Are you looking for a treatment that can help you look more youthful, while giving gradual, natural results? Then Sculptra® Aesthetic is for you! Improve tone, texture, lines, wrinkles, and firmness of your skin over time, harnessing the power of your own collagen production.

What is it?
Sculptra® Aesthetic is a collagen biostimulator. This means that it stimulates your skin’s own natural collagen production over time. It is made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). As the PLLA is being metabolized, fibroblast cells are stimulated to make Type I collagen. Type I collagen is the type of collagen found in skin. By 13 weeks the PLLA is completely resorbed, but the body continues to produce collagen.

Sculptra® Aesthetic works subtly and gradually over time within the deep dermal layer of the skin, reinforcing the skin’s inner structure and increasing facial volume that has been lost with aging. The result is correction of shallow to deep facial wrinkles for a more youthful appearance.(7,8,9)

What exactly is collagen?
Collagen is a strong, flexible, fibrous type of protein found throughout the body. In the skin, it acts as a support structure or scaffolding, and helps maintain the skin’s shape.(1) In fact, 70% of our skin is composed of collagen.(2)

Why is collagen so important for youthful looking skin?
As we age, our body’s collagen production decreases. The fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen) are no longer able to produce it as efficiently as they used to, and existing collagen becomes fragmented, bent, and frayed.(3) The loss of collagen weakens the skin’s inner structure, reducing its ability to maintain elasticity and moisture. Gradually, skin loses its youthful firmness, leading to lines, wrinkles, and folds, as well as a loss of skin volume and support.(4,5)

When does this collagen loss happen?
Collagen loss is a normal part of aging and happens to everyone. We lose about one percent of collagen per year after age 18. By age 50 we can lose up to 30% of our collagen. 6 Additionally, for women, after menopause we lose five percent per year for 5 years.

Just how much collagen you lose and when varies from person to person. Facial aging starts in our 20’s, when skin firmness begins to decrease as a result of both internal factors (genetics, natural aging) and external/lifestyle factors (sun exposure, smoking, stress, pollution).(5)

How many Sculptra® Aesthetic treatments will I need?
Dr. Melissa will determine the answer tailored to your needs, but in general, you will initially have three treatments over three to four months. Then you will have a maintenance treatment once a year. The general rule of thumb is one vial per decade in the initial series, then one to two vials per year for maintenance.

When will I see results?
Results will appear gradually over a period of a few months as your body makes more collagen. You may continue to see subtle improvement in results for up to a year or even longer.

How long does it last?
In clinical trials the results are long lasting, more than two years.(7,8,9) In contrast, hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers last until the HA is absorbed by the body, typically 6-12 months after injection.(10)

Is it safe?
Yes! PLLA is a biodegradable substance that has been proven safe and has been used in medical products, including dissolvable sutures, for more than 30 years.(7,11)

If you have been diagnosed with a disease that affects the immune system, or are taking medication that compromises your immune system, talk to Dr. Melissa about whether Sculptra® Aesthetic is the right treatment choice for you.

1 McIntosh J. Collagen: What is it and what are its uses? Medical News Today. June 16, 2017.
2 Ackerman AB, et al. Histologic Diagnosis of Inflammatory Skin Diseases. Third ed. 2005. Collagen chapter.
3 Quan T, Wang F, Shao Y, et al. Enhancing structural support of the dermal microenvironment activates fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and keratinocytes in aged human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Mar;133(3):658-667.
4 Ganjoo A. Aging skin. In: Venkataram M, ed. ACS(I) Textbook on Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. 1st ed. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers; 2012:545-549.
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9 Sculptra Aesthetic injectable poly-L-lactic acid. Instructions for Use. Galderma Laboratories. 2016.
10 Mayo Clinic. Facial fillers for wrinkles. Available at
11 Lowe NJ. Dispelling the myth: appropriate use of poly-L-lactic acid and clinical considerations. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2006: 20(1):2-6
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