Anti-Aging Trend Also Helps HIV Patients
Feb. 12 -- Injectable fillers are one of the hottest trends in anti-aging treatments. One injectable claims to not only fill wrinkles, but to re-sculpt them from within. This filler is also playing a unique role in the lives of HIV patients.
Look at a toddler and you'll see the human face before gravity begins taking its toll.
Marie Jhin, M.D., San Carlos dermatologist: "kids have very nice, rounded faces with no wrinkles. As we get older, all of this starts to loose the volume here, in the cheeks, as well as right here, and you start to sag."
San Carlos dermatologist Marie Jhin says the injectable filler Sculptra can re-sculpt maturing faces to reverse gravity. The main ingredient in Sculptra is polylactic acid -- that has been used for years in absorbable sutures. Injecting wrinkles is an "off-label" use, but the product is considered safe and more longer-lasting than many other wrinkle fillers.
Marie Jhin, M.D.: "It's not a filler. We're not filling in the crease. This is actually stimulating your own collagen to add more volume. If you add some volume here, just like I'm doing now, this will actually get rid of some of this line."
Patients' before and after photos from the Sculptra Web site are impressive. There's one 47-year-old woman, and a 35-year-old woman, both with deep creases around their noses. A 56-year-old woman has sagging jowls that seem to lift and fill. And finally, a 54-year-old woman looks remarkably younger after treatment.
In fact, this cosmetic filler first gained FDA approval specifically to treat wasting due to HIV and AIDS. While women have been flocking to doctors to get injections to hide their wrinkles, it really can play a unique role with AIDS and HIV patients.
Last year, George had a tough time going out in public.
George Sakellaris, HIV-positive: "Because I'm HIV-positive and the type of medication that I was taking, what was happening was called -- what they call -- 'wasting.'"
George had lipoatrophy -- fat loss that causes a sunken look in the face. After Sculptura injections, he could see results, which just get better with time.
Ciro Martins, M.D. dermatologist: "It's an unbelievable reaction, an unbelievable effect that you have on people's lives."
Before and after pictures show just how dramatic the change can be.
George Sakellaris: "I look in the mirror, and I look healthy. It was so dramatic. I couldn't stop crying, actually."
Now this wrinkle filler is helping HIV patients like George put their best face forward.
The Sculptra injections last about two years for both cosmetic and wasting problems. After that, touch-ups may be needed.
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