What Is Sculptra?
Sculptra, also known as poly-L-lactic acid, is a synthetic dermal filler approved by the FDA for use to encourage the body’s production of collagen. Collagen production lessens with age, and sun exposure contributes to its depletion. Sculptra is injected into the face to create a fuller, more youthful appearance. Although it is synthetic, Sculptra is not harmful to the body—it has been used for years as threading for surgical stitches.
How Does It Work?
Poly-L-lactic acid is mixed with sterile water and injected into the body underneath the skin to areas that appear bereft of collagen. The body absorbs the water, and the remaining substance stimulates the body’s ability to produce more collagen. The additional collagen production provides a plumpness under the skin that helps smooth out wrinkles and age lines.
The Treatment Procedure
Sculptra is administered with a very thin syringe. Before the injection is given, patients are given a topical or local anesthetic to eliminate or minimize discomfort. The number of injections given in one session depends on the areas of focus and how they look before the procedure. Generally, the treatment takes less than one hour. The average patient receives three treatments, however, this will be determined by the doctor’s recommendation. Follow-up treatments typically take place between four to six weeks apart.
The face may appear full or swollen at first, but this is temporary. The plumpness will soon go down to normal within a few days. The collagen produced by Sculptra can take up to six weeks to begin filling in the sunken areas, and Sculptra’s fully desired effects could take another month to be noticeable. Once the collagen accumulates in the applied area, the effect lasts well over a year, sometimes two years.