If you regularly receive injections such as Botox or Filler, you may have noticed a injectable circulating that claims to stimulate your body's own natural collagen. So what is it exactly? Sculptra is a biostimulator made of PLLA (poly-L-lactic acid which is an absorbable, semi-permanent, injectable that can gradually restore volume and stimulate collagen formation (Sickles, Nassereddin & Gross, 2022). This sounds amazing right? So does it actually work and is it safe?
When it comes to the anti-aging industry (a 70 BILLION dollar industry I may add) (Precedence Research, 2024), patients are constantly looking for the latest and greatest treatments to slow the aging clock. Trends in the last few years have seemingly transitioned back to a more natural look as overfilled lips and faces are becoming a thing of the past. So what treatments are available to keep us looking natural and avoid going under the knife?
Treatments like Radiofrequency Microneedling, PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) treatments (think Vampire Facials), and biostimulators such as Sculptra are becoming the treatments of choice for patients wishing to soften age-related skin changes. As an aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, I couldn't be happier that patients are desiring a more natural approach. As someone who's injected over 1000 patients, Sculptra has become my favorite injectable and I'll tell you why.
Slow and steady wins the race....
We all know that instant results come with disadvantages. This can applied to many things in life such as weight loss or "getting rich quick". The same goes for aesthetic treatments. If I inject you with filler, you'll get instant results (after swelling goes down of course). However, these results will start to "depreciate" over the next year and within about 6-12 months, you'll likely be back in asking for more filler, thinking the filler is gone. Unfortunately, filler doesn't just "go away" like we originally thought. Even through results will seemingly disappear, the filler usually remains, much flatter than before. This leads to injectors adding more filler every 6-12 months and within a few years, someone can look unrecognizable as the filler compounds and stretches the face.
Que: Sculptra. Sculptra has actually been used for many years as a solution for anti-aging, however it is regaining popularity in recent years since gaining new FDA indications.
Is Sculptra the answer?
When I was introduced to Sculptra, I was skeptical. It was going to take 6-8 weeks to start seeing changes and I was worried my patients would be discouraged by this. Slowly but surely, I started injecting Sculptra on a regular basis and the results were mind-blowing. I would see patients coming back a few months later for their next Sculptra treatment and noticed that their faces appeared lifted, lines and wrinkles were softening, cheekbones were popping, and jawlines were tightening. Not to mention, the "Sculptra Glow" created by all that new collagen. The advantage here is natural results that develop over time (yes it requires patience) and minimal risk. My rate of side effects went down tremendously as I started using more Sculptra and less filler. I had become a Sculptra enthusiast.
How many vials will I need?
A good rule of thumb, is one vial per decade of life. So my typical 40 year old patient will likely need 4 vials. We will typically inject 2 vials at your first appointment, then 1 vial 8 weeks later, and your last vial 8 weeks after that. Once you've completed your series, you'll just need one vial a year for maintenance!
How long does it last?
Sculptra is said to last 25 months, in fact 95% of patients had improved skin glow 2 years after Sculptra treatment in the clinical trials (Galderma, 2023). My patients are obsessed with Sculptra and their long-term natural results. It really does appear to "reverse the clock" in a way that you remain looking like yourself, yet younger!
Who should not get Sculptra?
Those who suffer from an active autoimmune disorder, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those who are currently under-going chemotherapy or radiation, or those with impaired immune systems. This is not a complete list so please ask your provider if you are a candidate for treatment. Common side effects: bruising, swelling. Rare side effects include; infection at the injection site, nodules or granuloma formation. This is not a complete list. Ask your provider to provide more information.
Ready to reverse the clock?
At The Glow Up Aesthetics in Oregon City, OR, we are always open to seeing new patients and giving a thorough consultation. Contact us today! (503) 479-8352 or book online using the button below.
View before and afters: www.instagram.com/glow_up_np
Galderma, 2023. Sculptra. https://www.sculptrausa.com/
Precedence Research, 2024. Anti-aging Market (By Products: Anti-wrinkle, Hair color, Ultraviolet absorption, Anti-stretch mark; By Treatment: Hair restoration, Anti-pigmentation, Adult acne therapy, Breast augmentation, Liposuction, Chemical peel; By Demography: Generation X, Baby Boomers, Generation Y, Generation Z; By Devices; By End User)- Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2023 – 2032. https://www.precedenceresearch.com/anti-aging-market
Sickles, Nassereddin & Gross, 2022). Poly-L-Lactic Acid. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507871/#:~:text=Poly%2DL%2Dlactic%20acid%20is,induced%20lipoatrophy%20in%20HIV%20patients.