Does Sculptra still work as we get older? What about Voluma?

Thank you for the opportunity to ask a physican questions about Sculptra, which I am considering having done. I am 75. My cheeks just beginning to look slightly "crumpled". I am lactose intolerant and have major gas and worse if I eat any at all. Will injecting a lactic acid product have the effect ingesting dairy does? Marsha Lady Lake, FL

You’re welcome!   I’m glad you asked these questions.   There are no studies on this, but after many years of working with Sculptra, my observation is that as we get older, Sculptra still generates collagen……. but not as well as it would if we were younger. More on Sculptra.

In my opinion, for a long time, Sculptra was the only filler that gave a very consistent, natural look where maintenance was minimal –  one treatment once a year after an intitial base of usually 2-3 treatments.   Now though, we also have Voluma (FDA approved last November), which also gives a very natural look and lasts about a year.  It doesn’t help your body make collagen but is just a temporary implant like other HA (hyaluronic acid) fillers. 

Since Sculptra depends on our cells to make collagen and we don’t make as much as we get older (our cells aren’t as plentiful or active), it makes sense to me to switch wholly or partially to Voluma over the age of 65ish.  

On the lactose issue –  it’s confusing – but Sculptra is L-poly-lactic acid, NOT lactose.  Lactose is a sugar found in milk.  Lactic acid is found in muscle tissue after strenuous exercise.

Also, if you still want to enjoy some occasional dairy, just get the lactaid tablets at the drugstore (not prescription) and use as directed.  

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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