Frequently Asked Questions About Sculptra®
Sculptra® is a synthetic injectable material known as “poly-L-lactic acid.” Poly-L-lactic acid is both biocompatible (ie, a material than does not harm the body) and biodegradable (ie, able to be broken down by the body). Poly-L-lactic acid has been in wide used for many years in a variety of medically-related uses, including dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and other types of implants.
Sculptra® is injected below the surface of the skin; it is injected directly into the area of fat loss. Skin thickness decreases as people age; Sculptra® works to restore a gradual increase in skin thickness. Visible results appear within the first few treatment sessions
Sculptra® will not correct the underlying cause of the facial fat loss, but will help improve the appearance by increasing skin thickness in the treated area.
No skin testing is required prior to use.
No. After your first treatment, it may appear than Sculptra® worked immediately; this is because of swelling from the injections and the water used to dilute Sculptra®. After a few days, when the swelling goes down and the your body absorbs the water, you may look as you did before your treatment. Sculptra® takes time to gradually correct the depression in your skin and restore volume.
Patients with severe facial fat loss may need to visit our Mesa office 3 to 6 times for repeat treatment sessions.
Treatment results will differ from person to person. In a clinical study, treatment results were shown to last for up to 2 years after the first treatment session, in most patients. Touch-up Sculptra® treatments may be needed to maintain the desired effect.
As with any injection, injections with Sculptra® may hurt. Sculptra® is injected in small amounts using a very fine needle, and effort is taken to minimize the discomfort, apply a topical or local anaesthetic if you desire.
Your practitioner will answer all of your questions and prepare you for the treatment
Here are some basic guidelines:
- Make-up should be removed.
- The area where the injections will be given will be cleaned with an antiseptic.
- You and your practitioner will determine if a topical or local anaesthetic is needed.
- Sculptra® will be injected in small amounts into the skin using a very fine needle. Multiple injections will be needed.
- An ice pack should be applied to the treatment area to help reduce swelling after the injections are administered.
- After your Sculptra® treatment session, the injection area should be thoroughly massaged to distribute the product evenly.
Immediately following a treatment session with Sculptra®, redness, swelling, pain, bruising or all of these signs may occur in the treatment area. These signs and symptoms usually go away on their own in a few hours to a few days. Some, however, have been known to last up to 17 days. Your practitioner will give you specific post-treatment care instructions. You should massage the treated area (a few times each day) for several days after your treatment. Within the first 24 hours after treatment, an ice pack should be applied for a few minutes at a time to the treatment area to help reduce swelling. Wrap the ice in a cloth and avoid putting ice directly on your skin, as prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures can be harmful. Avoid excessive exposure, and avoid UV lamp exposure until any initial swelling and redness has resolved.
Report any worsening or longer-lasting symptoms.
Most patients feel comfortable going back to their normal activities following treatment. No downtime is usually required.
You may apply make-up a few hours after treatment if no complications are present (for example, open wounds or bleeding) Do not apply make-up to cut, raw or bleeding skin.
The most common side effects than patients see with the use of Sculptra® include injection-related side effects at the site of the injection such as bleeding, tenderness or pain, bruising, redness, or swelling. These side effects generally last, on average, 3 to 17 days.
One possible delayed side effect than you may see with Sculptra® is small bumps under the skin in the treated area. These small bumps may not be visible; you may notice them only when you press on the treated skin. These bumps tend to happen within the first 6 to 12 months after the first Sculptra® treatment. Occasionally, these bumps go away on their own. Visible bumps, sometimes with redness or colour change to the treated area, have also been reported. As with all procedures than involve an injection through the skin, there is a risk of infection.
You should not use Sculptra® if you are allergic to any ingredient of Sculptra®.