Facial thinning is a common concern for many patients as they age or due to medical conditions. Many surgical and non-surgical options can fill in facial hollows. Among the most popular are facial fillers. Facial, or dermal fillers, are injections of safe gel that plumps up the treatment area temporarily. Usually, fillers last for about three to nine months. For some patients, traditional fillers may not provide the results they want or are impractical due to the extent of their thinning. This where Sculptra may provide a solution. Northwest Face & Body provides the best Sculptra Bellevue and Kirkland offers.
Sculptra is a type of semi-permanent filler made of injectable poly-L-lactic acid. Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, Sculptra does not traditionally fill the area immediately. It stimulates natural collagen production underneath the skin to allow your body to naturally fill in the treatment areas.
Due to this technology that focuses on stimulating your body’s healing response and collagen production, Sculptra often leads to longer lasting results. Though, you will likely need retreatment every couple of years to see lasting results.
Sculptra is FDA approved and frequently used to restore lost facial volume. Poly-L-lactic acid is a biodegradable polymer also used in dissolvable facial threads used in many thread lifts. The substance is unlikely to cause any allergic reactions.
Sculptra was first developed to treat facial thinning and volume loss in patients with HIV and other diseases. Trials for Sculptra in this form began around 1999 and it was FDA approved for this purpose in 2004. The injectable then received its first cosmetic FDA approval in 2009 when it was approved to treat the nasolabial folds and wrinkles.
Since then, Sculptra has become widely used throughout the cosmetic industry to make the face look younger and augment the buttocks. Sculptra is a versatile injectable that can provide fantastic results in the right candidate.
As mentioned, Sculptra’s primary use is to restore facial volume. It is used in many areas of the face to achieve this goal. However, Sculptra is also occasionally used in areas of the body outside the face. The treatment areas can include:
Sculptra comes with many benefits, especially for patients experiencing dramatic facial thinning. Patients are generally happy with their Bellevue Sculptra injections. Some of the advantages and benefits include:
- Results can last for up to 2 years (though some have seen results last longer)
- Stimulates collagen production
- Results appear gradually and tend to look more natural
- Restore lost volume in the face
- Poly-L-lactic acid widely used in the medical community
- Treats appearance of wrinkles
- Low risk
- Improves skin thickness, quality, and texture
Sculptra vs. Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
We have briefly discussed how Sculptra is different from hyaluronic acid fillers. However, while both administered via injection and considered dermal fillers, the two have many differences.
- Made of poly-L-lactic acid
- After initial sessions, no refreshment needed for two years
- Lasts up to 2 years
- Stimulates collagen
- Improves skin quality
- Gradual results
- Better for deeper wrinkles or widespread fat loss
- Injections often deeper in the skin
- Multiple sessions for full results
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
- Made of hyaluronic acid
- Requires multiple refreshment treatments a year
- Lasts 3-12 months on average
- Immediate results
- Suitable for more treatment areas including the lips
- Better for the earlier signs of aging
- One session for full results (normally)
Even with their differences, Sculptra and traditional fillers are both great and safe options for treating the signs of aging. Your injector can discuss each option with you to determine the best filler for you based on your anatomy and goals.
Before And After Sculptra Injections In Bellevue
Before undergoing Sculptra injections in Kirkland, you will meet with an injector at Northwest Face & Body. During this consultation, your injector will review the concerns you have with your appearance and goals for treatment. They may also ask about certain aspects of your medical history and lifestyle to gauge if Sculptra is the right filler for you.
Finally, your injector will perform a brief examination of the possible treatment areas. After this, if they believe you are a good candidate for Sculptra they made proceed with treatment the same day or advise you to schedule your appointment. You will also receive a price quote for the procedure based on the predicted number of vials necessary.
To start off your Sculptra injections, your injector will disinfect the injection sites with an alcohol wipe. They may also apply numbing cream to make the injections more tolerable and comfortable. Numbing takes around ten to twenty minutes.
Once numbed, your injector will begin your Sculptra injections. Typically, Sculptra injections are administered in two or three eight week intervals to promote the best collagen production possible. The first set of injections may take anywhere from ten to twenty minutes after numbing. There are usually multiple injection sites during each session.
When your injector finishes injecting, they will instruct you on how best to care for your face while the Sculptra settles. They may instruct you to massage the treatment sites and will show you how to do so. Swelling and bruising can happen and to address this you can use ice packs on and off for the first 24 hours. Avoiding aspirin based painkillers and using arnica gel can also help prevent and treat swelling.
Your injector may recommend avoiding exercise for a day or so, especially if you experience swelling or bruising. Otherwise, you can return to work and all of your normal activities. As a non-surgical procedure, there are few restrictions after Sculptra injections.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I Need More Than One Session?
Probably, while some younger patients may see the results they want after only one session of Sculptra, most patients require two or three. Following these initial sessions, you can expect to enjoy your results for several months and often two years or more. Once the effects wear off, patients may choose to undergo more Sculptra injections in Bellevue.
The best way to determine how many treatment sessions you will need is to consult with an injector at Northwest Face & Body. They will examine your anatomy and goals to determine the ideal number of sessions.
When Will I See My Results?
It usually takes around two to four months to start seeing results. This is because Sculptra stimulates collagen production which takes time to build up. Also, since most patients have more than one session, it is often after the second or third session where results become the most noticeable.
You will continue to follow up with your injector to gauge your individual results. This will allow them to determine if you need more Sculptra or not.
What Are The Side Effects Of Sculptra?
Sculptra–like any injection or procedure–has some possible side effects. For the most part, these are rare and temporary. Many patients experience few to no side effects after Sculptra injections. Your injector will thoroughly discuss all side effects with you before your injections. Some of the possible side effects include:
- Pain near the injection sites
All of the above side effects are usually easily treated and temporary. Many will go away on their own with home remedies or time. Most side effects are not generally serious. Your injector is happy to answer any questions and follow up with you about your Sculptra injections.
Can Sculptra Be Dissolved?
No, unlike hyaluronic acid fillers which have a reversal agent, Sculptra cannot be reversed easily. While certain treatments may contribute to the faster breakdown of Sculptra, no one treatment can quickly and effectively reverse it.
This is an important factor to consider when deciding if you want to try Sculptra and when looking for a provider. Incorrectly injected poly-L-lactic acid can lead to complications, which is why it’s important to seek out an experienced injector like those at Northwest Face & Body.
Does It Hurt?
Sculptra injections do come with some discomfort. It is generally not too uncomfortable, but your injector will offer numbing cream. This makes the procedure more comfortable and easier to manage.
The Best Sculptra In Bellevue And Kirkland At Northwest Face & Body
Northwest Face & Body is a premier plastic surgery clinic that has served the Eastside communities of Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond for over two decades. Providing the top of the line surgical and non-surgical procedures, Northwest Face & Body specializes in Sculptra injections.
Dr. Ludwig Allegra is an expert in cosmetic injections, including Sculptra. He has performed cosmetic surgeries and injections for decades and is among one of the most experienced in the Bellevue and Kirkland areas. Dr. Allegra also supervises the team of talented injectors who perform hundreds of injections every week.