When you look in the mirror, do you notice the loss of volume in the skin on your face? Do your cheeks seem sunken? Does your skin seem thinner than it did when you were younger? These are all common problems that can be attributed to a loss of collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein in connective tissue and accounts for 80 percent of the dry weight of your skin.
Collagen works with something called elastin to maintain elasticity and firmness of the skin. So, when you pinch your skin and it “snaps back” to where it was, that’s the collagen doing its job.
Unfortunately, as we age, that collagen begins to break down, and the skin begins to look thinner and may begin to sag.
Typically, many patients seek a face-lift to address this lack of collagen, but a product called Sculptra may be able to restore that youthful look to your face without you having to go under the knife. Sculptra is an injectable treatment that can restore the fullness and elasticity your skin may be missing due to age. Here’s everything you need to know about Sculptra.
How Does It Work?
Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers that plump up the skin and restore lost volume, Sculptra isn’t a filler. Sculptra is an injectable poly-L-lactic acid that actually stimulates the growth of collagen in the skin. This means the firmness and elasticity you see is the real deal – your body’s own natural collagen, with a little encouragement from Sculptra.
How Long Does It Take to Work?
Unlike fillers, Sculptra won’t work immediately. It takes time for your skin to regrow new collagen, so the results of your Sculptra treatment won’t begin for about five or six months. But don’t worry – Sculptra is worth the wait!
How Long Does It Last?
Once Sculptra begins to work, you can expect your results to last around two to three years, though you may want small touch-ups here and there. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, lasts only about a year.
Where Can You Use Sculptra?
Sculptra works best for those sunken-looking areas of your face that have lost volume, such as the cheeks, lines around the nose and mouth, chin wrinkles, and the hollows around the eyes and temples. You may have heard of some people getting Sculptra below the neck, too, to treat chest wrinkles; however, this is an off-label use and is not FDA approved.
Is There Any Downtime Following a Sculptra Treatment?
Because Sculptra is an injection, most people don’t require any downtime following the procedure, which takes about an hour. Patients can go back to work, apply makeup and even go to the gym if they choose. Sculptra should not interfere with any of your daily activities.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Though side effects such as allergic reactions will vary by person, it is normal to have some bruising and swelling around the injection site, as well as some redness or itchiness. Most of these symptoms should go away within a week of receiving the injection and should not interfere with daily life. Be sure to follow the aftercare instructions provided by Dr. Chau following your treatment.
If you’d like to learn more about how Sculptra can restore a more youthful look to your skin, please contact Dr. Bruce Chau’s office for a consultation by calling 888-966-9471.