Sculptra® and Sculptra® Aesthetic Long Lasting Filler Injections
Non-surgical Facial Volumizing Treatment in the San Diego Area
Dr. Melanie Palm is a noted expert in the use of non-surgical injectables and the author of several articles on Sculptra® and Sculptra® Aesthetic. She serves on the national Sculptra® Advisory Committee and is a physician trainer for the product as well. Dr. Palm instructs other board-certified dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and oculoplastic surgeons on the safety, injection technique, and use of both products. She speaks regionally and nationally on the use of these products to treat facial aging and is one of the top 5 physician trainers in the U.S. Her offices are located in Solana Beach, CA just north of San Diego.
What are Sculptra® and Sculptra® Aesthetic?
Poly-L-lactic acid is a longer lasting volumizing agent. This product has been used since 1999 in Europe under the name NewFill®. In the United States, FDA-approval was originally granted for Sculptra® in 2004 for the correction of volume loss due to HIV lipoatrophy. In 2009, this same product was re-branded as Sculptra® Aesthetic and received a cosmetic indication for the correction of moderate to severe facial folds due to facial aging.
What is poly-L-lactic acid and how does Sculptra® Aesthetic work?
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), the active component of Sculptra® Aesthetic, has been utilized in medical devices for nearly four decades. PLLA is used in some orthopedic devices as well as in absorbable sutures used in skin surgery. Sculptra® Aesthetic is available from the manufacturer as a vial containing a powder form of PLLA. The dry product is reconstituted with sterile water and allowed to reconstitute. This solution of Sculptra® Aesthetic is injected under the skin into the dermis and fat layers. Slowly, over a period of weeks to months, the particles of PLLA dissolve into carbon dioxide and water. The presence of PLLA in the areas of placement stimulates your own body to build collagen in its place. For this reason, it is often referred to as a “biostimulatory agent.”
How much do filler injections cost in the San Diego area and how many treatments will I need?
This filler requires a series of treatments. Most commonly, 1-2 vials are used per treatments, which are spaced approximately 4-6 weeks apart. Collagen formation occurs over the following several months. Gradual volume replacement improves wrinkles and facial folds in many areas of the face.
The Role of Sculptra® Aesthetic in the aging process
Aging is a complex process. In the face, a combination of factors leads to an aged appearance. Loss of bony support, facial fat, and soft tissue support leads to a deflated appearance to the face. Collagen breakdown in the skin over time causes decreased skin thickness, the formation of wrinkles, and the loss of firm texture to the skin. Replacing volume by collagen stimulation (neocollagenesis) using this product can lead to a dramatically improved, youthful appearance. This can replace volume caused by soft tissue, fat, and bony loss, allowing skin to re-drape appropriately, much like re-inflating a half-filled balloon.
Sculptra® Aesthetic FAQ
Where can it be injected?
Areas frequently targeted for Sculptra® Aesthetic treatment include not only deep facial folds such as the nasolabial folds or marionette lines, but also the cheeks, jawline, and temples. Treatment of the temples and brow area can improve facial balance and improve the appearance of the skin around the eye area over time. Sculptra® can be used to replace volume in patients following traditional facelifts. Sculptra® Aesthetic should not be used around the lips and close to the eye area.
Aesthetic Sculptra® Aesthetic may be used in an “off-label” manner to treat the temples (on the face) as well as other non-facial areas. Wrinkles in the décolletage area of the chest respond well to a series of Sculptra® Aesthetic. Treatment of the chest area complements breast augmentation procedures or photorejuvenative procedures such as Intense Pulsed Light or Photodynamic Therapy.
How long does it last?
Sculptra® Aesthetic is approved for 2 years of duration, but clinical studies suggest patients may experience 36 months or more of persistent wrinkle correction.
Can this filler injections be combined with other procedures?
If you are looking for a non-surgical alternative for getting rid of wrinkles and lines in the San Diego area, call Dr. Melanie Palm at 858.792.SKIN (7546) to schedule your appointment.