Facial skin and structure change over time, and it is normal to develop wrinkles and creases in the skin as you age. At Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA, we often recommend an effective and dynamic treatment called Sculptra to help control these signs of aging skin. The results are long-lasting and look natural, and you will end your treatment with a more radiant, more youthful face.
What Is Sculptra Treatment?
What Is Sculptra?
This is a breakthrough treatment that helps people who are experiencing age-related changes in their skin. These changes often come from a decrease in a natural substance called collagen. Sculptra uses poly-l Lactic acid to encourage your body to produce more collagen that will plump and fill in the skin.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced by your body. In fact, it is the protein that is found in your body in the highest amounts. It is found in many different parts of your body including skin, tendons, bones, and ligaments. It is like an adhesive that holds certain parts of the body together. In fact, the word collagen comes from a Greek word that means glue.
As you get older, your body produces less collagen. You can see this as your skin becomes looser and develops creases. If you smoke, eat a lot of sugar, or spend a lot of time in the sun, you may produce even less collagen. When you don’t have enough collagen, your skin becomes weak and loses the elasticity it once had.
What Is Poly L Lactic Acid?
Poly-l Lactic acid is a synthetic implant can that be placed under the skin to add plumpness and stimulate the body to produce more collagen. It was previously used in treatments like dissolvable stitches and bone screws because of its restorative properties.
History of the Treatment
This treatment was created in 1999 and first recognized by the FDA in 2004. At that time, it was approved for use in people who had lost fat cells in their facial skin because of autoimmune disease. In 2009, the FDA recognized it as an effective treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, and skin indentations caused by the natural process of aging.
What Happens Before Treatment?
The first thing you will need to do is come into the office for a consultation. We will ask you some questions about your medical history and any medications you may be taking. We will also talk to you about your specific challenges and goals for your skin. We will work with you to create a plan for successfully accomplishing the results you want to see.
At this time we will discuss the timing of the treatments and answer any questions you have about the process. We will talk about what you can expect and how you will look when the treatments are finished.
When you come in for your appointment, we will clean the areas on your face that will be treated and we will mark those places. Then we will apply a topical anesthetic so you will be comfortable during the process. The whole appointment typically takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.
How Is Sculptra Administered?
Some injectable treatments are placed directly into a muscle or a nerve in the area of focus. Rather than being injected into a specific place in the skin, Sculptra is injected in a way that allows it to be dispersed throughout the target area. It is placed under the skin and then massaged to encourage this dispersion.
The substance is injected with a small needle that slips under the skin. The material is introduced into the face and then moves throughout the area.
What Can It Treat?
Sometimes the skin around the temples can become weakened, causing a sunken appearance. This is especially true in people who are naturally lean. Sometimes the bone is actually lost in this area. In this case, the injections are made into both temples.
This is the term for the tiny folds between your nose and your mouth. They sometimes referred to as smile lines, and they can make you look older. The lines can be removed with filler and additional collagen to add elasticity to the skin. In this case, the injection is made in the alar triangle just under the nose.
These are the vertical lines that run from around the mouth and down toward the chin. They can make the lower part of your face look like it is loose or sagging. When you fill in those areas with an injectable filler, you eliminate the lines. The treatment is injected into the wrinkles.
Wrinkles in the chin come from years of using these muscles for certain facial expressions. They tend to appear as rainbow shaped divets and can be quite deep. Filler injections add volume to this area and allow the chin muscles to relax, causing the wrinkles to disappear. The injection is typically placed into the crease on the chin.
Hollow cheeks are often the result of the skin creating less collagen and your cheekbones deteriorating and weakening over time. Hallow cheeks contribute to making you look older. Amplifying the skin in your cheeks makes them pumper and more elastic and takes years off your face.
Injections to create volume in cheeks are placed into the zygomatic arch which is the curve of the cheekbone. Injections may also be placed in the mid-cheek if necessary for more elasticity in that region.
Loss of Volume in the Jawline
Your jawline can become weaker as you age, causing the area to loosen. Sometimes creases along your jawline area can develop as well. When you add collagen back to the jawline, you can renew the appearance of a strong, sculpted jaw that translates into a younger appearance.
Jawline injections may be made in the parotid areas at the end of the jawlines or in the buccal area in the lower part of the cheeks.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
You may be wondering if the treatment is right for you. We will have a consultation with you in our office to talk about the specifics of the treatment and to answer any questions you might have. At that time we can also determine whether or not you are a candidate for this approach. Many people have found success with this injectable, and chances are that you will as well.
Women and men can both benefit greatly from this injectable filler, and both genders see excellent results. In general, a good candidate is someone who is looking for a way of adding volume to the cheeks or sunken areas of the face. You may also be interested in controlling wrinkles that have occurred due to changes in your skin because of aging or overuse of muscles.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
Sculptra usually requires more than one treatment. Three is a common number of treatments, but it depends on a lot on your specific circumstances. If you are targeting a larger area, you may need more treatments than someone with a smaller area of concern.
The number of treatments also depends on how extensive your wrinkles or hollow areas are. Some people need more than a few treatments to fill in places that are hollowed or contoured. We will be able to suggest the right number of treatments after we talk to you about your specific needs.
What Are the Benefits?
Better Skin Texture
When your skin begins producing more collagen, the structure of your skin changes. The texture of your skin becomes smoother and more radiant. Your skin won’t look as dry or loose.
One important benefit of injectable treatments is that they do not involve surgery or the discomfort and recovery time that comes with it. Injectable treatments are done quickly and effectively in our office. After treatment, you are free to get on with your day.
This treatment works by stimulating your skin to re-energize and revitalize the qualities it had when you were younger. You are actually encouraging your skin to renew itself. This means the process creates stronger, healthier skin as well as making it more radiant and beautiful.
This treatment leaves you with natural results, so no one will know you went through the process unless you want to tell them. People will notice that your face looks youthful and more supple, but they will not immediately know that you had any kind of medical treatment.
Collagen is a natural part of your body, so it looks completely organic when your body begins to produce more. Your treatments will not be obvious at all.
The length of time your treatment will last depends on several factors including your personal skin challenges and how efficiently your body reacts to the filler. However, most people find that the treatment lasts at least two years. After that, approximately one treatment each year is all that is needed to maintain your natural, beautiful results.
How Quickly Will It Work?
Sculptra does not work as quickly as other kinds of skin fillers, but the results tend to last longer and the results are more natural. You are likely to start seeing changes after the second treatment, but the timeline varies for everyone. The timing of the changes to your skin also depends on where on your face the treatment was applied.
What Are the After Treatment Recommendations?
You will need to massage your skin after treatment to help the filler move throughout your skin. Mild pressure for about 5 minutes is all your need. Massage the area around 5 times each day. We will give you specific massage recommendations at your appointment.
There is no reason to avoid wearing makeup after treatment. You can go back to your natural makeup and skincare routine the same day as your treatment. In fact, you may want to bring some makeup to your session so you can touch up your face in the areas that are cleaned and prepped.
You will want to avoid direct sunlight after your treatment as you would at any time. Be sure to apply sunscreen when you are outside to protect your face from UV rays. Avoid tanning beds and chemicals.
Call Us Today
When skin loses its collagen and deteriorates over time, it can cause you to look older. You may be insecure about areas of your face that are sunken or loose, and you may wish your skin looked like it did many years ago. You don’t have to live with hollow or creased areas in your face. Call us at Prizant Dermatology in Pittsburgh, PA to schedule a consultation about effective treatments for your skin issues.