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Sculptra® Aesthetic

Facial Rejuvenation in Virginia Beach

Collagen acts as a support structure for your skin, provides overall volume, and gives shape to your face, but as collagen diminishes over time, you can start to lose that structure, volume, and shape. Sculptra® Aesthetic, an injectable available in Virginia Beach from Ben Hugo Plastic Surgery, stimulates collagen production, helping to restore what was lost.

Volume loss and wrinkles in the face are key contributors to an aging appearance. The natural process of atrophy and redistribution of fat and collagen results in gradual facial sagging and a change to its contours. Similarly, the gradual appearance and deepening of wrinkles alters the skin itself, changing what was once smooth an unlined to a surface crossed by signs of creases and folds.

Sculptra
To find out if a Sculptra® Aesthetic is right for you, request a cosmetic surgery consultation online or call us today at (757) 496-4801.

What is Collagen?

A large percentage of the protein in a human body is collagen, which can be found in bones, ligaments, and other tissues. It can be very strong while remaining quite pliable, which is why it's such a vital component in the skin, where it provides both structure and flexibility. Collagen is a big part of what allows skin to bounce back into shape after being pushed and pulled by the muscles that help us make facial expressions. Though it can be damaged by UV radiation and other elements, young skin is equipped to naturally replace collagen as needed.

Older skin, however, is not as able to keep up as effectively. Collagen production begins to decline in a person's 20s, and at about age 30, collagen loss decreases elasticity and moisture in the skin, making it more prone to wrinkling and sagging. At this point, skin also begins to lose a great deal of shape-holding elastin and hydrating hyaluronic acid.

By the time you reach your 40s, your skin is no longer making new collagen. The protein that for so long provided support and shape can harden, changing from a flexible structure to a brittle element that allows the most visible signs of aging, including facial wrinkles and hollows, to develop. The loss is driven by environmental damage to the skin, as well as the natural and inevitable effects of aging.

This is where Sculptra® Aesthetic can help.

What is Sculptra® Aesthetic?

Sculptra® Aesthetic is a facial injectable that replaces the collagen lost during the aging process.

From a technical standpoint, the injectable is composed of crystals of poly-L-Lactic acid derived from absorbable surgical sutures (Vicryl® and Dexon®), which have a 50-year record of safety. Sculptra® has been widely used in the USA and worldwide for more than 20 years. Early applications included patients with AIDS and atrophy of facial fat.

Sculptra® is scientifically designed to stimulate natural collagen growth below the skin. Once kickstarted, the collagen forms a rejuvenated supportive framework and reinforces skin structure, filling in wrinkles and providing a subtle lift. The makers of Sculptra® refer to its benefits as "replacing," "restoring," and "refining," in that it replaces collagen lost over time, restores a full and healthy look to the treated areas, and refines the targeted features with subtle changes instead of obvious alterations.

Trials assessing the safety and effectiveness of Sculptra® have focused on its use in treating deep nasolabial wrinkles, also known as smile lines, that appear as creases running from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth. The FDA officially approved Sculptra® for this use in 2009. Sculptra® is also frequently injected to reduce the appearance of marionette lines that border the mouth on either side and wrinkles that develop on the chin. Dr. Hugo has more than five years’ experience with Sculptra® and has performed more than 1,000 treatments. He favors an off-label approach, treating the entire face in order to achieve a soft, balanced, natural lift. His treatments usually include the cheeks, under-eye area, temples, and jawline.

Dr. Ben Hugo employs Sculptra® to address aesthetic issues triggered by collagen loss in the cheeks, brow, jawline, and under-eye hollows. It provides a more youthful appearance and corrects facial wrinkles and folds. Currently, he is exploring the use of Sculptra® to improve wrinkles and crepey skin of the décolletage, neck, and hands. This is a new and exciting application for Sculptra®, which has been introduced in a few centers.

The Sculptra® Procedure and Recovery

You will receive a topical local anesthetic cream prior to your Sculptra® injections to improve comfort during your treatment. Many patients have compared the feeling of an injection to a slight pinch. There is no set number of injections per treatment session, as every patient is different and presents unique needs based on individualized collagen loss, facial structure, and desired outcomes.

The end results will not be visible at first, as patients will experience some swelling immediately after their Sculptra® injections, followed by the area reverting back to its original state soon after. Bruising and swelling are usually mild after treatment and are easily disguised with sunscreen and make-up. Typically, patients are able to return to work the following day.

Though skin treated with Sculptra® will begin producing new collagen, it will take a little time for that collagen to grow to noticeable levels. Patients will notice a gradual aesthetic improvement in the areas targeted by Sculptra® in the following days. Within four weeks, more rounded and smooth facial contours will be apparent, though patients may need to return to Dr. Ben Hugo's practice in Virginia Beach for further injections to get their ideal results.

The average full course of treatment involves three to four Sculptra® injection sessions scheduled at intervals of about eight weeks. The effects of Sculptra® are cumulative, with each successive treatment adding to the overall improvement and stimulating healthy, beneficial collagen.

Studies confirm that results last more than two years (four to five years in most of our patients). This makes Sculptra® a long-lasting minimally invasive treatment that some patients prefer to a surgical procedure, such as a facelift, designed to address volume loss and wrinkles. Surgery offers longer-lasting results, but also requires recuperation and recovery for days or weeks after the procedure. The lift achieved with Sculptra® is in an upward direction, producing a soft, natural result. A facelift pulls the face backward and up, sometimes resulting in an unbalanced appearance.

Our patients have been highly satisfied with their Sculptra® Aesthetic experience. To find out if Sculptra® Aesthetic is right for you, contact us at (757) 496-4801 to request your personalized consultation.

Lower-Lid Liquid Lift with Sculptra® Aesthetic

This exciting off-label application for Sculptra® Aesthetic has been advanced in recent years by several experienced plastic surgeons, including Dr. Ben Hugo. The treatment restores youthfulness to the eyes with the use of Sculptra® to volumize and support the under eyelid area. The natural collagen that is stimulated forms a supportive framework and subtly lifts the skin of the lower eyelid. This alleviates the hollow, tired appearance caused by dark circles and fine wrinkles there.

Dark circles are often the result of fat bulging in the lower eyelids, causing a shadow below the eyes. This is exaggerated by a loss of volume below the eyelid that creates a hollow area called the "tear trough." By placing Sculptra® into this "tear trough" area, there is less shadow, and the bulging fat of the lower eyelid is partially disguised, making you look more youthful and rested.

This non-surgical treatment is popular for several reasons as people continue to look for low down-time procedures that offer excellent results without the need for surgery. Results last for two to three years.

Does Sculptra® Aesthetic Have Side Effects?

As noted above, Sculptra® injections can cause some immediate swelling, as well as bruising, both of which should quickly fade. Other temporary side effects include pain at the injection site, redness, and bleeding that resolves shortly after treatment. In some cases, Sculptra® patients have reported the development of small bumps under the skin in the treated area.

To help keep swelling to a minimum after a Sculptra® injection, patients can apply a cold cloth to the treated area off and on for a few minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. Do not apply ice directly to skin. Your injector will give you after-care instructions, which may also include directions to promote even distribution of the Sculptra® Aesthetic in your skin by gently massaging the targeted regions up to 10 times a day for two to three minutes at a time. This should be continued for 10 days.

Patients who have an active skin infection or inflammation in the area where they'd like treatment should avoid using Sculptra® until their condition clears up. Since it does not contain any human, animal, or bacterial ingredients, patients don't have to get allergy testing before they receive their injections. Sculptra® is ultimately safely absorbed within eight weeks.

As with many cosmetic treatments, patients who receive Sculptra® Aesthetic should be sure to use sunscreen every four hours for several weeks.

Remember that only physicians trained by Sculptra® manufacturer Galderma (Nestle Corporation) can administer the injections. This helps to ensure that Sculptra® treatments are limited to professionals who understand what Sculptra® can do, how to maximize results, and how to minimize risks.

What Can Complement Sculptra® Aesthetic?

Patients who choose Sculptra® to smooth out wrinkles on their mid to lower face, or even their brow, may also want to consider options for addressing wrinkles on the upper portion of their face as well. BOTOX® is approved to relax wrinkle-causing muscles in the forehead and to the side of either eye. DOT fractional CO2 laser also complements the results. View photographs of our patients' results in our photo gallery.

Patients who want to further improve their jawline and neck contours can talk to Dr. Ben Hugo about Kybella®, an injectable that destroys the fat cells that cause submental fullness, better known as a double chin.

Will Sculptra® Aesthetic Be Right For Me?

While your specific aesthetic needs can be discussed at your consultation, know that Dr. Ben Hugo typically suggests that his patients use Sculptra® Aesthetic for rejuvenating and lifting larger areas of the face, such as the entire cheek or jawline. Sculptra® is ideal for people who want a more subtle change to their facial contours, given its ability to gradually increase collagen in the skin.

For more focused correction of limited areas, Dr. Ben Hugo recommends Juvéderm® Voluma, an injectable hyaluronic acid that can precisely target the upper cheek and provide a more immediate lifting effect.

Patients who want to address skin tone and texture can explore laser skin rejuvenation, which uses heat energy to stimulate wrinkle-filling collagen growth while at the same time clearing pigmentation irregularities, smoothing out rough patches, and reducing the appearance of large pores.

Dr. Ben Hugo and his team can help patients to determine what treatment or combination of treatments will best deliver the desired cosmetic results.

Learn more about Sculptra® by requesting a consultation or calling us today at (757) 496-4801.
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