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Sculptra is an industry-specific name for a facial injection treatment designed to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and folds that develop on the surface of facial skin. Sculptra aesthetic procedures are common and are considered a specialized form of cosmetic treatment. Plastic surgeons often recommend this treatment for those who experience a loss of collagen in the skin.

What Are Sculptra Injections Composed Of?

This type of injectable is composed of a synthetic material known as poly-L-lactic acid. This chemical was developed many years ago as a prime component of dissolvable stitches. Patients with severe cuts in sensitive areas are often treated with stitches that dissolve over a week or two. The poly-L-lactic acid is naturally absorbed by the body and there are no known side effects.

Who Are Candidates For This Procedure?

Most people begin to lose collagen as they approach middle age. This is the primary cause of facial skin wrinkling, dark lines, baggy eyelids, and cheek or chin folds. Environmental factors such as constant exposure to pollutants, direct sun rays, and rapid temperature or humidity changes can also accelerate the loss of collagen in facial skin.

Those who have developed deep folds between the nose and mouth are good candidates for this type of cosmetic procedure. Known as nasolabial folds or smile lines, these contour deficiencies can appear as long, narrow wrinkles.

The marionette lines that frame the mouth often begin to grow in size as the individual ages. The active ingredient poly-L-lactic acid works especially well to reduce these lines.

Chin wrinkles are especially noticeable when certain facial expressions are produced. Sculptra treatments works very well to reduce or even eliminate these annoying facial wrinkles.

How Does The Procedure Work?

In most cases, the cosmetic surgeon will suggest a series of three or four injection treatments over a period of two or three months. The injections are made just below the skin, and the lost collagen is gradually replaced. Most individuals begin to notice smoother facial skin in just a few weeks. The replacement of collagen is slow but steady, with the final result of a smoother, fuller-looking face completed in about 90 days.

On average, the resulting smoother skin and youthful appearance can last for up to two years without additional injections. Each injection procedure lasts just a few minutes, and there is only minor discomfort around the injection sites. This often feels a little bit like stretched skin or bloating, but it generally lasts only a few hours.

Is Sculptra Treatment Safe?

This type of treatment for facial wrinkling was approved by the FDA in 2009. The government gave specific approval for this procedure as a means of replacing lost collagen in the mid-to-lower facial areas. It is not a preferred treatment for wrinkled skin in other parts of the body.

This injection treatment has no known side effects, and the chemicals in the injections do not react with other tissues or fluids. Those who are interested in undergoing this treatment should consult with their physician or a licensed plastic surgeon to see if any pre-existing conditions of the skin would eliminate them as a candidate for lost collagen replacement.