I had 3 sessions of Sculptra done over the space of 3 months, with 2 vials used each time. I don't really see a significant difference, and no one seems to notice any change as well. Could I just be responding very slowly to it, or it's possible that it won't work on me? When should I expect to see some noticeable results?
When Should I Start Seeing Results from Sculptra?
Doctor Answers (7)
Typically the results of Sculptra can be seen starting at about six to nine months. The volumization that occurs is gradual and then usually peaks at around this time.
Sculptra. When to expect seeing results.
Sculptra is a unique substance. One injects the substance. Folks get excited with the volume, and then it goes away in two weeks. It then comes back in 4 to 6 weeks as the water comes back into the substance. The general rule of thumb is if you are 40, you will need 4 vials. Best results can sometimes not be apparent until 6 to 9 months after treatment. It is OK to ask your injector their thoughts on the subject.
When Should You See Results From Sculptra
Studies have shown that the results from sculptra peak at eight to ten months. In my own experience I have found that waiting eight months to take the after pictures is the best time to see the results. But the good news for the patients is that while the results are gradual once the results have been achieved they last a long time, so you are actually growing younger!
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Sculptra results are gradual and take time
Sculptra takes at least several months for results to become apparent. For patients with average amounts of volume loss in the face, I typically tell patients it takes a total number of vials roughly equal to the number of decades you are old. For example, a 40 year old might need a total of 4 vials of Sculptra over several sessions to replete lost volume. The older you are, the harder it is to make collagen--I find that older patients do not respond as well. Extremely athletic patients or naturally very thin patients may sometimes experience more modest results--this is anecdotal and not documented by clinical studies--however, this has been my personal experience.
Sculptra improvements can be seen in photographs
Sculptra "grows" over months of time in most people. I have had some patients who were "fast" responders and saw results more quickly, usually in relatively younger patients. I take pictures at each treatment session and then I will usually check the patient again at 6-7 months after the original treatment date and compare their photographs from before and after the treatment. Since Sculptra is usually spread through out the face the changes are more global than just a line or wrinkle going away. Many patients are amazed at the difference in the difference between their before and after treatment photos. Since we look in the mirror every day, no one really remembers what they looked like 7 months before, so the photographs are very helpful in seeing the improvement over time.
The protocol of treatments that you have had sounds reasonable. Sometimes it requires a fourth or even a fitfh treatment. But, the reaction to the Sculptra takes several months to really evaluate. Give it some more time before you jump to do anything else.
It is a process
It sounds as if you have been appropriately treated with 3 sessions of 2 vials each over a 3 month time period. This is a typical schedule for injection. With this sequence you should start seeing some improvement in your appearance and increasing volume and thickening of your skin. The visibility of the effect is usually subtle and may be longer in coming if you have advanced volume loss due to aging or a medical condition. In severe cases it may take more than 3 sessions to achieve a correction. If any pretreatment photographs were obtained, looking back at them may reveal whether there has really been any effect or not. Ask to review them with your treating physician if available. Good luck!