Sculptra® Aesthetic is an FDA-approved injectable product that we use at California Skin Institute to reduce and correct the signs of facial fat loss that is so often the result of aging. The treatment is considered to be safe, with minimal side effects, and long term improvements in the thickness and elasticity of facial skin.

What is Sculptra® Aesthetic used for?

Also known as “poly-L-lactic acid,” Sculptra® Aesthetic is a synthetic, and biocompatible (does not harm the body) dermal filler that helps replace the loss of fatty tissues in the face, thereby decreasing the appearance of wrinkles. Like most dermal fillers, Sculptra® Aesthetic provides temporary results (as the filler is biodegradable: able to be broken down by the body), but these tend to last longer than hyaluronic acid or botulinum toxin based fillers.

Some of the more common problems treated by Sculptra® Aesthetic include:

  • Deep folds between the nose and the mouth, or, smile line
  • Lines framing your mouth (marionette lines)
  • Chin wrinkles

How does Sculptra® Aesthetic work?

Sculptra® Aesthetic is injected under the skin with the specific goal of addressing fat loss that contributes to wrinkles and sagging of facial skin. The treatment uses poly-L-lactic acid to provide a gradual increase in skin thickness by stimulating collagen production. In this way, it is somewhat similar to Radiesse® Volumizing Filler, because the latter also works to stimulate collagen. However, whereas Radiesse® utilizes calcium-based microspheres to provide immediate results by building scaffolding under the skin (which eventually stimulates collagen), Sculptra® Aesthetic uses poly-L-lactic acid to stimulate collagen production gradually, for lasting results that appear over several treatments.

Though the results may take several treatments to show, and the change will take place gradually, over several months, Sculptra® Aesthetic actually helps restore lost collagen — not just temporarily fill the space under the wrinkle. By doing so, Sculptra® focuses on restoring the structure under the skin for smoother skin and fuller volume that can last for two or more years.

This is a very important point to keep in mind, because though dermal fillers may have the same goal – to reduce wrinkles and tighten facial skin – they can have very different modes of approaching the same problem. As a patient, it is important for you to find a highly experienced doctor who understand these treatments and all the nuances that will impact your long term satisfaction with the results. At California Skin Institute we understand dermal fillers and injections like Sculptra® Aesthetic very well, and can help you choose the best treatment options that are unique to your aesthetic goals. Please feel free to contact use here, if you have any questions.

What can I expect at my Sculptra® treatment session?

After you remove any makeup from the treatment site and your skin has been disinfected, a California Skin Institute skin care expert will use a very fine needle to injection small amounts Sculptra® Aesthetic under the skin. An ice pack is then applied to help reduce swelling, and the area is thoroughly massaged to distribute the product evenly. This is important, because even distribution helps the collagen grow more evenly, rather than in just one place.

Some patients may experience minimal bruising that can last for up to a week after treatment, but you will be provided with specific post-treatment care instructions, that can speed up recovery and yield more effective long term results.

How long do Sculptra® Aesthetic results last?

During your first Sculptra® Aesthetic you may become very excited because the light swelling from the injections and the water used to dilute Sculptra® Aesthetic can take up volume under the skin, making it appear as if wrinkles have been reduced. However, in a few days, after the swelling has decreased and the water has been absorbed into your body, you may look as you did before your treatment. But again, this is because Sculptra® Aesthetic takes time to gradually thicken the skin by stimulating collagen: it won’t provide immediate results like hyaluronic acid fillers.

With regular touch-up treatments, the results can last for up to 2 years after initial treatment.

Sculptra® Aesthetic considerations

Here at California Skin Institute our doctors do our best to keep injections as pain free as possible. However, even with local anesthetic, some patients may experience mild pain or discomfort. Immediately following the injections, you may notice redness, swelling, pain, or bruising in the treatment site, but these usually dissipate in as little as a few hours, to a few days in some cases.