What is Sculptra?

Marionette lines are wrinkles run from the corners of your mouth down your chin and can make your face look drawn and aged. Sculptra is an injectable dermal filler that has been around since 1999 and can add fullness back to your face and restore a youthful look. In 2014, the FDA approved Sculptra Aesthetic for treating wrinkles and folds on the face to give a more youthful appearance. The main ingredient in Sculptra is poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). It’s classified as a collagen stimulator that provides long-lasting, natural-looking results that can last up to two years. Sculptra is safe and effective but isn’t recommended for people with allergies to any of its ingredients or for those with medical conditions that cause irregular scarring.

How does Sculptra work?

Sculptra is injected into the skin to diminish facial wrinkles. Working deep beneath the skin’s surface to boost your body's natural collagen production, treatment with Sculptra adds volume to your face. It contains PLLA, which acts as a collagen stimulator, helping to gradually restore fullness to facial wrinkles and folds. This results in a softer and more youthful appearance. You may notice immediate results, but it can take a few months to see the full results of your treatment. Your doctor will work with you to determine the number of treatment sessions needed to achieve the best result. The average regimen consists of three injections spread out over three or four months.

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Procedure for Sculptra

During your initial consultation with your doctor, you’ll be asked to provide your complete medical history, including any medical conditions and allergies. On the day of your first Sculptra treatment, your doctor will map the injection sites on your skin and cleanse the area. A topical anesthetic may be applied to help with any discomfort. Your doctor will then inject your skin using multiple small injections. You should be able to return to your normal activities immediately after treatment. Your doctor will advise you of any special instructions.

Are there any risks or side effects?

You can expect some swelling and bruising at the injection site. Other common side effects include:

  • Redness

  • Tenderness

  • Pain

  • Bleeding

  • Itching

  • Bumps

Some people may develop lumps under the skin and skin discoloration. This appears to be related to the depth of the injection, highlighting the importance of finding a qualified professional.

Sculptra shouldn’t be used by people with a history of irregular scarring or anyone allergic to the ingredients of Sculptra. It shouldn’t be used at the site of skin sores, acne, cysts, rashes, or other skin inflammation.

What to expect after Sculptra

Most people can return to their normal activities immediately after Sculptra injections. Swelling, bruising, and other side effects are usually mild and subside within a few days. Doing the following will help speed along your recovery:

  • Apply a cold pack to the affected area for a few minutes at a time within the first 24 hours.

  • Following treatment, massage the area for five minutes at a time, five times a day, for five days.

  • Avoid excessive sunlight or tanning beds until any redness and swelling has resolved.

  • Results are gradual, and it may take a few weeks to see the full effects of Sculptra. Results last up to two years.

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Preparing for Sculptra

There is no special preparation required for Sculptra. To reduce the risk of bleeding, your doctor may ask that you stop taking aspirin and ibuprofen a few days before treatment.

Are there other similar treatments?

Sculptra falls under the category of dermal fillers. There are several FDA-approved dermal fillers available, but unlike other fillers that push up the space just below wrinkles and folds for immediate results, Sculptra stimulates collagen production. The results appear gradually as your collagen production increases, and it lasts up to two years.

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