What is Sculptra?

Sculptra is an injectable product that contains microparticles of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). PLLA has been widely used for more than 30 years in medical products such as absorbable sutures, and is typically non-toxic. It is biocompatible and biodegradable.

How does Sculptra work?

Sculptra is injected into the deep layers of the skin. Over time the PLLA is absorbed by the body’s immune system, and a result of this activity is the formation of new collagen at the injection sites. This new collagen thickens the skin and increases the tone and texture, producing an improved cosmetic appearance.

What areas respond the best to treatment?

Sculptra can be used to improve the appearance of the skin in the mid and lower face. Specifically, it is excellent for cheeks and cheek bones, tear troughs, nasolabial folds, and the jawline and chin.

Is it safe?

Sculptra is a very safe product to use. The most common side effects are injection-related side effects at the injection site, such as bleeding, tenderness, redness, bruising or swelling. There is a risk of papule or nodule formation due to the injected material, which is minimised by skilled injection technique and proper post-injection care.

What do treatments involve?

Treatment sessions involve several small needles injections on each side of the face. A numbing cream can be applied to the skin before-hand but is not usually necessary. During the procedure your doctor will firmly massage the treated area, and you will be instructed about self-massage of the treated area, which must be performed over the next 5 days after the procedure at home. A series of treatments is required to produce the optimal cosmetic result. These treatment sessions will be at monthly intervals. Sculptra produces gradual cosmetic improvement in the days to weeks after each session, so it is important to assess the progress at these intervals.

How long does it last?

The cosmetic effect from Sculptra can last up to two years. Touch-up treatments may be required at intervals to maintain the cosmetic effect.

How will I look after my treatment?

Immediately after your treatment there will be some injection-related swelling which will produce improvement in the cosmetic appearance of the skin; this however is transient and the skin will return to its pre-treatment appearance within hours to days. Subsequently, the increased collagen production in the skin will thicken the skin and the correction of volume deficit will become sustained. There may be some bruising associated with the injection procedure, which will subside within a week.

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