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How is Sculptra different than fillers?

The main difference between Sculptra and hyaluronic acid (HA) based fillers is that Sculptra stimulates the production of natural collagen. Sculptra is an FDA approved injectable that replaces lost collagen for up to 2-4 years, making it a more natural treatment that dermal fillers. 

A more definitive breakdown of the two injectables is explained below  

  • Traditional HA fillers are made of a smooth, gel-like substance called hyaluronic acid. Once this is injected into the desired area, there is an instant change in volume restoration after one treatment. HA fillers last around 10-12 months depending on the product and person and CAN be dissolved.

  • Sculptra, on the other hand, is made of Poly-L Lactic Acid (PLLA) that works to stimulate the body’s own natural collagen. Results are shown over a period of time and a series of treatments, rather than instantly. Results typically last 2-4 years.


6 Reasons to Consider Sculptra

1. A Comprehensive Rejuvenation

By spurring collagen production, this dermal filler works to repair the underlying scaffolding of the face, which offers a host of cosmetic benefits. Once this dermal filler has done its work, the added fullness in the face eases the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and folds.

Bony areas like the cheekbones, which sometimes develop more prominence as the skin thins with age, are softened. This filler can also plump up areas of the face that can become shallow over time, such as the temple. By restoring some of those youthful contours and thickening skin that has begun to thin, this injectable can broadly improve the face. In fact, this filler is sometimes referred to as a liquid facelift because of the non-invasive lifting and revitalizing it offers.

2. Natural Results

Most patients receive a series of 2-3 Sculptra Injections over a period of several weeks. The injections are performed in different directions to create a mesh-like pattern under the skin. This means that once in place, the filler offers thorough coverage and can serve as a foundation upon which collagen can develop.

Collagen development can take some time, so it may be several weeks before the improvements in the face fully take hold. But the gradual onset of results gives patients results that look more natural and less over-filled. You’ll never look like suddenly went and "had work done."

3. Long-Lasting Improvement

Because this filler essentially rebuilds the underlying infrastructure of the face by generating collagen, it offers results that last much longer than most other injectables. Patients usually enjoy their results for two years or more. Even if you decide not to repeat the treatment, you’ll still come out ahead in the aging process because of the extra collagen created by that one fluid facelift.

4. A Low-Maintenance Option

This filler involves an initial series of treatments, each of which can be performed in less than an hour and requires no downtime. Many patients even schedule these appointments during their lunch hour.

Once you’ve completed the initial series of injections, you’ll be good to go for two years, and you won’t have to worry about coming back every few months for maintenance treatments or top-offs. You won’t have to give this filler another thought.

5. Allergies Are Not a Concern

Many of the other fillers on the market are composed of hyaluronic acid, which retains moisture and helps the skin stay hydrated. Sculptra contains Poly-L-Lactic Acid, a substance that is used in dissolvable sutures.

This dermal filler poses no risk of an allergic reaction and does not require allergy testing, because Poly-L-Lactic Acid is synthetic. Once it’s done the job of jump-starting collagen development, the Poly-L-Lactic Acid naturally fades from the body.

6. It Can Even Lift Your Butt

This dermal filler is most often used to enhance the face and reverse signs of aging, but did you know this injectable can also be used to perk up the buttocks? It works in much the same way in the buttocks. After your treatment, this filler generates collagen production, which lifts and tones the derriere over a period of months.

What to Expect From Treatment

This dermal filler treatment is not all that different than any other cosmetic injection. We’ll begin by cleansing the treatment area and applying a topical numbing ointment.

The filler will be injected beneath the skin, and we’ll then massage the injection site to make sure the Poly-L-Lactic Acid is appropriately distributed for maximum results. This dermal filler also includes a local anesthetic called lidocaine, which ensures the patient’s comfort.

What Should I Do After My Injection?

You’ll be able to get right back to your regular schedule after your appointment with only a few recommendations for the first few days after treatment. We ask patients to massage the injection site for five minutes, five different times a day.

These self massages further ensure that the Poly-L-Lactic acid is fully distributed. We also recommend that patients avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for several days after their injection.

How Many Treatments Are Necessary?

It’s not unusual for a patient to undergo four treatments over a period of weeks. But because each patient has different cosmetic needs, treatment plans can vary.

Is This a Safe Injectable?

This filler won FDA approval in 2009 and has been widely and safely used ever since.

Can This Filler Be Combined With Other Cosmetic Services?

Patients often combine this filler with other services, including botulinum toxin injections, micro-needling, and laser treatments. We can work with you to develop a custom treatment plan that addresses your cosmetic concerns and goals.

How Does This Treatment Differ From Other Dermal Fillers?

One of the key differences between a liquid facelift and the other injectable gel fillers on the market is that it focuses less on actually "filling" the face, and more on stimulating collagen production. In other words, Sculptra encourages the face to fill itself with additional collagen production.

The gradual onset of results is also something that is unique to Sculptra. Some other dermal fillers offer patients results in as soon as two weeks, although those other fillers usually don’t last more than a year.

Am I a Candidate?

If you’re interested in finding out if you are a candidate for this unique dermal filler, the first step is to schedule a consultation at our practice. During this session, we’ll review your health history, evaluate your areas of concern, talk with you about your cosmetic goals, and determine if this treatment is a good option for you. But here are some early indicators that you may be an especially good candidate:

Is Your Face Is Beginning to Lose Volume?

A liquid facelift is more than a wrinkle-buster. This treatment also plumps the face, restores its youthful contours, and fills in areas that have begun to hollow. The patients who benefit the most from a liquid facelift are those who have begun to experience a decline in facial volume and who could use a more comprehensive rejuvenation.


Can You Wait for the Results?

Because this filler doesn’t deliver its full results for several months, it’s not a great option if you’re in search of a quick-fix treatment before a big event. You’ll need to be patient and wait for the results, but most of our clients find that it’s well worth the wait.

Because of the gradual onset of results and the long-lasting improvement it offers, this filler makes a great component of a long-term anti-aging regimen.

Are You in Good Health?

It helps if you are in good overall health and free of any significant underlying conditions. This treatment is not recommended for those who are immunocompromised. It’s also not recommended for patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Be sure to mention any long-term health issues to us during your consultation.

Is Your Skin in Good Shape?

This treatment is also best performed on patients who have skin that is healthy and free of inflammation or infection. If your skin is inflamed, we may recommend postponing your injection.

Will You Be Able to Do the Post-Treatment Massage?

The daily self-massages that we recommend during the first few days after injection are an important part of this treatment because they ensure that the Poly-L-Lactic Acid is distributed for maximum effect.

Do You Prefer a Convenient, Non-Invasive Treatment?

A surgical facelift is also an option for patients who are seeking this type of facial rejuvenation, but not everyone can commit to the downtime associated with a more invasive treatment. Given the results this dermal filler offers, it’s an amazingly convenient option.

A series of easy, in-office injections, each of which can be performed during a lunch hour, is all that is standing between you and a more youthful appearance.

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