[By Lydia Salma]

While previously the only options for smoothing wrinkles and fine lines were limited to invasive and expensive plastic surgery, or trial-and-error with expensive face creams, cosmetics injectables are taking the whole game of beautification to another different level altogether. In recent years, besides Botox and other similar neurotoxin-based treatments, dermal fillers are at the cutting-edge of cosmetics dermatology. While the outcome of Botox is largely dose and technique dependent, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to fillers, with variable types catering to the varying needs of different individuals. So is Sculptra or Fillers a better choice for you? Let us help you choose.

What are fillers?

Fillers are made from a variety of temporary or permanent materials that can be injected beneath the surface of the skin to fill lines, add volume and fullness and enhance facial features. The safest and most commonly used are those composed of naturally occurring Hyaluronic acid such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero.Others include calcium fillers like Radiesse and Ellanse. While there are a variety of fillers out there on the market, filler experts such as Dr Kenneth Lee stress that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dermal fillers; different fillers have different qualities which render them suitable for a variety of purposes— from complexion enhancement to volume replacement. Knowing when to use what and having a good injection technique us key to achieving satisfactory outcomes. he stresses.

What are fillers good for?

Natural facial fillers formulated with hyaluronic acid are designed to immediately fill in the areas under the skin where wrinkles and creases have formed. They are best for deep lines that are present even when facial muscles are not contracting. These are known as static wrinkles and they do not respond favorably to Botox treatment. Static wrinkles are caused by sagging and decreased plumpness of the face due to a loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin. Static wrinkles commonly treated include those along the cheeks (deep laugh lines or nasolabial folds) and around the mouth (Marionette lines). In some cases such as visible permanent lines etched across the forehead visible even at rest, a combination of botox and fillers will give optimal outcome.

In addition, fillers can be used as “volumisers” for treating undereye hollowing and sunken temples much like how new stuffing for a deflated pillow works. Fillers can also be used to enhance the appearance of facial features such as nose fillers, lip fillers, cheek sculpt and chin enhancement.

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What is Sculptra?

How does Sculptra work?

The main ingredient in Sculptra is poly-L-lactic acid, a product of cane sugar. This is the same material that is used for making absorbable surgical suture which is completely dissolvable and absorbed naturally by the skin.This process was discovered to stimulate the growth of collagen and eventually led to the realization of Sculptra, an FDA approved dermal filler that acts as a collagen stimulator for those in need of facial volume restoration. It was specially developed to repair contour defects in the face (notably for HIV patients with profound weight loss) and more than three million patients have been treated effectively since 1999.

What is Sculptra good for?

Our dream skin is one that is firm, full, smooth and youthful. Dream Sculpture engages the collagenesis effect of Sculptra to boost your skin’s own collagen to help restore its inner structure and increase facial volume that has been lost to aging or severe weight loss. Unlike the more popular HA facial fillers that most are familiar with, Sculptra doesn’t result in immediate volume replacement but instead work with your body to help revitalize the production of its innate collagen stores to give your skin improved elasticity, texture, tone and contour over time. According to Dr Lee, procedures like Dream Sculpture is perfect to stave away the years and keep skin looking youthful for many years to come; a good ‘hedge’ against ageing, so to speak.

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How is Sculptra different than other dermal fillers?

Sculptra provides more subtle and long-lasting results than many other fillers. It works on the deeper layers of your skin, in contrast to other fillers that simply fill in wrinkles without addressing the underlying cause. Because Sculptra replaces lost collagen, the results can last up to two years, which is  longer than other dermal fillers. Unlike HA fillers which give immediate results, the similar filling effect seen after Sculptra will disappear after two days, only to have gradual improvement seen in 8 to 12 weeks’ time and is best done with 3 consecutive sessions at intervals as recommended by your physician according to the specific requirements to fulfill your skin needs.

Am I a good candidate for Dream Sculpture?

This is the perfect option for those who are not keen to go under the knife. Dream Sculpture provides gradual, natural looking results with significantly less downtime compared to surgical facelift. The procedure takes as little as 30 minutes and is perfect for those who aren’t keen for nary a telltale sign of having “works done”. As with all injectable treatments, there is a possibility of pin-prink marks and occasional bruising which can all be easily concealed with clever makeup application. When considering Sculptra, there are a few things to take into consideration. If you’re specifically hoping for a natural look, Dream Sculpture‘s gradual approach will do the trick of keeping everyone guessing about your “secret” to looking so radiant and beautiful especially when the aim is to treat several areas for total rejuvenation. However, if instant results are important to you, such as the need for a quick fix in time for an upcoming school reunion or wedding anniversary, Sculptra may not fit the bill. Finally, it’s important to remember that Sculptra works best in combination with a consistent after-care regimen, so if you want to get the most out of each treatment, you’ll need to remain committed to your aesthetics physician’s instructions and suggested treatment plan to address your beauty woes.

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