Sculptra Aesthetic has become a very popular option for delivering non-surgical facelifts and butt lifts. Patients love the long-lasting results this injectable offers and they love how it subtly improves their appearance over time. Let’s dig into what makes this product so popular.
The Importance of Collagen
A youthful complexion owes much of its smooth and hydrated look to collagen, a fibrous protein deep in the dermis (the inner layer of your skin beneath the epidermis). Collagen is your skin’s key ingredient, providing structure and giving your skin its “bounce.”
As we age, our bodies produce less and lower quality collagen, and the cells that make collagen (called fibroblasts) disappear over time. Inevitably, this is why our skin becomes less firm and supple. This loss of elasticity is experienced not only in our faces; many of us start to notice crepey skin, such as chest wrinkles, or “sagging” in areas like the buttocks as well.
As collagen wanes, our skin becomes thinner and lines and wrinkles become more visible. This decline typically begins in our early twenties, when we start to lose collagen at a rate of 1% a year. That means by the time we’re in our mid-40s, we are facing a collagen loss of about 25%.
Here is the good news. Several safe medical spa services and treatments have shown to stimulate collagen production, such as intense light pulse therapy (ILP), radio frequency, microneedling, and hyaluronic acid fillers. But surging to the top of these cosmetic therapies, for both men and women, is Sculptra® Aesthetic.
Sculptra Aesthetic is an FDA-approved injectable that subtly and gradually helps restore volume over time. Sculptra is a poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) collagen stimulator that, when absorbed, helps restore the deep, underlying structure of the skin by kickstarting your body’s natural collagen production mechanism. As collagen strands begin to gradually rebuild, the skin begins to look full again.
“The fact that Sculptra is a biostimulator sets it apart from other treatments and approaches,” says Jenn Cobbs, physician assistant and master injector at our medical spa. “Instead of adding volume outright, the injections of poly-L-lactic acid into your dermal layers causes a boost in collagen production and results in a natural glow and youthful volume that can last for years.”
Jenn was a practicing physician assistant for 15 years and brings a deep understanding of anatomy and medicine to the practice. She has received extensive training in injectables and is a national trainer for Allergan, the maker of Botox and Juvederm.
A Liquid Facelift With Sculptra
While many women and men want to fight back against the aging process, not everyone feels comfortable having surgery to look younger. Facial injectable treatments create a liquid facelift that plumps and smooths the skin without the need for surgery. The results of most dermal fillers typically last six to 12 months., but Sculptra Aesthetic is a biostimulant, not a filler, so the results last much longer.
Sculptra is typically administered over three or four treatment sessions lasting 45-minutes to an hour. However, the number of injections and injection appointments depend on how much collagen has been lost. A topical anesthetic is applied during treatment to ensure patients’ comfort.
Before injected, the PLLA is mixed with sterile water, which allows the polymers to disperse evenly throughout the injection area.
“Prior to a treatment session, I premix the polymers in sterile water and let them sit for 72 hours,” Jen says. “This allows for better dispersion in the connective tissues. Patients are asked to give themselves a daily facial massage for several days after each treatment, to help evenly distribute the product. That’s their homework.”
After completing a Sculptra series, most patients require only one annual maintenance treatment to prolong the positive effects.
Sculptra Aesthetic is FDA approved in the U.S. and has been used worldwide since 1999.
A Sculptra Butt Lift
While Sculptra is most often used to restore volume in the cheeks, temples, and along the jawline, the collagen stimulant can be used in almost any area of the body, such as the décolleté (upper chest). Growing exponentially in popularity, Sculptra also can be used as non-surgical alternative to the Brazilian Butt Lift, or BBL.
As with facial treatments, a Sculptra butt lift targets specific areas in the buttocks with injections of poly-L-lactic acid mixed with water. Unlike surgical procedures, there is no downtime required after a treatment session, and you can return to your typical activities immediately. The results of this non-surgical body contouring begin to show within two to three months of treatment and can last for years.
“Sculptra can be administered anywhere you’re seeking to improve crepey skin and the appearance of cellulite,” says Jen.
Are There Other Ways to Boost Collagen?
You can help your body preserve and protect collagen by avoiding behaviors that damage it. These include eating excessive amounts of sugar, smoking, and sun exposure.
Some people have also seen positive results from collagen supplements, eating protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, fish and seafood, beans, and dairy that supply a range of amino acids needed to make collagen. While there are many topical creams on the market that tout collagen support, but because collagen is produced in the deeper level of the skin, it is very hard for topical collagen to actually make it there.
Am I a Good Candidate for Sculptra?
Because Sculptra provides robust volume when injected into the skin, patients who require a significant volume to achieve their aesthetic goals are the best candidates. It can also be a sound preventative technique in slightly younger patients (in their 30s).
Sculptra is not ideal for those who:
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or younger than 18.
- Currently have any skin outbreaks, redness, or rashes. We advise waiting until those conditions resolve and then scheduling an evaluation.
- Are prone to keloid formation (raised scars that form after an injury has healed) or who have a history of hypertrophic scarring.
Not All Injectors are Created Equal
If you are considering an injectable filler treatment, you want to achieve natural and noticeable results. Unnatural or unsatisfactory results from poor injection technique is not an option. The popularity of these procedures may give the illusion that they are simple to perform, but in fact, filler injections are a medical procedure that requires specific training, knowledge, and skill to administer safely and effectively. The injector’s expertise is a crucial component in getting the results you want.
At our medical spa, our injectable procedures are administered by registered nurses and physician assistants who have master injector certifications, as well as, possess a deep understanding of facial anatomy and structure and years of training and medical experience.
We’re Here to Answer Your Questions
If you are interested in learning more about body contouring, liquid facelifts, or non-surgical butt lifts, we’re here to advise you!
Contact our office at 678-566-7200 to schedule an in-person consultation at our Midtown Atlanta office or our Alpharetta office. We also offer virtual consultations during this time of social distancing.