What Is Sculptra Used for?

Do people ask you if you are ill because you have lost so much volume in your cheeks? Do you feel that the bones and veins in your hands are too visible, making you look older than you actually are? If you answered yes to any of the aforementioned questions, you may be the perfect candidate for Sculptra at One Life Health and Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Here’s what you need to know. 

What Is Sculptra Used for? 

Sculptra is used to increase volume in areas of volume loss caused by weight loss or age. This poly-L -lactic acid (PLLA)-based dermal filler is classified as a collagen stimulator; in other words, after the chemical compound is injected into the targeted region, the skin in the targeted region begins to produce extra collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin tight, youthful, smooth and volumized.

How Soon Can I See the Final Results of This Treatment? 

After your PLLA injections, you will see an immediate improvement in the treated areas. However, you will not enjoy the final results of treatment until your skin has finished producing extra collagen in response to the injections. This collagen production process can take anywhere from one to six months but usually takes around three months.

There are several steps you can take to see the final results of treatment faster. For example, you can massage the treatment area; we will explore this in greater detail in a minute. You can also ensure that you are hydrated for the first few months after your final session. Hydration needs vary for everyone but you should be able to maintain adequate hydration by drinking between eight and 16 eight-ounce cups of water, tea and coffee daily.

What Else You Can Do to See the Final Results of Your Treatment Faster

If you want to see the final results of your treatment as quickly as possible, you should focus on your nutrition. To support rapid collagen production, make sure you are eating plenty of protein, citrus fruits and berries. Collagen is a protein and your skin cannot produce an adequate amount of collagen without enough protein in your diet. Berries and citrus fruits are high in micronutrients that are also essential for your skin to produce collagen.

Another thing you’ll want to focus on if you want to see your final results as quickly as possible is minimizing your consumption of processed foods, like frozen foods, protein shakes, skim or low-fat dairy products and candy. Processed foods are usually high in sugars, including artificial sugars, and other ingredients that will weaken your collagen and slow your skin’s ability to produce new collagen.

How Many Sessions Will I Need to Achieve My Ideal Aesthetic? 

You will need anywhere from one to six treatment sessions to achieve the look you want. However, most people find that they only two or three sessions per targeted area. You will only need five or six sessions to improve your aesthetic if you are in your 50s or 60s or have extreme volume loss caused by an illness or unhealthy lifestyle.

When you come in for your initial evaluation, we will assess the severity of the cosmetic concerns you have. If you have several mild-to-moderate concerns, we can quickly and effectively treat several areas in the same session. If you have several moderate-to-severe concerns that each requires several doses, we may need to break up the treatment of several areas into multiple sessions.

What Can’t This Injectable Treat? 

It is important to note that this injectable is not appropriate for the treatment of all volume loss-related concerns. According to the FDA, this treatment should not be used to eliminate wrinkles affecting the upper eyelids and it should not be used to augment the lips. If you have concerns about the appearance of your upper eyelids, tear troughs or lips, we have several safe, effective options for you to choose from.

How Should I Prepare for Treatment? 

Since this treatment is non-invasive and does not involve general anesthesia or sedation, there is not too much you need to do before your scheduled appointment. For example, there is no need to fast in the 12 hours leading up to your session. However, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for treatment. The most important thing to do in preparation for your session is ensuring that you are hydrated and well-nourished.

The more hydrated and nourished you are, the sooner you will see the final results of your treatment and the sooner you will “recover” from the injections. We strongly recommend that you eat a small, healthy meal or snack and drink at least 16 ounces of water within a couple of hours of your scheduled appointment. You should also avoid taking any drugs or nutritional supplements that can thin your blood or prevent clotting.

What Can I Expect During the Recovery Process? 

Luckily, due to the non-invasive nature of the treatment, the recovery process after treatment is minimal. There is no downtime associated with Sculptra injections so you are free to return to work or whatever leisure activities you had planned. Nevertheless, you must refrain from applying any cosmetics, including moisturizer and makeup, to the treated area for the first three hours following the injections.

If you have a headache or have any other pain or discomfort during the first few days following your treatment, you may take over-the-counter analgesics as long as they do not have any blood-thinning properties. Furthermore, we strongly recommend that you follow the rule of five following your session. Gently massage the treated area five times daily for the first five days following the session for five minutes at a time. This will help you see results faster.

How Long Do the Results of Treatment Last? 

The results of this treatment usually last around five years before fading slowly. The final results of your treatment will fade faster if you engage in certain lifestyle choices, like smoking, drinking alcohol or sunbathing, that are not conducive to healthy collagen. The final results of your treatment will also fade faster if you are in your 60s or received only a small dose.

We recommend coming in for a follow-up appointment every two years to see if you need to supplement your anti-aging routine with a small maintenance dose or another wrinkle-smoothing treatment. The more steps you take to keep your skin producing collagen efficiently, the longer the results of your treatment will last.

The Importance of Sun Exposure Reduction in Maintaining the Results of Your Treatment

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays is arguably the most important thing you can do to maintain the results of your treatment. While it’s important to limit your consumption of alcohol and tobacco, you probably spend much more time exposed to the sun than you do consuming alcohol and tobacco.

UVA and UVC rays penetrate the outer layers of your skin, damaging the collagen fibers deep within your dermis. This damage leads to the production of atypical elastin. In turn, atypical elastin produces enzymes that degrade your existing collagen rather than rebuilding it. The end results are wrinkles caused by collagen loss, ruddy or hyperpigmented skin and sagging skin. To combat this, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from UVA and UVC rays.

How Safe Is This Treatment? 

Sculptra is extremely safe. This PLLA-based dermal filler has been around since 1999 and it was first FDA-approved in 2004. The original intent of this medication was the treatment of lipoatrophy in individuals with HIV. However, research on this powerful, durable injectable continued. A decade later, the FDA declared that the injectable could be used to you then the appearance of the face by safely and effectively erasing volume loss-caused wrinkles.

Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment? 

You may be considered a good candidate for this treatment if you are fairly healthy and have volume loss caused by collagen or fat loss. However, this treatment is not appropriate for everyone. For example, even if you are fairly healthy, you will not be considered a good candidate for treatment if you are trying to become pregnant, pregnant or nursing.

We will assess your problem areas and medical history thoroughly during your initial consultation to ensure that your cosmetic concerns can be treated with this injectable and you are healthy enough for treatment. However, since this treatment was originally designed to correct the side effects of HIV, you don’t have to be extremely healthy to be considered a good candidate. To summarize briefly, we are looking for individuals who: 

  • Want to shave five to 15 years off of their appearance for years at a time
  • Do not want to undergo several invasive procedures to achieve their goals
  • Have marionette lines they wish to erase
  • Have crow’s feet they wish to erase
  • Have cheekbones that are too prominent
  • Have sagging cheek skin they wish to tighten
  • Have hollow temples
  • Have bony or venous hands
  • Have moderate-to-severe wrinkles on the chest
  • Have smile lines they wish to erase

Two Important Notes

One of the most incredible benefits provided by this injectable is that it is hypoallergenic. The ingredients contain no bacterial or animal components so there is no need to undergo an allergy test as part of the process to determine if you are a good candidate. Since the chemical compounds are natural, there is no risk that you will be allergic to them and your skin will eventually break them down into carbon dioxide and water.

Another really exciting thing about this treatment is how natural the results look. The PLLA provides an initial volume boost in the treatment area. This volume increase looks completely natural and allows for a complete range of motion. As your skin breaks the compounds down, it is producing its own collagen. Therefore, rather than fading, your results improve for up to half of a year.

Discover if This Is the Appropriate Anti-Aging Treatment for You

Sculptra is an incredible anti-aging treatment if your volume loss is caused by collagen loss. It is also a safe, affordable, effective re-contouring and skin tightening treatment after extensive weight loss caused by severe illness. It can be used to increase volume virtually anywhere, from your face and chest to your hands. To find out if this treatment is right for you, book an appointment with our experts at One Life Health and Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.