As we age, our skin starts to weaken and lose elasticity, and we get wrinkles and lines. These age lines are first visible around the eyes and mouth. A lot of these changes are attributed to the reduction in the protein known as collagen. Our skin has three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. In the dermis – the second layer – we find collagen, which works with keratin protein to give strength, elasticity, and smoothness to the skin. Young people have a lot of collagen, but its production goes down with age, resulting in fine lines and skin beginning to wrinkle and sag.
One of the ways to combat the decreased natural production of collagen is by using collagen stimulators, which provide very natural results. Collagen stimulators are injected in the skin to promote a natural increase in the production of collagen. The result is smoother and more youthful skin. The most effective treatments involves using collagen stimulators that work gradually and in the most natural way. One of the most popular treatments for collagen stimulation is Sculptra, which is an FDA-approved injectable collagen stimulator.
Sculptra is a poly-L-lactic, or polylactic acid (PLA), collagen stimulator that has been effectively used worldwide to treat wrinkles and fine lines. It is also used to to treat lipoatrophy, a condition that leads to the loss of facial fat, also known as facial wasting. It is injected to improve facial volume, whether for cosmetic purposes or for conditions like lipoatrophy.
PLA is a synthetic version of lactic acid, which is produced by our muscles when we exercise. It has been used for decades in the medical field to create medical aids like dissolvable sutures, bone plates, and screws. Due to it being a synthetic substance and compatible with the lactic acid in our bodies, there are no allergy risks. The PLA-based Sculptra induces a mild inflammatory reaction, which then activates the formation of collagen, leading to increased volume in the area and revitalization of the skin over a gradual period of four to six weeks.
Before your plastic surgeon administers any Sculptra injections, he will review your medical history. It is advised that you stop taking alcohol and aspirin (or other blood-thinning and anti-inflammatory drugs) for a few days prior to the treatment. If you have any skin problems, like acne or rashes, your plastic surgeon will assess that before seeing whether Sculptra treatment is suitable for you.
Plastic surgeons often administer a topical anesthetic like numbing gel to minimize any pain or discomfort while the patient receives the injections. Sculptra is injected under the skin and is spread evenly by massaging the area for treatment for a few minutes. By massaging the area, lumps under the skin are prevented. There is very little downtime after getting Sculptra injections. Some redness and swelling that are normal after the treatment can be remedied with a cold compress and are quick to subside.
Patients can learn more about Sculptra and its benefits by contacting our office and setting up a consultation Doctor Bivik Shah is a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon with numerous satisfied patients.