an off-label injection, or in other words, it is used to treat other areas than what it was initially FDA-approved for.
Now, let's see what it can treat.
Acne Scars, Facial Lines and Wrinkles
Sculptra corrects unwanted facial lines, wrinkles and acne scars, and has show to greatly improve them. This includes nasolabial folds or smile lines, marionette lines, chin wrinkles and the skin around the eyes to reduce the appearance of hollows and crows feet. (Read Acne Scars: Here's How to Choose Your Best Acne Scar Removal Treatment.)
The Chest Area
Sculptra is injected into the wrinkles and fold of the chest to reverse the signs of aging. The injection helps collagen grow underneath the dermis to volumize the aged and depleted areas.
Sunken Cheeks, Chin and Temples
These are common areas for Sculptra to be injected because it softens bony and sunken cheekbones, and hollow chin areas and temples.
The Jawline Area
Sculptra is injected into this facial area to enhance and define the jawline.
Elbow and Knee Wrinkles
Sculptra is injected into this area in order to smooth the wrinkles around the elbows and knees.
Cellulite and Stretch Marks
These are the two most common issues that almost all women have. When collagen production is increased in the affected areas, there will be clear improvements for both cellulite and stretch marks. When using Sculptra to treat cellulite, it is injected under the dimpled area. It is also recommended for optimal results to combine both Cellfina and Sculptra.
Non-Surgical Butt Lift
Sculptra is used as an alternative to surgical butt augmentation. The injection(s) are used as a technique to produce a fuller, more lifted backside that doesn't include the surgical risks and downtime. This treatment is for those who desire more natural looking improvements in their buttocks.
In order to achieve this look, Sculptra activates an inflammatory response, while combining collagen and scar tissue. The end result is fuller, more shapely backside appearance.
The Performance And Aftercare of Sculptra
Before undergoing the treatment, Sculptra is combined with an anesthetic or topical lidocaine is applied to the area(s) that will be treated. When the skin is numbed, Sculptra is injected into the deep layer of the skin, also known as the dermis.
Then the treatment is spread evenly on the skin. The number of vials needed for someones desired outcome depends on age and skin condition. In order to achieve optimal results, usually more than one treatment is recommended.
Patients are allowed to go home when the procedure is completely finished. After the first day post-treatment, ice packs can be applied to the area to help reduce the swelling. It is usually highly recommended to avoid any strenuous activity and direct sunlight a few hours after the treatment. The aesthetic or cosmetic practice should then give you thorough instructions on how to rub the treated areas during recovery.
Risks and Side Effects
It is common for redness and swelling to occur after the treatment, which will gradually heal on its own. Other common side effects include itching, bleeding, bumps, pain and tenderness.
Overall, Sculptra is considered a safe treatment that is low risk of any serious complications.
Sculptra Aesthetic Results
Sculptra results are not immediate, and it takes about 3-6 months, depending on certain factors such as age and volume loss. It is usually recommended to undergo around 2-3 treatments.
Immediately after the Sculptra treatment is finished, the area(s) that were injected may appear fuller because of the water content from the injection, which goes away after a few days.
In about two weeks the swelling will subside, and after four weeks, you'll start to see subtle improvements.