Facial aging can be divided into two categories: extrinsic (external) and intrinsic (innate and not modifiable). External factors such as UV (sun/tanning beds), smoking, and other environmental pollutants cause discoloration, collagen degradation, and wrinkles. Chemical peels, topical retinoids, topical skin rejuvenation treatments like Defenage®, and lasers moderate and sometimes reverse this damage. However, even the healthiest of lifestyles cannot prevent the hormonal changes that cause fat redistribution and losses of skin elasticity, bone, and soft tissue, which lead to temporal hollowing, under eye circles, and development of jowls. For this, we need fillers.
Sculptra® Aesthetic (poly-L-lactic acid) is a biostimulatory filler that induces the body’s natural collagen production. It is made from non-GMO corn and beet sugars and breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. It is injected in a series of treatment sessions over several months, and the results can last for over two years, after which touch ups every 12-18 months are needed to maintain improvement. It is unique in that it can mimic bone, soft tissue, and fat, and the results are very gradual and natural looking. Sculptra® actually thickens the skin and improves skin quality, giving it a “Sculptra® glow.”
It is FDA-approved for the treatment of nasolabial folds and other facial lines, such as the cheeks and chin, but it is used safely “off-label” in the temples. It can even be used in the décolleté to improve the appearance of crepey skin and in the buttocks, either to give a fuller, more toned look or to help improve the appearance of cellulite. Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers (Restylane® and Juvederm® families), it is not reversible, and care should be taken to select an experienced and highly trained physician injector. It should not be used under the eyes, in the red part of the lips, or by women who are pregnant or nursing.
I specialize in “age appropriate restoration,” and my best work is noticeable but undetectable. When you want to look refreshed, not “done,” come visit me at Thacker Dermatology. Together, we can design a program that fits your budget, lifestyle, and goals.
Dermatology Care Thacker Dermatology
Betsy Perry Thacker, MD, FAAD is a board certified dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Florida State University College of Medicine.
Business Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 5p.m. Friday 8 a.m. – Noon
Address: 4233 Camelot Crossing Valdosta GA 31602
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Written by: Betsy Perry Thacker, MD
Images courtesy of Betsy Perry Thacker, MD