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All About Injectables, part 4: The Tortoise and the Hare

Radiesse and Sculptra are the last injectables that I’m covering in this series. While they may not have achieved the mainstream brand recognition as Botox and Juvederm, they are well known within the cosmetic industry for offering well established and proven volume restoring, wrinkle fighting results. They accomplish this through very different methods. Sometimes Sculptra and Radiesse are called the tortoise and the hare.

The Tortoise

In the Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare, the slow moving tortoise actually wins the race with a hare because of its steady effort. In a seemingly similar way, Sculptra offers visible results that are slower to appear, but achieve a big win because the results usually last a lot longer than any other fillers. It does this because it actually stimulates the skin to make it’s own collagen.

  • Medical: Sculptra is made of a poly-L-lactic acid, which is a manmade polymer that is biodegradable and biocompatible. In the medical arena, it has also been used for over a decade with FDA approval to restore the hollowed facial features caused by HIV. This material is also used in absorbable stitches and bone screws.
  • Cosmetic: The FDA approved Sculptra for cosmetic use in 2009. With 1 to 3 injections over the course of 6 to 12 weeks, Sculptra stimulates the skin’s collagen enough to effectively restore volume and smooth out wrinkles. If not under any event’s time constraints, some people prefer the gradual results because they come on less drastically and obviously. Generally, most onlookers notice the youthful results, but can’t pinpoint when or how they exactly occurred. It just looks like a mini facelift happened gradually over the course of 2 months. Also, unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane, Sculptra can last much longer, such as 2 years or more.

The Hare

Instead of hyaluronic acid, which is used by Juvederm and Restylane, Radiesse is composed of calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres suspended in a gel. Calcium hydroxylapatite is a kind of mineral that is normally found in human teeth and bones. In addition to instantly adding volume, the scaffolding created by the calcium hydroxylapatite in Radiesse promotes collagen production. This offers benefits to the skin’s foundation that lasts beyond when Radiesse dissolves.

  • Medical: In 2007, the same year it was approved for cosmetic use, the FDA approved Radiesse for treating facial wasting experienced by HIV patients. The medical community has also used Radiesse in therapeutic treatment for vocal cord deficiencies.
  • Cosmetic: Radiesse is an injectable filler that also restores volume in a thicker gel than Juvederm and Restylane. Its dense formula is great for moderate to severe facial wrinkles, nasolabial folds and volume loss. It also is a phenomenal way to take 10 years off your hands, which tattle on your age.

I hope that this blog series, All About Injectables, has informed and encouraged you about the safety and efficacy of the top injectables. Isn’t it interesting that there are such helpful medical uses for them, as well as cosmetic? I think that just adds to their credibility.

As you can tell, at Davinci Plastic, you’re certainly not lacking for great options for your cosmetic needs. Fortunately, you don’t have to be the expert in which of these injectables would be the perfect fit for you. Our expert injectors can help you find the best fit for your beauty goals. Schedule a consultation at www.davinciplastic.com today.

Steven Davison M.D.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Schedule Your Consultation at DAVinci Plastic Surgery

The initial consultation with your surgeon is critical! It should always be face to face with your surgeon, during which time he/she listens closely to your concerns. Dr. Davison and Dr. Pinell believe this time spent with you is critical to both you and him/her. It is during the consultation that your surgeon comes to fully understand your concerns, evaluates them correctly, and is then able to make the recommendations and develop the treatment plan that is right for you. Dr. Davison and Dr. Pinell invest the time to sit down and talk to you face to face.

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