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Sculptra: What To Know and What To Expect With This Treatment

Everybody ages differently, and the only thing we can be sure of is that we will all age eventually. If you notice your skin isn’t as tight as it once was, you feel your face isn’t as full, or you’re seeing wrinkles and folds that weren’t there a few years ago, you have options. Cosmetic medicine has so many innovative solutions to minimize or reverse the signs of aging, you don’t have to live with these unwelcomed changes. Call Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center in Noblesville, IN, Shelbyville, IN, Danville, IL, Healdsburg, CA, and Ukiah, CA to schedule a consultation to discuss how Sculptra can turn back the hands of time for your skin.

What Is Sculptra?

Sculptra is an FDA approved injectable designed to temporarily restore lost volume to specific areas of the face.

When we’re young, our faces are naturally full, making our skin tight and smooth. As we age, the structure of our skin breaks down and we can lose areas of volume. The cheeks, cheekbones and temporal areas are typical places that can hollow with age. Sculptra works by getting our bodies to rebuild the skin’s structure from the inside out.

How It Works

Made of Poly-L-lactic acid, the same material the medical world has been using for dissolvable sutures and different types of implants for years, Sculptra is a bio-activator rather than a filler. When injected into specific layers of the skin, it causes your body to up its production of collagen, which is responsible for skin’s underlying strength. As more collagen is produced, results slowly appear as the volume is restored.

How Is Sculptra Different From Fillers?

At first glance, you might think they’re the same because they both result in the temporary replacement of lost volume of areas, like moderate to severe facial lines and folds and bigger areas of lost volume.

That’s where the similarities end. Most fillers are made of hyaluronic acid—a naturally produced sugar that keeps our skin, eyes and other connective tissues hydrated. When they’re injected, they fill up space, plumping out lines and folds, and are slowly absorbed back into the body.

The Major Difference

Sculptra is different in that you won’t get that immediate plumping result because the Poly-L-lactic acid travels to deeper layers of the skin and, on its own, is not the plumping agent. It stimulates the production of collagen so your dermis—or middle layers of the skin—become stronger. When this foundation becomes stronger, more collagen is produced and builds up a solid scaffold for healthy, regenerated cells.

Over a few months, that strength appears on your face, with natural, youthful-looking results. Hollow areas or deep folds and wrinkles are naturally built up, so your appearance is more youthful, healthier and vibrant. Because your collagen is what’s doing the work, the results last longer too: up to two years.

Why Is Collagen So Important?

We’ve talked a lot about how this treatment increases your body’s production of collagen, but why does that matter? We can think of collagen as the building blocks for our skin. It’s a fibrous protein that makes up our skin, connective tissue, and ligaments. It works with elastin and hyaluronic acid to make sure our skin is strong, smooth and hydrated.

When we’re young, our dermis is one solid layer on which new cells regenerate so our complexion always looks vibrant and our skin healthy and smooth. Hyaluronic acid can hold one thousand times its weight in water so, when it’s at its peak production, we have dewy and supple skin. Also in that middle layer is elastin—the protein responsible for keeping our skin from stretching out, even when pulled.

Slowing the Decline of Collagen

As we age, our production of all three decline, and this process can start as early as our 20s. As this happens, that strong layer of dermis weakens in spots, causing small divots or even larger areas of collapse. Our skin falls into those areas creating wrinkles, folds, and sunken areas.

There’s isn’t anything we can do about a loss of collagen production when it results from age. Genetics also play a role in how much collagen we naturally produce and the rate at which we lose it. There are, however, certain lifestyle choices we make that will speed up the breakdown of collagen:

  • Sun damage or unprotected time in the sun
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol excessively
  • A diet high in sugar and processed food
  • Little to no exercise
  • Poor hydration
  • Lack of skincare


Why Choose Sculptra?

This injectable has many benefits, so it’s not always about choosing this treatment over others but using it in tandem with other treatments. If you have a significant volume loss in hollow areas, this can act as a great platform to use before you get fillers. Fillers need a foundation to sit on to achieve optimal results. If you have the strength of your own collagen built up, the fillers can give you the dramatic results you’re looking for.

If you have typical volume loss, you won’t need fillers on top of this treatment. Your collagen will provide you the dramatic results you’re looking for, but naturally and gradually. If you’d rather have people comment on how young you look and ask for your secrets rather than you walking in one day looking suddenly much younger, this is the treatment for you.

The results last longer, too, because you’re getting them from the inside out. The goal is to give you the look of your 20s or 30s awhile avoiding anything that looks “overdone”.

Versatility of Treatment

Because of the nature of this treatment, it has tremendous versatility. Loss of collagen not only results in wrinkles and folds, but it can break down the fat pads that give our cheekbones and cheeks their volume. In the right hands, you can get back the high and prominent cheekbones of your youth or the apple cheeks you used to have when you smiled.

The same is true of the chin and jawline. Gravity is always hard at work, so the fat and tissues in our faces travel downward as we age. This treatment can be injected to counteract the sagging skin we get around our jawline and the jowls on either side of our chin.

When you build up collagen in these areas, the volume loss that adds to the appearance of sagging skin will be gently smoothed back in, creating a firmer surface.

Treatment Areas

Of course, this is a remarkable treatment for moderate to severe facial lines, wrinkles, and folds, and that is one of the most popular reasons clients request it.

The place most of us notice our age is the deep nasolabial folds: the lines that run from our nose to the corners of our mouth. At some point, these lines remain noticeable even when we’re not smiling. This treatment can build your collagen up to plump away those lines. This is an effective treatment for:
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Hollow cheeks
  • Marionette lines
  • Hollow chin area
  • Hollow temporal area
  • Undefined jawline
  • Softening bony look of cheekbones
  • Some areas of the body


What to Expect

During your consultation with your doctor, you’ll have an in-depth discussion about your areas of concern. It’s important for your doctor to understand what you hope to gain from treatment while also giving you realistic expectations. Your skin and bone structure will be examined so a treatment that will highlight your natural aesthetics can be recommended.

Once you’ve both decided this is the right treatment for you, there’s no preparation on your part except for stopping blood-thinning supplements and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. When you stop taking blood-thinners, you reduce the already low likelihood of bruising.

During Your Appointment

One the day of your appointment, your doctor will apply lidocaine in a cream or lotion. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic, and this will ensure your comfort throughout the entire process. A series of small injections will be made to the treatment area.

When you’re finished there is no downtime. This is even considered a “lunch break” appointment, meaning people get this treatment on a short break and immediately return to work.

There will be a few aftercare instructions but nothing that will impede your daily routine. You’ll be asked to massage the treatment area for five minutes, five times a day for the first five days after treatment. This just ensures the product is dispersed appropriately to maximize your results. You’ll also be asked to refrain from strenuous exercise for a few days after your treatment to ensure the product’s dispersal isn’t hindered.



Unlike typical fillers, the results you’ll get from sculptra treatment aren’t immediate. Some clients report what appears to be an immediate plumping of the area, but this is just the water the product is mixed with waiting to be absorbed by the body and should diminish within a few days. The real results come a few months down the road as your body produces more collagen and replaces what it’s lost over the years.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

Depending on the recommendation of your doctor, you may need more than one session. These sessions are spaced about a month apart. Your doctor will monitor your progress and ensure you have the right number of sessions to achieve your goals.

If your skin laxity or areas of lost volume are significant, you will require more sessions than someone who is just beginning to notice signs of aging.

Once you’ve had the appropriate number of sessions, your results can last up to two years. Over 70% of clients say they’re still extremely satisfied with their results even after 25 months. This longevity of collagen production and results are really what sets this treatment apart from other fillers and injectables.

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Only your doctor can determine if this is the right treatment for you, your areas of concern and your desired outcome. If you’re concerned about the way volume loss and age have changed your appearance, don’t feel ready for surgical intervention, but know your daily skincare routine will not help get you the results you’re looking for, this could be the right option for you.

Call for a Consultation

When you want to take control of your appearance and talk to a professional about turning back the hands of time for your skin, only call the best.

Reach out to Zormeier Cosmetic Surgery & Longevity Center in Noblesville, IN, Shelbyville, IN, Danville, IL, Healdsburg, CA, and Ukiah, CA to schedule a consultation. We believe each client is unique with individual goals that require a personalized plan of treatment. We listen to your unique set of circumstances and carefully tailor a plan based on your individual needs and goals. We can’t wait to help you look and feel your very best.
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