Not in the market for a facelift but looking to restore youthful contours and revitalize facial features, Sculptra may be the right treatment for you.
With normal aging the face experiences significant volume loss. By the time a person turns 50 they may have already lost 20-30cc of volume in their face. Volume loss is multifactorial. Fat pads throughout the face become less prominent and there is bony resorption throughout the entire facial skeleton and jaw. Skin sagging occurs from the loss of the structural support as well as from gravity. Compare aging with the following analogy. In a youthful face, the dress (skin) and your body (facial structures) are the same size. An aging face wears the same dress, but the body is now a size or 2 smaller, so the dress doesn’t fit correctly.
Volume loss occurs at age 30, about 1-2 cc of volume loss occurs per year. The process is slow and subtle, and it isn’t until the late thirties or early forties that there is any noticeable changes. To combat this process physicians have used dermal fillers and fat transfer to restore some of the volume. Restylane, Lyft, Juvederm, Voluma, are some of the most commom hyaluronic acid fillers. These all last about 12-18 months, with most of their longevity based on their ability to absorb water. These are great fillers for small corrections around the eyes, lips, marionettes, and nasolabial folds. The cost effectiveness of these fillers becomes less reasonable for anyone looking at needing 6 or more syringes. At this point, correction is still far from optimal, but the costs are significant.
The only filler that can correct large volume deficits in a cost effective manner is Sculptra.
Sculptra stimulates your own collagen to volumize the face “naturally”. Studies have shown Sculptra’s effect to last 2 years and longer. Because aging is ongoing even after full correction with Sculptra, touch ups with one to two vials every 12 to 18 months are required. Not only does Sculptra produce a long lasting and natural result, it is a cost effective solution. When comparing Sculptra to a hyaluronic filler, one vial of Sculptra is the equivalent of injecting approximately 4 syringes of a hyaluronic filler. With the cost of Sculptra less than 1.5x the cost of a syringe of hyaluronic filler Sculptra is clearly the biggest bang for your buck. To gauge the amount of Sculptra you will need for full correction think of full volumization as “1 vial per decade of life”. Sculptra should be considered the “workhorse” for replacing the structural loss of the face. Fine tuning, once the volume is replaced, is the job of the hyaluronic fillers.
Although there is still a component of excess skin in the aging face, the primary cause of wrinkles and skin laxity is due to volume loss. Correcting volume deficits should be the primary focus of reversing the signs of aging. Of the fillers, Sculptra stands out from all the others in its ability to produce a long lasting, cost effective, and natural solution for large volume replacements.