What is Sculptra®?
Sculptra® is a synthetic injectable material known as "poly-L-lactic acid." Poly-L-lactic acid is both biocompatible (ie, a material that does not harm the body) and biodegradable (ie, able to be broken down by the body). Poly-L-lactic acid has been in wide used for many years in a variety of medically-related uses, including dissolvable stitches, soft tissue implants, and other types of implants.
The Image Skin Institute's Dr. Kessler has been using Sculptra at our Mesa headquarters since 2004; he was one of the first physicians in the U.S. to use Sculptra cosmetically. The Image Skin Institute also serves as a teaching clinic, and Dr. Kessler has taught physicians from throughout the country how to use Sculptra®, including a number from the Phoenix / Scottsdale / Chandler / Mesa metropolitan area.
How does Sculptra® work?
Sculptra® is injected below the surface of the skin; it is injected directly into the area of fat loss. Skin thickness decreases as people age; Sculptra® works to restore a gradual increase in skin thickness. Visible results appear within the first few treatment sessions.
Sculptra® will not correct the underlying cause of the facial fat loss, but will help improve the appearance by increasing skin thickness in the treated area.
Do I need a skin test before being treated with Sculptra®?
No skin testing is required prior to use. Dr. Kessler can help you determine if Sculptra® is right for you.
Are the results from Sculptra® immediate?
No. After your first treatment, it may appear that Sculptra® worked immediately; this is because of swelling from the injections and the water used to dilute Sculptra®. After a few days, when the swelling goes down and the your body absorbs the water, you may look as you did before your treatment. Sculptra® takes time to gradually correct the depression in your skin and restore volume. The Image Skin Institute's Dr. Kessler will see you again at our Mesa office in a few weeks to decide if you need more Sculptra® injections.
How many treatments are required?
Dr. Kessler will decide the appropriate number of treatment sessions and the amount of Sculptra® you will need at each session. Patients with severe facial fat loss may need to visit our Mesa office 3 to 6 times for repeat treatment sessions.
How long do treatment results last?
Treatment results will differ from person to person. In a clinical study, treatment results were shown to last for up to 2 years after the first treatment session, in most patients. Touch-up Sculptra® treatments at our Mesa office may be needed to maintain the desired effect.
Do injections of Sculptra® hurt?
As with any injection, injections with Sculptra® may hurt. Sculptra® is injected in small amounts using a very fine needle, and effort is taken to minimize the discomfort. Dr. Kessler can apply a topical or local anesthetic if you desire.
What can I expect to happen at a treatment session?
Dr. Kessler will answer all of your questions and prepare you for the treatment at our Mesa office. Here are some basic guidelines:
Make-up should be removed.
The area where the injections will be given will be cleaned with an antiseptic.
You and Dr. Kessler will determine if a topical or local anesthetic is needed.
Sculptra® will be injected in small amounts into the skin using a very fine needle. Multiple injections will be needed.
An ice pack should be applied to the treatment area to help reduce swelling after the injections are administered.
After your Sculptra® treatment session, the injection area should be thoroughly massaged to distribute the product evenly.
What can I expect after treatment?
Immediately following a treatment session with Sculptra®, redness, swelling, pain, bruising or all of these signs may occur in the treatment area. These signs and symptoms usually go away on their own in a few hours to a few days. Some, however, have been known to last up to 17 days. Dr. Kessler will give you specific post-treatment care instructions. You should massage the treated area (a few times each day) for several days after your treatment. Within the first 24 hours after treatment, an ice pack should be applied for a few minutes at a time to the treatment area to help reduce swelling. Wrap the ice in a cloth and avoid putting ice directly on your skin, as prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures can be harmful. Avoid excessive exposure to the hot Phoenix sun (and everywhere else as well), and avoid UV lamp exposure until any initial swelling and redness has resolved.
Report any worsening or longer-lasting symptoms or signs to Dr. Kessler.
How quickly can I get back to my daily activities?
Most patients feel comfortable going back to their normal activities following treatment. No downtime is usually required.
When will I be able to apply make-up after treatment?
You may apply make-up a few hours after treatment if no complications are present (for example, open wounds or bleeding) Do not apply make-up to cut, raw or bleeding skin.
What are the possible side effects of treatment with Sculptra®?
The most common side effects that patients see with the use of Sculptra® include injection-related side effects at the site of the injection such as bleeding, tenderness or pain, bruising, redness, or swelling. These side effects generally last, on average, 3 to 17 days.
One possible delayed side effect that you may see with Sculptra® is small bumps under the skin in the treated area. These small bumps may not be visible; you may notice them only when you press on the treated skin. These bumps tend to happen within the first 6 to 12 months after the first Sculptra® treatment. Occasionally, these bumps go away on their own. Visible bumps, sometimes with redness or color change to the treated area, have also been reported. As with all procedures that involve an injection through the skin, there is a risk of infection. Dr. Kessler can discuss this issue with you if you have concerns.
Report any side effects to Dr. Kessler.
Who should not use Sculptra®?
You should not use Sculptra® if you are allergic to any ingredient of Sculptra®. Talk to Dr. Kessler about your medical history when deciding on treatment options.
Do treatment results differ?
To get the best results, it's important to go to a doctor who is experienced in administering Sculptra®. The Image Skin Institute's Dr. Kessler was one of the first dermatologists in the U.S. to use Sculptra, and he is widely considered the foremost Sculptra® expert in the greater Phoenix / Scottsdale / Chandler / Mesa metropolitan area.
We pride ourselves on offering world-class Sculptra® results at competitive prices. Call us today for a cost estimate.