Sculptra Aesthetic, made by Galderma, is an injectable poly-L-lactic acid that helps stimulate collagen to replace volume and correct shallow to deep facial wrinkles and folds. Sculptra Aesthetic has been on the market for years and is still actively used today. It is very different from all other products specifically because it is a bioactivator not a filler, but can have significant and lasting results if the correct patient is chosen for this treatment.
We put together the top 4 things an injector, and even potential patients should know about Sculptra:
- Sculptra is a bioactivator, not a filler. With most dermal fillers on the market, patients leave the office after a treatment and already begin to see results. That is typically not the case with Sculptra. While the patient will see immediate fullness upon leaving the office, it will not stay that way. Sculptra must be diluted prior to use. The patient will reabsorb the diluent and the “fullness” in the treated area will disappear. The poly-L-lactic acid is left in the tissue to stimulate collagen over time. As we age, our bodies naturally stop producing as much collagen and we experience volume loss, which is one of the primary reasons for visible facial aging. Sculptra works with the body to help restore your skin’s inner structure and volume through collagen production. The patient may require several treatments spaced about 4-6 weeks apart. Once correction is achieved, the results can last up to 2 years.
- Sculptra should only be used by experienced injectors. This product should not be used by a beginner injector. You must be thoroughly trained on the use of Sculptra to ensure the best outcome for your patient. Sculptra must be injected into the subcutaneous tissue and does have limitations as to where it can be placed. Furthermore, when Sculptra arrives, it comes in a powder-like form which must be diluted to 7-10ccs and prepared at least 24 hours prior to injecting (many injectors even prefer preparing several days prior to use). Every injector has their own dilution formula and requirements, but it is CRITICAL to understand how to properly prepare and inject this product to avoid any problems.
- Your patient must be fully aware of the process and the potential effects. As we mentioned, results are not immediate upon injection, and your patient must be aware that results can take time and will appear gradually over time as collagen is stimulated within the face. Often times, it may take several treatments to get the desired outcome, and results are very dependent on the patient’s ability to produce collagen. Therefore, a 30 or 40-year-old patient might have more success than a 60-year-old patient with this treatment. Patients must adhere to a strict aftercare regimen following treatment which involves massaging the treated areas of the face for 5 minutes, 5 times a day, for the first 5 days following treatment. This helps ensure that the product is dispersed appropriately and decreases the chances of potential adverse events such as the formation of a nodule or granuloma.
- Sculptra should not be used in lips, tear troughs or superficial wrinkles. Because Sculptra is not a filler, and more of a medication, it should never be used in the lips, tear troughs or to treat fine lines because it may result in problems such as nodules under the skin. In fact, Sculptra was first released for the treatment of patients with HIV for lipodystrophy, or the hollowing of the face and sunken cheeks. The specific properties of Sculptra make it unique and can be a great treatment to help provide overall volumization to the face for the right patient.
If you are interested in learning more about Sculptra and offering Sculptra to your patients, check out one of our courses. We offer training for this product, as well as other dermal fillers. Sculptra can be a great product for the right patient, but you must be well trained on the process and your patient must be aware of how the process works.