When skin is younger, the epidermins, dermis, and the subdermal work together to protect the body from UV rays and to contribute to smooth and youthful-looking skin. Your body produces collagen to support and maintain the structure of your skin. As you age, however, collagen production decreases which can lead to wrinkles and a loss of elasticity. While this is part of the natural aging process, other external factors such as smoking and excessive exposure to sunlight and pollution can speed up these effects.
One option for reducing lines and helping your body to produce more collagen is an injectable treatment called Sculptra Aesthetic. This treatment is often used for smile lines, marionette lines, and chin wrinkles. At Nunnally Dermatology we offer Sculptra as one option that may help soften facial lines and make your face fresh and bright.
What Is Sculptra?
Sculptra is an injectable solution that has been available since 1999. The active ingredient in this treatment is poly-L-lactic acid. PLLA is biocompatible, meaning that it is a substance that does not harm the body, and biodegradable, meaning that your body can break it down and absorb it over time. During Sculptra treatments, this solution is injected in small amounts in a grid around the desired treatment areas. When injected by a licensed physician, Sculptra may help to fill in deep lines such as nasolabial folds, and it can also help to restore volume to these areas.
How Does Sculptra Work?
When poly-L-lactic acid is injected into the deep dermis, your body has a natural response to the PLLA particles. Your body will begin to accumulate fibroblasts in the area. Fibroblasts are a type of cell that produces collagen along with other types of fibers. Your body then slowly breaks down the PLLA into harmless substances such as water, sucrose, and carbon dioxide. With the increased production of collagen, your skin can be better supported and may look more youthful and smoother as a result.
How Does Sculptra Compare to Other Wrinkle Treatments?
We believe that no one treatment is a miracle solution for your skin. Before we discuss treatments at our clinic, we start by giving you a unique and personalized skin care regimen to help you care for your skin and to support any treatments that we decide to incorporate. This helps us to focus on the health as well as the appearance of your skin. Sculptra may be one beneficial addition to your skin care process.
Sculptra is unique because, unlike collagen creams which are only able to penetrate the top layers of the dermis, this treatment is able to penetrate into deeper layers. It is also unique because it works with your body to produce collagen, making it different from toxin products or fillers. Some people choose to combine methods to target different areas, and this can always be a topic of conversation when you have a consultation with us at our clinic.
What Can You Expect From Sculptra Treatments?
Taking a full medical history and discussing goals are both important first steps any time a patient is considering Sculptra injections. We discuss current medications, medical conditions, and expectations for the treatment.
On the day of treatment, we will cleanse your face to remove any make-up or impurities. Then we mark the areas to be treated using a grid and we apply an antiseptic to the area. Then we use a very fine needle to inject carefully controlled amounts in the grid area. Following the injections, we will gently massage the area. This helps the solution to spread out through the treatment area.
One treatment is sometimes enough. However, the average amount of treatments to see optimal results is three, and you may need up to four. We always wait 3-4 weeks in between treatments to assess the results and discuss further treatments.
It may take some time for collagen stimulation to take place and for you to see a difference in your skin. Generally, if you see a difference within the first 2 days, you are noticing water which is used as a filler in the solution. This water will be absorbed within 48 hours and your skin will likely return to normal. However, over the course of several treatments, you may begin to notice the softening of wrinkles and folds.
How to Care for Your Skin After Your Sculptra Treatment
After your treatment, we will apply an ice pack to the injection site to help with any swelling or soreness that you may experience. You can return to your day directly after treatment, but we will recommend follow-up care to help achieve the best results. You can apply ice any time you experience soreness or swelling. Additionally, we’ll instruct you to follow our 5, 5, 5 rule. Massage the area for 5 minutes, 5 times every day, for the first 5 days after treatment. You can wear make-up several hours after Sculptra injections, but make sure to avoid UV exposure.
Are There Any Side Effects to Sculptra Treatments?
The most common side effects reported after Sculptra Aesthetic treatments are swelling, redness, bruising near the injection sites, and soreness. Some patients also reported lumps in the injection area. These usually go away on their own, but some may need to be treated by a doctor. Although a rare occurrence, if the product is accidentally injected into a blood vessel, more serious side effects can occur. Be sure to less us know right away if you have vision changes or other serious side effects.
Sculptra Injections in Baton Rouge, LA
Collagen stimulation through Sculptra Aesthetic treatments is one way to help your skin appear more youthful. At Nunnally Dermatology, we specialize in finding solutions that are as unique as you are to help you achieve your goals for skin health and vibrancy. If you live in Baton Rouge, LA, call us today for more information about this treatment.