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Finding an Alternative to a Dermal Filler

When it comes to cosmetic treatments, everyone has their preferences. This goes both for doctors like you and your patients. The most common wrinkle-fighting products are usually either botulinum toxin-based wrinkle relaxing injections or dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid. Each has their advantages and each has their treatment type that they work best for, but there are other products out there that can give similar wrinkle-reducing results but in a different way.

One such product is SCULPTRA®, made by Sanofi Aventis. Unlike products like RESTYLANE® and JUVÉDERM®, which are made with hyaluronic acid, SCULPTRA® is made from poly-L-lactic acid microspheres. Sometimes SCULPTRA® is grouped in with dermal fillers, but it actually fights wrinkles in a different way. Dermal fillers made with hyaluronic acid instantly plump up your patient's skin when you inject them, smoothing out the wrinkles that way. However, SCULPTRA® does not instantly add volume and plump your patient's skin. The poly-L-lactic acid in SCULPTRA® rebuilds your patient's skin structure gradually over time.

Some doctors refer to SCULPTRA® as a dermal stimulator because it promotes the growth of collagen within your patient's skin. SCULPTRA® stimulates fibroblasts to produce more collagen, and the poly-L-lactic acid microspheres in SCULPTRA® provide a scaffold for the new collagen to grow. Although SCULPTRA® does not have much of an instant wrinkle-reducing effect, it does work over time. Your patients may require three or up to eight SCULPTRA® injections about a month apart to get the desired effect from SCULPTRA®, but after that the results can last around two years. This is much longer than most of the hyaluronic acid products that are on the market.

Besides being longer-lasting, some doctors and patients prefer SCULPTRA® because it looks natural. Instead of plumping up areas of skin that are wrinkled, the collagen builds up naturally within the skin, stimulated by the SCULPTRA®. This gives your patient natural structure, and more skin structure means less laxity, less hollows, and less wrinkles.

While hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can fill and smooth a specific line or wrinkle, SCULPTRA® is more suited for treating larger areas. SCULPTRA® works best in hollows or areas where your patient's skin has become lax and wrinkled. SCULPTRA® does not work well on a small area of fine lines like crow's feet or on thin areas or areas prone to movement, and using it in these areas could cause lumps to form if you have injected SCULPTRA® superficially.

If your patients do like the natural-looking, long-lasting results that SCULPTRA® can give them, but still want instant results, there is a solution for them as well. Often you can give your patients the initial SCULPTRA® injections, but then give them injections of a hyaluronic acid filler on top. That way, your patients get the best of both worlds when they come in for a cosmetic treatment.

It is always good to know about the different wrinkle-fighting options that are on the market. SCULPTRA® does have its advantages and disadvantages, as well as treatment types that it is better suited for than others, but it just may be the right product for the application you have in mind. If you normally stock only hyaluronic acid dermal fillers in your clinic, grab some SCULPTRA® too and give it a try as a dermal filler alternative.

You can buy SCULPTRA® from Medica Depot HERE.

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