Good Things Come to Those Who Wait…

I am often asked, “What can you do to make me look years younger, less tired, less droopy, and less stressed?”  “Oh… and make sure it looks totally natural and subtle so that no one knows I did ANYTHING!”  “Oh… and I can’t bruise because I have my high school reunion, daughter’s wedding, or big party this weekend.” No doubt, this is a tall order! I don’t blame my patients for saying these things, because I think and say them all too. We do have new product at Pacific Plastic Surgery in Santa Barbara that will make you look more rested and younger and it looks very natural. It won’t however happen overnight; in fact it takes a few months for a full effect. And… Sorry but I can’t promise no bruises!

The product I am referring to is Sculptra. It is an injectable collagen stimulator and facial volumizer that can plump up “hollows’ gradually over time. Sculptra can give noticeable results that occur subtly over a few months and can last for up to 2 years. Sculptra is most often used to correct shallow-to-deep facial wrinkles and folds. It is FDA approved for the nasal-labial folds and the oral commisures (think smile lines and corners of your mouth), but is used all over the face including temples, cheeks and chin.

When we age, the volume of our skin decreases due to dissipation of youthful tissue and fat. Sculptra not only replaces this volume, but can also be used to replace and augment the bony structure underneath the skin that is lost as we age as well.

Who is a good candidate for Sculptra?

Anyone is a good candidate for Sculptra, as long you have a healthy immune system, aren’t allergic to the primary ingredient, poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), and you don’t have a history or susceptibility to keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring.

How does Sculptra deliver results slowly?

Our bodies are constantly producing new cells, new collagen, and new tissues. As we age, our collagen production tends to decrease. Sculptra injections stimulate our skin to boost the production of collagen. It works with your skin’s existing collagen and initially replaces it, then reinforces it, strengthens it, and stimulates the production of new collagen.

What exactly is Sculptra?

Sculptra Aesthetic is made from a synthetic material called poly-L-lactic acid, which is gradually and naturally absorbed by the body as it works to replace lost collagen.

What is the process?

Patients should come in once a month for approximately 3 months in a row. Each time you are given numbing cream for all the areas to be injected. There is also Lidocaine (numbing agent) mixed in with the Sculptra. You will initially leave with your face looking fully corrected (i.e. all the wrinkles and hollows filled) over the next few days the lidocaine and saline start to dissipate and you will be left with the active ingredient there to start doing its job. Your end result will not occur until a month or so after your last treatment.

How much do I need and how much will it cost?

A good rule of thumb is one vial per decade of life. So if you are 40 then 4 vials spaced over 3 injection visits. Each vial costs $700, however there is a discount for buying all vials up front.

So if you are looking for natural facial rejuvenation and volumizing, Sculptra can give this effect over time. Not instant gratification, but as they say, “good things come to those who wait.” Or in our case, “good looks come to those who wait.”


– Jessica Barker, P.A.

Jessica Barker, PA

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