One of the main indicators of facial ageing is the loss of youthful volume. This is why people carrying a little extra weight often have a younger looking face.
Until recently there was nothing to be done to restore youthful volume. Now cosmetic surgeons are able to volumise using a persons own fat extracted from the stomach or thighs. But this is a quick fix as the fat breaks down fast and is reabsorbed into the body.
A new treatment originally developed to restore facial volume in HIV patients is now available for cosmetic treatments: Sculptra is a non-invasive injectable treatment which smoothes deeper wrinkles and lines, restores facial volume and contours the face. It works gradually over time by stimulating the build up of the bodys own collagen to get rid of lines and wrinkles and restore a youthful appearance with natural looking results. The patient pictured right after Sculptra treatment.
Sculptras main ingredient is a natural substance called poly-L-lactic acid, a biodegradable polymer, which is injected deep into the skin and works from within the skins layers, stimulating the bodys own production of collagen to sculpt a smoother more youthful look. After injection the area needs to be massaged regularly to ensure even distribution under the skin. A series of injections is usually needed to achieve a gradual change.
Once collagen production has been stimulated, Sculptras natural looking results should become noticeable after approximately six weeks and can last as long as two years. This subtle enhancement allows you to gradually restore youthful skin as there is no dramatic, instant change, but rather a gradual enhancement as the skins appearance is volumised gradually from within, continuing a fresher and younger look.
Poly-L-lactic acid has been used in medical devices for over twenty years and is suitable for most skin types. It has been shown to have a good safety profile and be effective without the possible reactions associated with animal derived products. Depending on the area to be treated, Sculptra takes around 30 minute treatment time and two or three treatments are usually required. There is minimal discomfort with the procedure and Sculptra carries no risk of muscle paralysis which can lead to an unnatural looking facial expression or even drooping features.
As with all filler treatments u you can expect some minor bleeding and bruising and swelling. If you take a natural remedy such as arnica beforehand this can help minimize any bruising.
Questions and Answers on Sculptra
Who performs treatment with Sculptra?
A cosmetic doctor who has been trained to use the correct procedure for Sculptra performs the treatment in his practice.
Does the treatment hurt?
As with all injections you will feel some discomfort. It may be that you notice a brief burning sensation at the injection site. An ice pack applied after the treatment will help to calm your skin. If necessary, your healthcare professional can also give you a local anaesthetic.
What must I keep in mind after the treatment?
Your cosmetic doctor will give you special aftercare instructions. These include massaging the treated areas of your face in the first few days after the treatment. All you need is a few minutes twice a day. Inform your practitioner if any side effects occur, such as inflammation or small bumps in the treated area.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effects with the use of Sculptra include injection-related side effects at the site of injection such as bleeding, tenderness or pain, redness, bruising, or swelling. These effects generally resolve in 2-6 days. It should not be injected if there is a skin infection or inflammation. It is also not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women.
Are the results from Sculptra immediate?
No. At your first treatment visit, it may appear that Sculptra worked immediately because of the swelling from the injections and the water used to dilute Sculptra. In a few days, when the swelling goes down and the water is absorbed by your body you may look as you did before your treatment. Sculptra takes time to work; results should be noticeable after approximately 6 weeks. Your practitioner will see you again in a few weeks to decide if you need more Sculptra injections.
Sculptra cost is based on the number of phials needed. Cost per phial is
For more information and practitioners visit www.sculptra.com and www.sculptra.co.uk or T(within UK): 0800 0852 046. Angelica Kavouni MD, FRCS of T: + 44 (0)20 7486 9040 129 Harley Street, London W1. www.cosmetic-solutions.co.uk
Listen to the ELIXIR interview with Harley Street London cosmetic surgeon Angelica Kavouni on Sculptra or download onto your iPod to listen Angelica Kavouni