Sculptra is a poly-L -lactic acid-based dermal filler designed to restore volume to your skin. It was originally designed to non-invasively augment the cheeks of individuals with HIV. However, as research into the safety and efficacy of this dermal filler continued, it was discovered to be effective for augmenting several other regions. At Athena Plastic Surgery in Stuart, FL, we can answer your questions about who is a good candidate for this treatment and viable anti-aging alternatives.
Are You a Good Candidate for Sculptra?
A great thing about poly-L -lactic acid (PLLA) is that it is incredibly safe. However, it is not the appropriate treatment for every cosmetic concern. For example, it can safely and effectively augment the cheeks, enhance the contours of the chin and jawline and restore volume to hollow temples. However, it is not appropriate for augmenting the lips or adding volume to the upper eyelids. Here’s a closer look at signs you may be a good candidate for treatment:
You Are Concerned About the Appearance of Your Cheeks
If you are concerned about the appearance of your cheeks, Sculptra may be the perfect dermal filler for you. After all, it was originally designed to restore volume to the cheeks and enhance the appearance of the cheekbones. You will also probably be a good candidate for this dermal filler if the skin around your cheekbones is sagging and you wish to lift that skin without undergoing an invasive procedure. When the cheeks are augmented, the skin lifts naturally.
You Are Concerned About the Appearance of Your Temples
Another sign that this dermal filler may be right for you is that you are concerned about the appearance of your temples. After just three to six quick treatment sessions, you can expect the volume of your temples to increase by an astonishing 40%, helping you look years younger. Even better, the results of these sessions will last several years without you needing to make any lifestyle changes to support the health of your collagen.
You Are Concerned About the Appearance of Your Nasolabial Folds
You may be a good candidate for Sculptra if you are concerned about the appearance of your nasolabial folds. Nasolabial folds are the deep folds that run vertically between your nose and mouth, making you look years older than you actually are. These deep folds are most commonly caused by muscle hyperactivity in the area, but you may be the perfect candidate for this filler if your nasolabial folds are caused by age-related volume loss.
You Are Concerned About the Appearance of Your Jowls
In the past, the only way to lift sagging jowls was to undergo an extensive, invasive procedure that required six weeks of restricting recovery. On top of the restrictions to daily routines, like lifting over nine pounds, it required one to two weeks off from work. If you don’t have the time, money or desire for that, you need PLLA injects to lift your sagging jowls effortlessly.
There is no downtime, discomfort or pain associated with this treatment and your usual weekly activities will not be restricted. There is no more convenient solution on the market.
You Are Concerned About the Appearance of Your Marionette Lines
Marionette lines are long, vertical lines that appear around the corners of your mouth. When caused by hyperactive muscles, they worsen when your face is emotive, such as when you smile or laugh. However, they can also be caused by volume loss due to age. The latter is the type of marionette lines this injectable can treat, and the results can last up to five years.
Keep in mind, numerous factors affect how long the results of treatment will last for you. Take, for example, the treatment of marionette lines. The volume loss-related lines may not return for five years, but you may develop lines caused by muscle hyperactivity within five years of your treatment session. Therefore, you may need another cosmetic treatment before localized volume loss occurs. Here are other factors that affect the durability of treatment:
- Whether you smoke
- Whether you drink alcohol
- Whether you expose yourself to UV rays unprotected
- How well you stay hydrated
- How nutritious your meals are
- How relaxed you can remain
A Critical Note on Relaxation
It may not seem intuitive at first, but your final results will last longer if you’re better at remaining calm. When you’re psychologically stressed, your body produces more cortisol, the stress hormone. There are several effects this hormone has on the body; one effect is breaking down the collagen and elastin in the skin. Collagen and elastin are the special proteins and fibers that keep your skin smooth, and this filler works by inducing collagen.
You wouldn’t drink two meal replacement shakes on top of your regular meals when you’re trying to lose weight, would you? The same logic applies to stress and this dermal filler. Stress will only increase the rate at which your final results fade. While we know you can’t just eliminate every stressor in your life, you can be mindful of your thoughts and separate them. For example, thinking “I recognize I feel frustrated about the gridlock” separates you from the frustration.
You Have a Couple of Hours to Spare
You are probably a good candidate for this dermal filler if you have a couple of hours to spare. Treating an area can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes depending on the complexity of the issue you are trying to resolve. If you are trying to restore volume to several large areas, such as your jawline and your cheeks, a single treatment session may take 90 minutes or more.
Furthermore, you may need anywhere between one and six treatment sessions to achieve your desired aesthetic. Most people only need two or three sessions spaced four to six weeks apart, so it’s best to have a flexible supervisor who will let you take a long lunch or have at least 1.5 days of PTO you can use over the course of a few months.
What Are Some Signs This Treatment Isn’t Right for Me?
As stated previously, this dermal filler is not FDA-approved for use around the eyes or in the lips. Therefore, if you are concerned about upper eyelid wrinkles, lower eyelid bags, thin lips or asymmetrical lips, you will need to find a more suitable dermal filler. Here are a couple of other signs that this treatment may not be appropriate for you.
You’re Pregnant or Nursing
Independent clinical researchers test cosmetic treatments on a wide variety of people to determine both safety and efficacy. However, they do not test these treatments on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Therefore, the FDA has no trial results to review on this segment of the population and cannot approve this treatment for such individuals.
If you’re pregnant and know that you won’t breastfeed your infant, you can consider treatment once you’re feeling up to it. As much as you may want to improve your appearance now, there’s no need to rush. If you’re currently breastfeeding your infant, wait until he or she is weaned off of your milk completely. There is no evidence to suggest that PLLA can pass through breast milk and harm an infant, but it is not worth the risk.
You’re Under 18 Years of Age or Older Than 65
This dermal filler is usually used as an anti-aging treatment, but it is also used commonly to add volume after significant weight loss. If you’re not 18 yet, you must wait until you turn 18 to consider this treatment. Furthermore, this treatment may not be the ideal solution for your cosmetic concerns if you are over the age of 65. We’ll discuss your medical history and health status at your initial consultation to determine if it is appropriate for you.
Your Skin Is Irritated
You must hold off on treatment if your skin is irritated on the day of your scheduled treatment. Examples of skin irritation include sunburn, rashes, acne and active infections.
How Can I Enhance My Appearance if This Treatment Isn’t Right for Me?
If a PLLA-based dermal filler isn’t appropriate for your aesthetic goals, you’re in luck. We offer a wide variety of dermal fillers, each with unique benefits. The appropriate dermal filler for you depends on the goals you’re trying to achieve, but we can give you a brief overview of some of our most popular services to give you an idea of what may work for you.
If you’re looking for a dramatic improvement to the appearance of your lips, look no further than Juvederm Ultra. This incredibly advanced hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler was designed specifically to augment your lips safely. Manufactured by Allergan, this dermal filler takes very little time to inject, with the entire treatment lasting only 15 to 60 minutes depending on the exact results you’re looking for.
Thanks to the highly advanced cross-linking technology of the hyaluronic acid molecules, the full results last a year. However, it may be 18 months before the results fade to the point that you want a maintenance treatment. Even better, you will see an immediate improvement in the appearance of your lips, with the full results being visible within 14 days. As added bonuses, there is no downtime, there is no recovery period and the results look completely natural!
Revanesse Versa is another great choice if you’re looking to plump up your pout. If you’re looking to increase the sultriness of your smile, we’ll talk about what that looks like to you during your initial consultation. Versa is another hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler, but the molecules aren’t as robust as the molecules found in Juvederm Ultra’s formula. You can expect the final results of this treatment to be subtler and last between three and six months.
You should also not despair if you wish to eliminate dark circles and bags beneath your eyes. Belotero Balance is exactly what you need. This is yet another hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler, and the FDA approved ti for injection around the eyes. Like Versa, the molecules used in this formula are small and smooth, providing smooth, natural-looking results. Whether you have a moderate or severe concern, the results of treatment will last up to a year.
Rejuvenate Your Skin and Restore Youthful Volume Today
If you believe adding volume to your skin would improve your self-confidence, you are probably a good candidate for Sculptra. To find out for sure if this aesthetic treatment is appropriate for you, contact us right away at Athena Plastic Surgery in Stuart, FL to schedule your initial consultation. We’ll see you soon!