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The aging face undergoes various changes over time due to a combination of intrinsic (natural) and extrinsic (external/environmental) factors. These changes affect the skin, underlying tissues, and facial contours.

As we age the skin becomes less elastic which contributes to deepening lines and wrinkles, and sagging. This is primarily due to the breakdown of two key proteins in the skin: collagen and elastin. Elastin keeps the skin firm. Collagen gives the skin its structure and keeps the skin smooth and wrinkle free from below.

However, collagen production decreases 1% per year after the age of 20. This decline is one of the key contributors to the visible signs of skin aging. In addition, exposure to UV radiation from the sun accelerates the degradation of existing collagen and elastin aggravating sagging skin.

What is Sculptra?

Sculptra is a brand name for a dermal filler that addresses the underlying cause of facial aging. It is used to boost natural collagen production to help smooth wrinkles and lines and restore the skin’s structure and volume.

It is composed of poly-L-lactic acid, which is a biocompatible and biodegradable synthetic substance. It is well-tolerated by the human body and is gradually absorbed and metabolized over time.

How does Sculptra work?

Sculptra is FDA-approved in the United States to stimulate natural collagen production and is used for volume deficiencies and facial wrinkles.  When injected into the skin, the poly-L-lactic acid is absorbed by the body and stimulates the cells to create new collagen.  It is a safe dermal filler.

The results appear gradually, over a few weeks to months, and typically two to three sessions are required in order to achieve optimal results. The duration of the effects can vary from person to person, but on average, they can last up to two years or more. Maintenance treatments may be recommended to sustain the desired results over time.

Sculptra addresses the underlying cause of facial aging, not just the symptoms. It works to restore the deep underlying structure of the skin. It can correct shallow and deep facial wrinkles and folds, as it replaces lost collage, which can help provide a refined, more youthful appearance. Your skin will produce more collagen to generate more volume which creates an uplifting effect on sagging skin. Sculptra provides a naturally soft and youthful appearance.

When is Sculptra Used?

Sculptra is primarily used for facial augmentation and the correction of signs of facial aging. It is often employed to address concerns such as:

  • Volume Loss: Sculptra can help restore lost facial volume, which is a common sign of aging. Restoring lost volume can lift the jowls for a more youthful appearance. It can also address sunken cheeks and temples.
  • Wrinkles and Fine Lines: It is used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, particularly in areas like the nasolabial folds (smile lines) and marionette lines, and cheeks.
  • Sagging Skin: Sculptra can help restore skin firmness, lift sagging skin, smooth wrinkles, improve skin quality and promote collagen production, for a healthy, rejuvenated appearance.
  • Aging hands: Sculptra can restore lost volume on the top of the hands for a more youthful look.
  • Other uses include a nonsurgical butt lift, cellulite correction, smooth chest wrinkles and to create definition of various muscles.

What are the side effects of Sculptra injection?

Possible side effects of treatment include:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • pain at the injection site
  • itching and lumps

Sculptra applications rejuvenate the aging face, can restore a youthful facial symmetry,

elevate the jowls, fill temple hollows, tighten and restore the jawline, and enhance skin tone and texture. It can take about a month to see the full effects.

Contact Dr. Michael Rains at Beacon Dermatology in Asheville, North Carolina to schedule a cosmetic consultation to learn more about dermal fillers and which ones are the best for your concerns and goals.

Dr. Michael Rains is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Beacon Dermatology in Asheville, North Carolina. His approach to aesthetic and dermatological treatments are holistically focused on revealing and enhancing a patient’s natural beauty. Dr. Rains is known for his caring and compassionate approach to medicine, listening to his patients’ concerns and goals and ensuring they receive excellent care and education to ensure they can make informed decisions about their treatments.

At a Glance

Michael Rains, MD, FAAD

  • Board certified in dermatology
  • Specializing in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology
  • Author of multiple peer-reviewed publications and previous adjunct faculty at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Learn more

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