Let’s talk a little about collagen. Collagen is a major component of our skin, acting as a scaffolding, that works to strengthen skin as well as provide elasticity and hydration. Many people experience collagen loss naturally while we age and also as a result of sun damage.
For those of you new to the world of injectable fillers, I wanted to highlight one of Dr. Hamilton’s absolute favorite products – Sculptra! Sculptra is an oldie but a goodie, initially approved in 2004 for the treatment of HIV facial fat loss. Fun fact: Dr. Hamilton was one of only three physicians in the United States who were authorized to compassionately import it from Europe to treat those with HIV since 2000. She is a pioneer in Sculptra treatment protocols and is internationally renowned for her work.
Sculptra differs from the hyaluronic acid injectables because it contains Poly-L-lactic acid that stimulates the body to produce its own collagen. The collagen then softens the appearance of facial wrinkles. Sculptra is not an “instant” filler like the hyaluronic acid injectables. Subtle changes appear over the course of 3 to 6 months with the increase in soft tissue and skin thickness. It can be placed in all parts of the face including the forehead, around the eyes and lips, between the mouth and nose, and in the cheeks. Body areas such as the decolletage, knees, and many more can also be treated with Sculptra. Effects can last up to 2 years. For additional information about Sculptra, please see this article.
Like with any filler appointment, the treatment begins with an hour of topical numbing time prior to Dr. Hamilton coming in to perform the procedure. Afterwards, you can expect swelling and bruising at the site of injection. Most patients require 1-3 treatment sessions spaced 8-12 weeks apart. Sculptra can also be used with other fillers for some instant gratification while waiting for the Sculptra to take effect.