Sculptra® is an injectable product that corrects the signs of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy)
by restoring lost volume in the skin. Lipoatrophy can result in sunken cheeks,
indentations and hollow eyes. Injected into the deep dermis layer of the skin, Sculptra®
provides a gradual and significant increase in skin thickness, improving the appearance
of folds and sunken areas. Note that Sculptra® does not treat lipoatrophy, but it does
compensate for its effects.
What is Sculptra® made of? Is it safe?
Sculptra’s main component is an alpha hydroxy acid called poly-L-lactic acid, or PLLA. It
is safe, synthetic (artificially created), biocompatible (can be used harmlessly in the
body), biodegradable (able to be broken down in the body) and long-lasting. PLLA has
been used for more than 20 years in many surgical products, including dissolvable
sutures and soft tissue implants.
Who is a candidate for Sculptra®?
Sculptra is FDA-approved for the treatment of aging, wrinkled facial skin, and is
considered safe and effective for most patients seeking to achieve a more youthful,
natural-looking appearance with subtle, yet noticeable results. Sculptra should not be
used in patients who have active skin infections or inflammation (swelling) in the area to
be treated, or who are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Do I need a skin test?
No skin testing is required.
What will happen on the day of treatment?
At your Sculptra® treatment session, you will be asked to remove any makeup, and the
area of skin to be treated will be swabbed clean. You and your doctor will discuss
whether to use a local or topical anesthetic to minimize any discomfort. Then, your
doctor will administer Sculptra® in a series of injections with a very fine needle.
Afterwards, you will be given an ice pack to reduce swelling. It is important to massage
the treated area to ensure that the material is evenly distributed beneath the skin.
When will I see the results of my Sculptra® treatment?
Sculptra’s effects are not immediate. Improvement in skin volume occurs gradually.
Will I need more than one treatment?
More than one treatment may be necessary to achieve the best results. Patients with
more severe lipoatrophy generally need additional injections. In your follow-up
appointment a few weeks after your first Sculptra® session, your doctor will determine
whether you need a touch-up treatment.
How long do the effects last?
The results of Sculptra® vary from patient to patient. In a clinical study, the effects were
shown to last for up to two years after the first treatment session in most patients.
Are there any side effects?
Some patients experience side effects from Sculptra® injection. These may include
localized bleeding, tenderness, discomfort, redness, bruising and swelling. Side effects
usually fade within a few days or even a few hours, although they can last longer.
Massage and ice pack application to the treatment area reduce swelling. Strong sun
and UV exposure should be avoided until swelling and redness have subsided.
Some patients develop small bumps under the skin in the treatment area. These may
appear in the first six to twelve months after the first injection. They may be visibly red,
or, more often, they may only be felt by pressing on the area.
How soon I can go back to my normal activities?
There is little to no downtime after a Sculptra® treatment. Most patients return to their normal
For more information about Sculptra®, you can visit their website by clicking here.