Sculptra, by Valeant Aesthetics, is a dermal filler which uses a synthetic injectable material called poly-L-lactic acid to add volume on the face and reverse the loss of fat tissue on it (medically known as lipoatrophy, which describes the “emptying” of the area around the cheeks, the temples and the eyes); supplementarily, Sculptra can be applied so as to abate or cure out shoal or deeper wrinkles, nasolabial folds (smile lines) and other facial defects. Being a rather innovative method, Sculptra has received an FDA approval for the treatment of facial fat loss.
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How Does Sculptra Work?
As mentioned above, Sculptra incorporates poly-L-lactic acid, a material that has been used without problems for several decades in other medical applications, so as to replace the lost collagen that is to blame for the loss of facial fat tissue. To achieve that, the Sculptra filler is injected beneath the skin, under the dermis and the subcutis layer, through various injection spots which are identified by the doctor who performs the operation. To ease off the pain which may be experienced by the needle, a local numbing cream or anesthetic may be applied. After the injections, ice packs can be used in order to hinder inflammation while massaging of the treated area may be also performed to foster the distribution of the acid. The whole procedure lasts for about 20-30 minutes and the patient can go home shortly after it.
Typically, 3-4 sessions, rationed out in a time span of a few months, usually at intervals of 4-6 weeks (in proportion to the patient’s needs and aims), are enough in order to deliver the needed results. Obviously, the total number of the treating sessions can vary from one person to another.
Below are listed some of the most prominent beneficial aspects of Sculptra.
- It is a safe non-surgical procedure that can firm and tighten the skin
- It uses a biocompatible material that has been proven to be easily dissolved by the body and restore volume in facial areas without triggering any allergic reactions (since poly-L-lactic acid is synthesized from lactic acid, which is also found in human body)
- It stimulates collagen production that not only adds volume to the face but also enables wrinkle and folds’ mitigation
- It increases the thickness of the skin
A series of Sculptra sessions can deliver remarkable results. Mainly owing to the poly-L-lactic acid featured, and the gradual absorption by the patient’s body, the lost facial fat as a consequence of aging or encountering a health disorder (such as HIV) is naturally restored; therefore, fullness on a depleted face is brought back and wrinkles and folds are substantially smoothened. However, exactly due to the progressive pace in which Sculptra acts, the first evident results are not seen immediately; instead, a time period of a few weeks is essential before the patient can tell a noticeable difference. In addition, those results are temporary (the company claims that they can last up to two years), therefore the treating sessions should be repeated over the years in order for the gained outcome to be maintained or ameliorated.
On account of its advanced technology, Sculptra has generally received positive reviews from those who have tried it, dealing with the loss of mass and volume (as well as the appearance of wrinkles) quite effectively. Nevertheless, there is a significant number of people complaining about the lack of impressive results or even the lack of any results; moreover, there have been cases where the initial volumising effect disappeared after a few months. Also, an important percentage of users mention light or more serious side effects (see below), which complicated their recovery procedure. For detailed testimonials click this!
Generally, Sculptra is a safe way of rejuvenating the patient’s facial look, provided that they do not have any allergy or sensitivity issues. However, even then, a series of adverse reactions may be experienced by the patient. These include redness, bruising, swelling, itching or tenderness on the treated areas; in addition, a number of patients suffered from the appearance of lumps and bumps on the treated areas, usually accompanied by soreness; luckily, in most cases, that settled down after some days or weeks while, in a couple of cases, the lumps came with skin discoloration. In any case, the chances of encountering those side effects are significantly reduced if the procedure is performed by a certified medical professional.
The cost of this method may vary depending on several factors; to give you an indication, the average price found for it on Realself.com is $1,775.
Before and After Photos
All in all, Sculptra can be considered as a dependable and effective cosmetic product which can rejuvenate your appearance by impeding the signs of aging to a noteworthy extent. Some of its deficiencies (mainly, some unremarkable results and a series of side effects) can be tackled when the operation is carried out by an accredited doctor. In any case, discuss your goals, expectations and your medical history with a trusted cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist before finally proceeding to having the procedure! Besides you should also evaluate a few other dermal fillers like Radiesse, Restylane, Juvederm or probably a botulinum toxin product like Dysport!