The human body showing signs of aging is natural and inevitable. Time takes its toll on our bodies, and we begin seeing more fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the facial area. If you’re noticing changes when you look in the mirror, you aren’t alone. Here at Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA, we’ve helped countless people turn back the clock on their aging and boost their confidence with our revolutionary Sculptra treatment.
The effects of time and certain illnesses can rob our skin of its natural elasticity, and that’s why we start noticing wrinkles. While other treatments only aim to treat the appearance of fine lines, our treatment targets the underlying issue by restoring elasticity. Our treatment is longer-lasting than others as well, even though it’s far less invasive than other skin treatments. The second-best treatment option out there produces results that only last a few months, while ours can last years.
How Fast Will Sculptra Start Working?
Although the exact timeline will be different from patient to patient, our treatment takes the “slow and steady” approach to improve fine lines and wrinkles. Some people with mild to moderate wrinkles may start to notice changes as soon as their first session, but the majority of our patients start seeing results following their second session. The longest a patient will need to wait to see improvements after their second session is around 12 weeks.
Most of our patients see the full benefits of the treatment over the next few weeks following their second appointment. The positive changes will subtly improve day by day starting a few days after your session. Since our treatment aims to stimulate your body’s collagen production, the results will appear natural and won’t look jarring or fake.
Filler Treatment FAQs
What Is Sculptra?
This treatment is one of our many options for dermal fillers, which are injectable treatments that go underneath the skin to encourage change from within. This treatment goes underneath the dermis to target and encourage increased production of the protein collagen. The main ingredient in our filler treatment is poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which is a completely safe biocompatible, biodegradable implant substance. The acid’s job is to plump up the skin and encourage the production of new, healthy collagen.
What Is Poly-L-Lactic Acid?
At our practice, we offer hyaluronic acid fillers as well as collagen-stimulating fillers. Poly-L-lactic acid falls into the latter category of these fillers, as the main goal of the acid is to assist the body in accelerating collagen production.
This acid has been used in the medical field for many years now due to its biocompatibility. The body will not reject or have adverse reactions to this substance because it’s a form of lactic acid, a chemical that’s already naturally found in the body. PLLA first came to the medical world for things like implants and dissolvable stitches. When estheticians saw how effective PLLA was for these surgical purposes, they saw promising potential in the cosmetic medical world.
Why Would I Need This Treatment?
Patients can enjoy the benefits of this treatment if they are concerned about the appearance of shallow or deep fine lines/wrinkles. We see most of our patients for areas such as smile lines, laugh lines, and chin wrinkles. Collagen is the main reason why we have such smooth skin when we’re younger. Collagen supports hydration, structure, and elastin within the skin, so it makes sense to seek out a treatment that brings the collagen back to its former glory.
We naturally lose the amount of collagen in our skin over time, but did you know that we lose approximately one percent of collagen per year starting at around age 20? This means that by the age of 45, we could potentially have lost a quarter of our body’s collagen count. If you receive our treatment, you won’t have to be a part of this statistic.
Why Should I Choose This Treatment Above Others?
There are many different types of anti-aging and skincare treatments out there that claim to do what our treatment does. The most common of these are known as collagen creams, and these are usually sold over the counter. They encourage customers with promising claims and appeal to those trying to save money by marketing the product as a “cheap at-home solution.” The truth about these creams is that they cannot penetrate the dermis enough to produce any results.
Some places offer oral collagen supplements. Although these go deeper into the body than creams, the digestive system will automatically break down these proteins and prevent them from getting to the areas you’re trying to improve. At best, research has produced inconclusive results on collagen supplements. There are also toxins being offered by some practices that aim to weaken the facial muscles and get them to relax, but these toxins are only effective for about two or three months.
Where on the Body Can I Receive This Treatment?
Our Sculptra filler treatment can benefit all different parts of the body. Some of the most common problem areas for many of our patients include facial wrinkles around the chin, nose, and mouth. Other patients use the treatment to fix facial symmetry and hollow areas or to help with contouring the cheeks. Some individuals find that the treatment offers great results for things like lifting or augmenting the butt and fixing wrinkles in the knees/elbows or chest.
Your Treatment Session: What To Expect
What Does the Treatment Entail?
The PLLA is placed inside a syringe and tiny injections are made into the dermal plane of the skin over the problem areas. The syringe only needs to penetrate the epidermis, or top layer of the skin, in order to reach the underlying strands of old collagen that lie beneath. The PLLA gradually attaches itself to the collagen strands and stimulates them over time, encouraging them to produce more collagen that’s healthy, new, and elastic.
Rather than invading the body for surgical implants or trying to paralyze the muscles like other treatments, our Sculptra filler uses as little lactic acid as necessary. This is so that the main focus of the session is encouraging your skin’s natural systems to work to your benefit and give you authentic results that are guaranteed to look good on you. Rather than make you into something you’re not, we are instead restoring your own brand of beauty.
How Should I Prepare Pre-Treatment?
The neat thing about such a non-invasive treatment option is the lack of strict preparation it requires in the days leading up to your appointment. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re well-hydrated before any treatment session. This is especially true for the Sculptra treatment, as ample hydration will help the PLLA do its job and help the collagen speed up its production.
Since our treatment involves small injections under the skin, we usually ask our patients to avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin three to five days before their appointment. These common over-the-counter pain relievers also tend to have blood-thinning effects on the body, and that can make even the smallest incisions bleed excessively. For similar reasons, we advise our patients to refrain from the consumption of alcohol for 24 hours before their appointment.
What Should I Expect Post-Treatment?
Thanks to the non-invasive nature of our treatment, most of our patients find that they’re able to go back to their productive lives right after leaving their appointment. This means no annoying downtime, and you likely won’t even have to take any time off of work. Despite this, there are still things we will recommend for you in the days that follow your session to ensure you get maximum benefits.
We will tell you to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight for at least the first 24 hours after your appointment and to wear a high-SPF sunscreen if sun exposure is inevitable. You may continue your normal skincare regimen right after treatment, but we advise against using hot water to clean your face. It may also be a good idea for you to take it easy on your workouts for the next few days to avoid excessive sweating.
Reverse the Clock on Aging
The dream of looking younger and restoring your natural beauty can become a reality with our effective treatment. Schedule your appointment with us today at Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA, and go back in time ten years. For your convenience, we offer an online patient portal that allows you to reach us outside our normal office hours. All you have to do is submit pictures of your problem areas, and we’ll get with you in three business days or less!