What is Sculptra® Aesthetic and how does it work?
Sculptra® is a new injectable used to fight wrinkles and sagging skin by stimulating the skin’s collagen production to help restore the cheeky plumpness of healthy skin. It is an alternative anti-aging treatment to injectable dermal fillers, skin creams, fat injections and implants. Collagen is an important structural protein found in connective tissue. Its function is to keep the skin firm, youthful and smooth. As you age, your body’s collagen production decreases, and you may begin to see wrinkles or sagging. Fat loss beneath the skin also results in drooping skin, hollowed cheeks, indentations and depressions in the face.
As Sculptra® stimulates your skin to regrow its own natural collagen over time, it helps to correct shallow-to-deep facial wrinkles and folds resulting in firmer, younger looking skin. It is important that you understand that Sculptra® is simply a collagen stimulator. The Sculptra® itself is NOT providing the filling action; the Sculptra® causes a reaction in the skin, which forms new collagen. The Sculptra® itself is absorbed by the tissue and is gone about 2 years after a treatment, but the new collagen layer which is left behind may last 2 or more years. Sculptra® requires a SERIES of treatments to achieve adequate filling for most skin defects.
Is Sculptra® safe and do the injections hurt?
Sculptra® is composed of poly-L-lactic acid, a molecule which is biodegradable, so it does not harm the body and is easily broken down and absorbed. We use a very effective topical numbing agent to numb the skin prior to the injections. The Sculptra powder is also reconstituted with water and lidocaine, so you will feel more numb as the injections are being done. Most people are surprised at how comfortable the treatments are.
What is the usual treatment protocol for Sculptra®?
On average, a minimum of three treatments are needed over a period of several months. The number of injection sessions and the length of time between sessions vary from person to person. Older patients, thinner patients, and patients who exercise extensively may require more product or more treatment sessions.
Are there specific instructions to follow around the time of my treatment?
You should avoid taking the following medications for at least 7 days prior to your injections to minimize bruising:
Any type of anti-inflammatory medication – including Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aleve, any type of Omega-3 supplements such as fish oil/flax seed oil and Vitamin E. Tylenol does not contribute to bruising and is safe to use prior to your injections.
We also recommend Arnica to help prevent bruising, which may cut your healing time in half if used properly along with your treatment. Start taking Arnica pills 2-3 days before your treatment. After treatment, continue taking the Arnica pills and use an Arnica topical cream until any bruising is gone.
Arnica can be purchased in oral pill and topical gel or cream form – we recommend you use both. T-Relief is a specific brand we prefer as the dosing frequency is easier to comply with. Take one pill 3 times daily – allowing the tablet to dissolve in your mouth rather than swallowing it whole.
We will send you home with an ice pack. I recommend that you ice the treatment area off and on for the first 24 hours.
Most IMPORTANT — Rule of Fives: Massage the areas injected for 5 minutes, 5 times daily, for 5 days. This is critical to prevent the formation of nodules – we want to keep the Sculptra particles dispersed in the tissue rather than allowing too much collagen to form in one spot.