In the past few years, another dermal filler has been developed. Sculptra is poly-L-lactic acid that has been approved by the FDA for use on the face. It acts by increasing the volume on the face and is very similar to autologus fat transfer (fat taken out from some other part of the body which is then injected on to the face).
Sculptra is an injectable volume enhancer which can stimulate the build up of the face's own collagen to smooth out lines and wrinkles and also helps to restore lost facial volume. The end result is a much younger and fuller looking face.
The results with Sculptra are not immediately seen but become noticeable after completion of the 3-5 treatments required. Each treatment is spaced over a month apart.
Sculptra is a non animal product made up from polylactic acid. Claims have been made that it is a safe, synthetic, biodegradable, and immunologically non reactive. The product is sold as a powder and then made up with sterile water just prior to use.
Because the products is a small polymer and derived synthetically, it has no chance of allergy and unlike other dermal fillers, allergy testing is not required
Sculptra is injected either into the superficial or deeper layers of the skin, depending on the disorder.
Sculptra has been used to treat:
- acne scars
- sunken cheeks
- thin hands
- uneven body contours following liposuction
- Depressed or deformed lips.
The improvement is gradual, long-lasting and creates an entirely natural-looking fuller face without lines. The treatment lasts about 2-3 years.
The product is not injected when there is any evidence of skin infection or inflammation.
Sculptra treatments are only performed by trained physicians.
Side effects of Sculptra may include:
- delayed appearance of small bumps under the skin
- tenderness or discomfort
Because the amount of Sculptra used varies when treating facial lipoatrophy so does the cost. In general the average Sculptra cost per session is $500-700. Physician fees may be an additional $300 to $500 per session. However, some insurance companies may cover the for HIV and AIDS patients with facial lipoatrophy.
There are some individuals who have not been satisfied with Sculptra and there are others who have had no obvious benefit. Before you get the procedure, go and talk to a physician who has experience and knowledge with this technique. If in doubt, always seek a second opinion