Sculptra is a dermal filler manufactured by Galderma. These injectables are composed of poly-L-lactic particles that fill in wrinkles and replace lost facial volume, while also stimulating new collagen growth at the treatment site. This significantly increases the longevity of the effects—lasting much longer than hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. This injectable solution has a well-established and extensively researched history of safety and efficacy.
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What makes a good candidate?
Sculptra works to correct skin depressions, such as creases, wrinkles, scars, and folds, by increasing the volume under the skin. It is also suitable for increasing facial volume in cases of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy). Candidates should be above the age of 18 and should not have a history of allergy or hypersensitivity to any ingredients. As well, patients prone to keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring should not use this filler. Individuals with skin sores, cysts, pimples, rashes, hives or an infection at the site(s) of injection should postpone treatment until their condition has resolved.
The safety profile of this product has not been established in individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding or under 18 years of age.
Areas treated with Sculptra
- Nasolabial folds
- Cheek depressions
- Cheek hollows
- Marionette lines
- Chin folds
- Temple hollows
- How does Sculptra work?
Sculptra is implanted by injection into the deep dermis or subcutaneous layer where it works to correct and fill out facial wrinkles and to restore volume loss. This filler is made of poly-L-lactic particles, a polymer suspended in a viscous gel suitable for injection into the deep dermis. These poly-L-lactic acid particles also behave as a biostimulant that triggers collagen production at the treatment site, which then corrects and improves the depression naturally. This gives a longer lasting effect for the patient.
Treatment with Sculptra has specific requirements for injection, as such it should only be administered by a trained medical practitioner. It is important not to overcorrect, as there will be further improvements that will take place after treatment as new collagen begins to form.
Prior to treatment, take down a complete medical history of the patient in order to determine if this treatment is suitable. Inform the patient of any and all contraindications, precautions, and warnings for use, as well as side effects and method of administration of this product.
Treatment with Sculptra consists of injection deep into the dermis or subcutaneous layer of skin tissue, employing the cross-hatch method of injection. When performing this procedure, follow protocols related to asepsis and hygiene. A topical anesthetic may be employed for the comfort of the patient. Use a needle no smaller than 26G to administer this filler. Once injected, it is essential to massage the area thoroughly to ensure proper distribution of the solution to the area.
How long does Sculptra last?
The effects provided by this dermal filler are amongst the longest lasting of its kind. Studies have shown that patients are still enjoying the effects of Sculptra as long as 2 years after the initial treatment regimen.
With a long and excellent safety track record and proven efficacy, Sculptra remains the filler of choice for the treatment of lines and wrinkles on the face. Sculptra received FDA approval in 2009 for cosmetic use in the USA. When performed according to proper protocol by a trained professional, there is minimal risk associated with the procedure. Made without the use of animal products, this product is both hypoallergenic and non-mutagenic.
Typical and expected side effects that occur include swelling, redness, tenderness, pain, bruising, bleeding, itching, or lumps in the area(s) of treatment.
This product is not indicated for use for treatment around the eye area as they are more likely to produce bumps, which is likely to be visible due to the thinness of the skin in that area. For this same reason, this product should not be injected into the vermilion of the lip.
A very rare adverse outcome of treatment with this dermal injectable may occur in the event that this product is injected into a blood vessel. This produces very severe effects such as vascular occlusion, infarction or embolic phenomena.
Sculptra is a minimally invasive procedure that produces results immediately. As such, there is very little to no recovery period. Patients can enjoy the effects of a surgical face lift without the associated downtime. However, there are some precautions that the patient should take immediately following the procedure in order to derive optimal effects, such as minimizing exposure of the treatment area to the sun and to avoid UV lamp exposure until initial redness and swelling has subsided. Also important is to advise your patient to massage the treatment area for 5 minutes, 5 times a day for 5 days following the procedure.
Cost of Sculptra
Sculptra can cost up to $1,900. However, the longevity of this treatment offsets the price as fewer maintenance treatments. Ultimately, patients may find this treatment to be the more cost-effective option.