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Sculptra Vs Radiesse: What is the Difference?

please compare Radiesse and Sculptra

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Both Sculptra and Radiesse are long-term fillers

Lee, Both Sculptra and Radiesse are long-term fillers which work by slightly different mechanisms, but both lead to very nice results. Sculptra consists of poly-L-lactic acid, sodium carboxymethylcellulose and mannitol which attract water and stimulates collagen production.

The effect of Sculptra will increase with time. Radiesse is made of hydroxyapatite which is an effective temporary volume filler. The effect of Radiesse will not increase with time. Additionally, Radiesse may cause some temporary swelling which enhances its initial effect, but resolves over a few weeks. I hope this is helpful.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Sculptra works better for facial contouring

After using both Sculptra and Radiesse heavily in my practice, I find that Sculptra is superior for filling in hollow temples, defining a sagging jawline and building cheek contours. While radiesse can be used in these areas, radiesse does not last as long and does not have the smooth consistency that sculptra offers. Radiesse works better for deep smile lines, sagging mouth corners and smaller areas of facial depression. Sculptra produces far better results and lasts longer when working on facial areas that require a considerable amount of 3 dimensional contouring such as the temples, cheeks, hollows in front of the ear and jawline. Sculptra also requires a better understanding of 3 dimensional aesthetics of the face as well as greater skill on the part of the injector.

Anita Mandal, MD
Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

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A Comparision Between Radiesse and Sculptra

Radiesse:  filler with minimal biostimulation
Sculptra:     biostimulator without filling effect
Radiesse:  up to one year
Sculptra:     up to two years
Best Locations of Use:
Radiesse:  areas of thick skin:  flat cheek, nose, chin
Sculptra:     areas of thin skin:  temple, thin heeks, around the mouth (but not the lips),  jowls, depression in front of the ears, hands
Radiesse: slightly more bruising
Sculptra:  minimal
Radiesse:  firm
Scultra: nodule if too supeficial or too concentrated
Radiesse:  more costly per cc
Sculptra:  less costly per cc
My favorite combination use: raidisse for chin/nose augmentation and profiling, sculptra for the remaining facial voluminizing and thickening for folds, lines, and depressions,  juvaderm for lips and tip of nose.

George Sun, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sculptra tends to be more lumpy bumpy than Radiesse

Both sculptra and Radiesse are long term filler (lasting 1 yr or more usually). They both are used primarily for filling in nasolabial or cheek grooves and both do nice jobs at that but Radiesse tends to have less chance of leaving uneven or lumpy bumpy results than Sculptra.

David Hansen, MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Very good question...easy answer...

sculptra is a causes the tissue to build it's own collagen which is the reason it's results last a long time...several years or more...and it's safer to inject since it's a liquid which allows the doctor to make certain it won't be injected to a blood vessel...but the downside is it takes several months to see the results...not like a filler with instant results...

radiesse while marketed as a biostimulator really works by filling and not principally by stimulating collagen...when it was initially marketed the thought was it would last for several years but expectations have reduced that to about a year or's impossible to aspirate since it's so thick, so there's the potential for injecting into a blood vessel which obviously increases the possibility of problems...unlike with sculptra, the filling is immediate with radiesse...

both are injected into the same general area of the skin and both can cause lumps and other minor side effects...

so if long duration and safety is important, go with sculptra...if there's time pressure where you need results right now then radiesse is a better choice...but obviously this sacrifices some longevity and brings up the potential for vascular compromise

Ken Landow, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Sculptra vs Radiesse

.When treating problems due to volume loss such as cheek hollows and sagging skin beside the mouth, I will almost always use stimulatory fillers such as Radiesse and/or Sculptra. They are injected deeper, beneath the skin, and will generate more volume to create a much better lifting effect for sagging skin. They work by stimulating your skin to produce more collagen, which is why they are so effective, and give longer-lasting results too. I often combine Radiesse and Sculptra treatments for different areas of the face as I feel they each have certain advantages, when properly used, to fix specific problems due to volume loss. Radiesse is gel-based and gives instant results that lasts one to two years. It works best for cheeks, nasolabial folds, marionette lines and the jaw line. Sculptra is water based so it is easier to place more diffusely underneath the skin. The results are very gradual and take several treatments to see improvement but then will last for many years. Sculptra also works well in the cheeks and temples. It is my preferred treatment for fines lines throughout the lower face.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Sculptra and Radiesse

Scupltra and Radiesse are both long-term fillers.  Sculptra is water based and consists of poly-L-lactic acid and usually takes three treatments scheduled approximately one month apart.  Radiesse consists of  hydroyxapatite.  Sculptra will last up to two year and you can volumize all areas of the face and I much prefer it to Radiesse.  Radiesse lasts up to one year but can not be used to do a "liquid face lift" like Sculptra.

Sculptra versus Radiesse

Sculptra and Radiesse are very good fillers for the face. They're both used in the midface region, temples, nasolabial folds, and marrionette regions. I tend to use Sculptra when I am trying to go for a broader area of volumizing and someone is willing to come back for several treatments as it works by a very different mechanism. Sculptra relies on your body's ability to form collagen that surrounds the poly lactic acid particles.

Radiesse tends to be much more of a what you see is what you get approached to volumizing. It is more suited to someone who has a need for more of the instant gratification, for example, someone has an event coming up in several weeks.  

Sculptra is also more suited for advanced injectors.  It is one of my favorite injectable product.  I would make sure you visit with someone with a lot of experience with injectables.

Sculptra, Radiesse, and Ultherapy

Sculptra is a stimulatory filler, while Radiesse is a volumizing stimulatory filler that instantly adds volume and stimulates collagen. I use both with Ultherapy to enhance results.

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS

Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.