Some things are as certain as death and taxes..... like ageing (cue the heavy sigh). As much as I exercise and hang upside down (from my hammock) and try my best to eat well to support healthy skin, I can't help but notice how some parts of my face just seems to lose some volume. And this is largely due to the ageing of the body, gravity and bone resorption.
In particular, the areas around my temples and cheeks just seems a little more sunken. And no, it is not because I lost weight. When I compare my current photos to my photos taken 12 years ago when I actually weighed less than I do now, I can see that my face looked a little more sunken than before.
My recent visit to Halley Medical Aesthetics to speak with Doctor Terence Tan about Sculptra as a solution to my concern was highly informative and it was just the answer to what I was looking for to help my body generate its own collagen.
With Doctor Terence Tan. Impressed with his strong knowledge and skills in his field.
What is Sculptra?
“Sculptra is for long-lasting volumisation and it is for people who like the concept of having the body generate collagen for volumisation,” explains Dr. Terence Tan, Director of Halley Medical Aesthetics.
Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, which are used to fill up a localised area of treatment, Sculptra is a type of collagen-stimulating filler that uses the ingredient, poly-l-lactic (PLLA), to stimulate the body to generate its own collagen for natural volumisation. The effect is natural, gives long-lasting volumisation, and is great for people who prefer letting the body generate collagen naturally for volumisation. A big hands up from me for this!
The unique thing about Sculptra is how it encourages natural collagen growth and rejuvenation from within the body in order to achieve transformation and rejuvenation. Now, this does take time and patience, so don't expect immediate results. Like they say, good things are worth the wait.
A total of three Sculptra treatments spaced six weeks to two months apart are required in order to achieve the desired result. I like this idea too because then there is a regular follow up to the process. The after-treatment care following each Sculptra treatment is also important for a smoother and natural look and this means having to massage the treatment area for five minutes, five times a day, for five days after each treatment.
I gotta say, I thought this massaging the face thing was gonna be tiring. But you know what? By day 3 I was actually enjoying it because it actually started feeling like a pampering session, haa!
Why is Sculptra different from Hyaluronic Acid dermal fillers?
To start this off, you have to understand this about dermal fillers, which are medical products that they sculpt the face for more definition and can help to restore skin and facial contours to their former youthful appearance.
Dermal fillers are made of various kinds of materials that have been developed to be injected into the skin and can be grouped into two categories:
- hyaluronic acid fillers
- non-hyaluronic acid or collagen-stimulating fillers
Hyaluronic acid fillers contain hyaluronic acid, which is an ingredient that is safe for most people. It is actually a natural compound found in our skin, and is responsible for many functions in our body such as hydration and lubrication of our joints. It also helps with tissue repair and stimulates the production of the connective tissue that keeps our skin looking supple (i.e. collagen).
Collagen-stimulating fillers, which Sculptra is on the other hand, uses ingredients that stimulate our body’s own collagen for that long-lasting effect. They are otherwise known as bio-stimulating fillers and contain safe, synthetically produced compounds that help to volumise the treatment area and stimulates the body’s fibroblasts to produce collagen. The results are long-lasting and the volumisation that you eventually achieve is all natural.
Watch the video to see how my consultation and treatment went:
After consulting with Dr. Terence Tan, we established that I would be doing a facial rejuvenation with Sculptra and the areas we would be working on include:
- Temporal area
- Nasolabial lines
- Marionette lines
Addressing the areas that bother me. Those darned lines....
We took some before shots from the front and sides before some numbing cream was applied.
The powder in these bottles has to be reconstituted with sterile water before it can be used.
Once the numbing cream took effect within minutes, Dr. Terence Tan started to work his magic.
Marking out the treatment areas.
Administering Sculptra under my skin.
I have to point out how at ease I felt during the treatment and was able to carry on having a conversation with Dr. Terence Tan throughout the very short process. And two things I'd like to point out that made this possible are first, the skills and experience of Dr. Terence Tan, and second, the use of the micro-cannula needle.
The Micro-Cannula Needle " Magic Needle"
In traditional cosmetic procedures, doctors use a rigid, sharp classic blunt-tip needle. Unfortunately, such needles tend to induce pain and ecchymosis, resulting in longer recovery time. The Magic Needle which really isn't a needle but a micro-cannula, is designed to gently slide into the skin and its flexibility allows the practitioner to control the movement.
Because of how blunt and flexible the micro-cannula needle is, there is minimal pain and less discomfort while getting better results as it distributes the filler more evenly.
A preview of my Sculptra results
Mid-way through treatment, Dr. Terence Tan took a photo to show me the rejuvenation ability of Sculptra by comparing the side with Sculptra injected with the other side that has yet to be treated. You can see from the photo that the right side of my temple is no longer sunken in and my right cheeks are fuller compared to the left, which is gaunt. My jawline is also more plump and youthful.
The Before and After comparison
The result of Sculptra is final only after the full course of three Sculptra treatments are completed. Even then, Dr. Terence Tan explained that the lifting effect seen in these photos, which is the result of the saline mixed with the Sculptra, gives a good idea of how the treated area will eventually look once collagen generates and fills up the area.
I really like how there is no downtime and I was off to my usual activities immediately after the treatment. Stay tuned to read about my experience and results in 3 months time! Time for me to go do my 5 mins of massage, 5 times a day for 5 days!
Halley Medical Aesthetics
277 Orchard Road #03-15
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tel: +65 6737 8233
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