If you want firm, younger looking skin, collagen is the key. That’s why you see it listed as an ingredient in just about every skincare product. But topically applied collagen doesn’t affect the skin where it needs it, from beneath.
The problem is that every year after our 20th birthday, our bodies produce one additional percentage point less collagen. By the time we’re 50 that equates to a 30 percent decrease in collagen production. That’s why aging skin sags, droops, and allows the formation of lines, wrinkles, and creases, along with areas of volume loss such as the cheeks.
At SILK Medical Spa we offer a long-lasting non-invasive answer to this collagen decline — Sculptra. Sculptra is a dermal filler that triggers the body to produce new collagen where it is injected, filling lines and wrinkles around the mouth area for up to two years.
What Is Sculptra?
Most dermal fillers provide instant results. True to their name they simply “fill in” the depressed area under a wrinkle or crease, pushing the skin back up.
Sculptra is different; its results are not immediate. Sculptra is made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which works within the skin to replace lost collagen. Sculptra is the first facial injectable that gives you subtle results over time as collagen is replaced. This makes for a natural-looking appearance that improves over time, not an instant change as with other fillers. Sculptra is injected in three sessions over three to four months for the best results. These results can then last for two years!
How Does Sculptra Work?
At SILK, our trained aestheticians inject Sculptra into the deep dermal layer of the skin. This is the base of the skin’s second layer. Sculptra is injected in three sessions over the course of three to four months. Like typical fillers, Sculptra’s gel initially provides volume where injected and pushes the depressed area back upward, but this is only temporary. After a week or so, the wrinkle can reform to a lesser degree, but this is when Sculptra really gets to work. Microparticles of PLLA work within the deep dermis to rebuild lost collagen and provide structural skin support. As the PLLA is absorbed a collagen framework is created. This reinforced collagen structure provides a foundation that gradually restores the look of fullness to shallow to deep wrinkles and folds. This new collagen framework provides results that last up to two years, more than twice as long as most other fillers!
Where Is Sculptra Used?
Sculptra is effective for treating moderate to deeper lines. It is used for these typical lines and creases that develop around the mouth:
- Marionette lines (extending downward from the corners of your mouth)
- Parentheses lines (framing both sides of your mouth)
- Nasolabial folds (running from your nose down to the corners of your mouth, also called smile lines)
- Chin wrinkles
Am I A Candidate For Sculptra?
There are few restrictions with Sculptra. If you have lines in the typical areas around your mouth, Sculptra can fill these lines and provide a long-lasting solution. The only patients not eligible for Sculptra are those with a history of keloid or hypertrophic scarring. And if you have many allergies, you’ll need to check the ingredient list to see if you have any conflicts.
Are Sculptra Injections Painful?
Sculptra is injected more deeply than other dermal fillers, down into the dermis layer. That’s because the dermis layer is where the body produces collagen and Sculptra intends to boost your collagen production where injected.
Prior to your injections at SILK, we provide local anesthetic at the injection sites, depending on your preference. That makes these injections basically painless.
Is There Anything I Need To Do To Prepare For A Sculptra Session?
Sculptra injections can cause some bruising. It’s not widespread or anything, but it’s a good idea to not take any aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, etc.) for a couple days prior to your appointment because they can cause more bruising.
What Makes Sculptra Different?
The majority of dermal filler products that are used today are made with hyaluronic acid. This biodegradable, naturally-occurring substance is broken down by the body over a period of six to 24 months. Sculptra is classified as a dermal filler, perhaps because it can fill lines and enhance facial contours. However, it works through collagen stimulation. Sculptra doesn't increase tissue volume in the same way that hyaluronic acid does. It incites collagen production that continues for a period of months, thereby restoring more youthful volume and structure through a different mechanism.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
As a collagen stimulator, Sculptra takes some time to work. Your body doesn't naturally produce the amount of collagen that you need to maintain smooth, firm, plump skin as you age. To support your skin's needs, you may need a series of about three Sculptra treatments. These are scheduled over a few months to give your body ample time to respond without shortening the longevity of your final results.
How Long Do Sculptra Results Last?
Your results from Sculptra injections are not immediate, as people tend to be used to with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. Keep in mind, the goal of Sculptra is to stimulate the natural production of collagen. Once the final results become apparent, they may last for two or more years before they gradually begin to fade. To sustain the effects of your original treatment, you might schedule an annual touch-up of one to two rounds of Sculptra injections. This manner of scheduling can continually stimulate your body's natural collagen production, which would otherwise decline with every passing year.
Can I Combine Sculptra With Other Injectables?
Studies have shown that it is safe to combine Sculptra with other inectable treatments. Common choices include other dermal fillers and neuromodulators like BOTOX® Cosmetic. When you visit us to discuss your cosmetic goals, your provider will take into account what you wish to achieve, your preferences, the areas that would need to be treated, and the extent of rejuvenation that is desired. At the end of this visit, you'll have a balanced treatment plan that outlines each technique, its benefits, anticipated outcome, and more.
Do I Need To Avoid Anything After Getting Sculptra Injections?
You may not need to take any time off to recover from your Sculptra injections. Your side effects may be so mild that no one would notice even if you were to return to work immediately after your appointment. The most common side effects include minor swelling and redness. However, you may also develop subtle bruising and you may feel tender or sore for a short time. Sculptra side effects typically resolve within 24 hours. If needed, you may take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce discomfort.
There is little that you must avoid after your Sculptra treatment. You should wait a few hours to apply makeup to the treated area. You should avoid direct sun exposure or the use of a tanning bed until your swelling and redness have completely resolved. It's also beneficial to postpone physically demanding work until the day after receiving Sculptra injections. The goal of these minor activity restrictions is to avoid exaggerated swelling, bruising, and redness.
Is There Any Recovery After A Sculptra Injection Session?
Sculptra is the same as other dermal fillers. You may have some slight redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection sites, but these side effects usually resolve in a few hours. Patients can return to work or their other normal activities immediately after these injections.
Schedule Your Sculptra Skin Tightening In LA Today!
To learn more about Sculptra injections or to determine whether they are right for you, please be sure to book a one-on-one consult with our skilled providers. Call (818) 981-8888 or fill out an appointment request form on our contact page. Our practice serves Encino and the surrounding areas of California.