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The Natural Appeal of Sculptra®

Why I offer Sculptra® collagen-producing injections as a Naturopathic Doctor in Kamloops and Kelowna, BC.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, my commitment extends to offering treatments that complement our body's inherent processes—and in the increasingly popular industry of cosmetic injections, Sculptra® stands out.

Sculptra® is FDA and Health Canada approved for treating wrinkle and volume loss in patients. Originally, this treatment was used for HIV patients to correct signs of facial fat loss in the face, but later was approved for treating non-HIV patients.

What is Sculptra®?

Unlike many common injectables that focus on a temporary solution to volume loss, Sculptra® takes a more organic approach. Its main component, poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), encourages the body to produce collagen, a vital protein responsible for skin's structure and elasticity. As collagen levels naturally decrease with age, Sculptra® aims to rejuvenate and rebuild the skin from within, using the body's own regeneration mechanisms. What does this all mean? Instead of the somewhat instant volume that traditional fillers provide, Sculptra® builds facial volume naturally over time.

The Science Behind Sculptra®

Sculptra® is unique in the world of dermal fillers due to its primary active ingredient: poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). This biodegradable, biocompatible synthetic polymer has been used for several decades in medical applications, including dissolvable stitches. But how does it actually work to restore youthful, facial volume? Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Injection and Immediate Filling: When Sculptra® is injected into the dermis (the thick layer of skin beneath the outermost layer, or epidermis), it provides an immediate but temporary increase in skin thickness. This is because the PLLA particles are suspended in a gel-like solution, which gives an initial volume to the treated area.

  2. Macrophage Activation: The presence of the injected PLLA microparticles acts as a foreign body, stimulating the body's immune response. Macrophages, a type of white blood cell, are recruited to the area to engulf and break down these microparticles.

  3. Collagen Stimulation: As the macrophages work on the PLLA microparticles, there's an associated stimulation of fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are cells responsible for producing collagen. The PLLA microparticles stimulate fibroblasts to produce new collagen (type I and III), a process termed "neocollagenesis."

  4. Degradation of PLLA: Over time, the PLLA microparticles are metabolized by the body and converted into carbon dioxide and water, which are then naturally excreted. The degradation process of PLLA can take several months, during which the stimulation for collagen production continues.

  5. Long-term Results: As the PLLA microparticles are broken down, the newly produced collagen fibers remain in the treated area. This results in a lasting increase in skin thickness and volume, effectively reducing the appearance of wrinkles, folds, and other signs of aging. The effects can last up to two years or more for some patients.

Sculptra®’s process is distinct from other fillers. Instead of merely filling in space like traditional fillers, Sculptra® works by promoting the body's own collagen production, leading to more natural and enduring results. Ultimately, Sculptra® harnesses the body's intrinsic regenerative processes to enhance skin volume and appearance, leading to natural-looking results.

Benefits of Sculptra®

So, in a world where instant gratification is so appealing, why would you choose to wait months for your cosmetic injection results? Well, I have a few thoughts on this. Here are the benefits of Sculptra®:

  • Gradual, Natural-looking Results: Sculptra® ensures the enhancement appears as organic as possible and allows the skin ample time to adjust to the new volume.

  • Extended Effects: Sculptra®’s ability to stimulate natural collagen production means that results can endure for up to two years or longer in some cases, outlasting most other dermal filler treatments.

  • Safety and Biocompatibility: The biodegradable nature of PLLA ensures that it's not just harmonious with the body, but also breaks down safely over time.

The Sculptra® Procedure Experience

Like with any treatment with me (naturopathic medicine or cosmetic injections), the consultation process is by far the most important. It is paramount that you and I are completely aligned before the treatment begins. A thorough assessment, discussion of expected outcomes (including possible side effects) and a question and answer period will all precede the actual treatment. During this time, we will determine if Sculptra® is the best option for your desired results and develop a treatment plan, which will typically entail a minimum of three treatments spaced over several months.

Once aligned, the actual procedure involves cleansing the injection sites and applying a topical anesthetic for additional comfort is desired. I may then mark the treatment area with a skin-safe pencil to mark the injection sites. Following precise injections, you’ll likely experience mild redness and/or swelling, which will resolve naturally within a few hours up to a couple of days.

Sculptra® Post-Treatment Instructions

I cannot stress this enough when it comes to your Sculptra® treatment—how well you follow the provided post-treatment instructions directly will impact your results. While I’ll provide more detailed post care guide during your appointment with me, here’s what you can expect:

  • Follow the 5-5-5 rule, massage the treatment area five times a day, for five minutes each time, for at least five days post-treatment (please ensure you’re able to commit to this before booking your treatment).

  • Avoid any other aesthetic treatments, including dentistry, for a minimum of two weeks following your treatment.

  • Take the rest day, avoiding any strenuous activity, excessive sun or heat exposure, exposure to extreme cold, or drinking alcoholic beverages for 24 hours following treatment.

  • For the first 8 hours after your treatment, be available to apply a cold pack, which will greatly reduce swelling, and to refrain from wearing makeup.

Understanding if Sculptra® is Your Solution

If you want to restore facial volume without looking “filled,” Sculptra® is likely your answer. If you want a lower maintenance option to fillers, Sculptra® is likely your answer. However, if you’re looking for immediate results, Sculptra® is not your answer. Additionally, if you’d like to address and contour specific areas, Sculptra® is likely not your sole answer.

Sculptra® is the best option on the market for those looking for a more natural-approach to cosmetic injections and who value treatments that work harmoniously with their body’s natural processes. Those seeking immediate, pronounced results might find this treatment less appealing, as Sculptra® is defined by its subtle and gradual improvements. Sculptra® is most commonly used for facial wrinkles, folds (nasolabial, etc.), volume loss and contouring the chin and jawline. For those looking to address lip volume, traditional dermal fillers are recommended—Sculptra® is not designed for this area.

Sculptra® is not suitable for individuals with certain allergies, skin conditions, or immune disorders—always consult with your family doctor before introducing a new treatment. Sculptra® is also not recommended for those with a history of keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring.

Sculptra FAQs

How much does Sculptra® cost?

With each Sculptra® treatment plan being customized specifically to you, prices do vary. However, vials of Sculptra® start at $800/vial ( $1500/two vials). The number of vials required per treatment will vary depending on the individual.

How many Sculptra® treatments will I require?

Again, this depends on your particular needs, but based on the clinical study, optimal results can be seen with three treatments, spaced four weeks apart.

How long do Sculptra® results last?

According to clinical studies, Sculptra® results can last up to 25 months with many patients reporting visible results exceeding the clinical trial (some up to five years!).

How much downtime can I expect post Sculptra® treatment?

I recommend planning to lay low the remainder of your day in order to ice and remove the temptation to apply makeup. You may have swelling, numbness and redness for a few hours following the procedure and are required to follow the post-care instructions carefully.

Do Sculptra® injections hurt?

If you have had other injectables, Sculptra® is very comparable. While discomfort is expected, most patients do not describe the process as painful. A topical anesthesia may be applied for additional comfort. If you are concerned about this aspect of your treatment, please let me know and we can develop a treatment plan that best suits you.

When will I start seeing Sculptra®results?

While you will see increased volume Immediately after treatment, do not be shocked when this begins to go down. Over the next few weeks your body will slowly begin to grow collagen and gradually increase volume. Results are gradual and can be seen starting at three weeks post-treatment and continuing to improve for several months.

Sculptra® Treatments in Kamloops and Kelowna, BC

Alongside the Naturopathic Medicine side of my practice, I am proud to offer patients cosmetic injections including, neuromodulators (botox), dermal fillers, Sculptra® and skin boosters in Kelowna and Kamloops, BC. If you’re ready to book in your no-obligation Sculptra® consultation with me, you can do so online at the location most convenient for you:

Heather Polak Aesthetics Studio in Kelowna, BC

Kelowna Laser Spa in Kelowna, BC

Smooth Effects Kamloops in Kamloops, BC

Studio 201 Skincare & Spa in Kamloops, BC

Beautiful U Kamloops in Kamloops, BC

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