Sculptra is a stimulatory injectable filler composed of poly-L-lactic acid. It is biocompatible, meaning it is not harmful to the surrounding living tissue. It works by way of neocollagenesis, or stimulation of the body to produce its own collagen at the site of injection. Neocollagenesis triggers the targeted area to firm, tighten, lift and smooth the overlying skin. This is beneficial in areas of depressed skin caused by facial lipoatrophy (fat loss). This includes skin creases, wrinkles, folds, scars, and overall aging.
The injection itself is biodegradable and is absorbed by the body within one week. It is the response it creates that leads to the volume increase. The poly-L-lactic acid causes a localized inflammatory reaction, causing fibroblasts to infiltrate the area, encapsulating the injected implant with thin-walled collagen. The poly-L-lactic acid, itself, degrades into lactic acid leaving behind residual crystals. Over time, the crystals lead to collagen production causing the formation of fibrous connective tissue around the implant (fibroplasia) and thus a gradual thickening of the dermis.
This differs from other injectable fillers, such as hyaluronic acid, which cannot stimulate fibroblasts but instead stretches the existing collagen fibers through displacement of the area, leading to a short-term fix. Though the volume increase in Sculptra may take anywhere from three to six months to develop, the results persist upwards of two years. For this reason, Sculptra should be considered one of the first options for cosmetic rejuvenation.
Elizabeth Sippey PA-Resident
Essentials Medispa & Salon