I hesitated to first write this review, but I thought that maybe my experience would help others. January 2009 I had one full vile of Sculptra injected into my face to the cost of about $900. The injections themselves were not painful, but within five hours I was in so much pain that I was dizzy. I have a very high tolerance to pain and the injections affected me for about three days after. I was a bit put off by this. A nurse injected them and told me to come back in six weeks for just one more treatment for $200. I never did. I still remembered the pain after and I wasn't eager to go back for even six more injections.
I followed the nurse's directions and massaged my face five times a day for five minutes each for five days afterwards. The nurse told me to me use arnica gel which I purchased at a whole food grocery. I had minimal, but obvious bruises. By April 2009, people were telling me that I looked 32 years old. (I was 41). I'm a single mother and I went out on dates and several of them said that they couldn't believe that I was in my early forties. One guy told me that there wasn't one wrinkle on my face. My friends at the gym would come up to me and tell me that I looked amazing. This continue until May 2011. Me, being the egoist that I am, thought it was "me". I thought my friends were talking about my body at the gym. Later one defined it as my youth and my body. (I work hard to maintaining my figure).
In April 2011, I started noticing that I looked tired all of the time. I went into an absolutely wonderful doctor and he gave me some options and did botox injections. Those lasted until roughly September 2011. They didn't help entirely, but they helped about 60%. I scheduled an appointment for Juviderm, which I canceled later due to time constraints. I haven't a great deal of time on my hands, I'm self employed and in this economy I'm constantly struggling for a moment for myself. During the holiday season of 2011 I looked tired all of the time. I was getting photos of my son and I together and organizing them so I could do some sort of photo album for my child. I had several photos printed and the process of dating them made me realize one thing. I looked fresh and younger in the photographs within a two year period of the Sculptra injections.
Although I had only one vile and the nurse wanted me to come in for one more syringe, this stuff had actually helped a great deal. I can say that my results lasted around 2 1/2 years. Nearly three years later (January 26, 2012) I have gone back to the same office to have another vile injected. The former nurse has moved to NY and I had a different nurse do the injections. Three days prior to the injections I started taking arnica orally and after the injections I used the gel to massage my face and orally took arnica for three days. I had mild discoloration from the injections. However the after effects of the injections were horrible. I nearly vomited from trying to massage my face at the end of the day that I had my injections. Apparently these are deep injections. I am unsure of exactly differ from Juviderm or other more temporary fillers. I have seem some minor results so far after a week. I know that this is a very gradual process. I don't think that the full effects of this filler really take place for a couple of months. This is from memory.
I am scheduled to return to that office for another full vile on March 8, 2012. I'm am not happy with the concept that I will be in such physical pain again for about two or three days afterwards. I am unsure if this is due to the practitioner or the deep injections or what. Because I took it for granted between 2009-2011 I never went into for a "touch of" of one syringe. I will mark on my calender six month increments to evaluate if I need a touch up after my March 2012 injections. I never had these peas sized bumps on my face as some people have reported. The nurse that initially did my injections in 2009 put the fear of God in me about bumps. So I faithfully massaged. As I did this time.
Pros: It really only needs to be done once every two years or so. A touch up of a syringe can be done every so often for around $200. It is gradual and no one knows that you actually had injections. Sculptura promotes your own collegian production. It is not the filler that changes you face, it is you own collegian. It works if performed by a practitioner that knows what they are doing and has a good eye for this. I think that it takes about 10 years off of you. You don't need to go in every six-eight months like you do with other fillers. It saves time. Finally, it is far more cost effective. I estimate that I will spend roughly $1700-2200 in a 2-3 year period. With other fillers I'm looking at around $4200 within a three year period.
Cons: The after effects are extremely painful within three days of injections. It's not a quick fix. You must massage your face, even when you feel miserable after the injections. Not all practitioners provide Sculptra. I cannot speak highly enough about Dr. Tholen, but he doesn't provide these injections. In fact very few practitioners in my area do. The metabolism factor is difficult to recognize. This and Botox lasted longer on me than the reported normal. Why? I have a slow metabolism. I guess that there is some use to having a slow metabolism.
How my life might differ from others is: I have a very clean diet, no processed foods, no starches...only fruit, nuts, vegetables, eggs, minimal dairy and meat/fish. I didn't take vitamins a the time (but I do now). I work out daily for an hour or an hour and a half. (I love that part). I'm very physically active. I rarely drink alcohol and I drink about 100oz of water a day. I thought that I would post this because many people will post the results of a gradual curative too soon. This is coming from three years of experience with this product. There are also so many factors that can physically change results. I included with I thought that they could be.
This stuff has save me time, money, energy and given me natural and gradual results. I'll report back after March 2011 about this session. In addition, you simply MUST find someone who knows what they are doing.