Sculptra As a Soft or Hard Filler?

How is Sculptra in terms of being a hard or soft filler? Is the texture similar to Juvederm? I'm wondering because I've heard that of all the fillers, fat is the softest, followed by silicone, Juvederm, Juvederm Plus, then collagen. Where does Sculptra  fit into this picture? I've had Juvederm before, and I think it looked a little firm for my taste.

Doctor Answers 6

Sculptra is a liquid based injection

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Sculptra is a liquid based injection since it is diluted with water and then injected several days after it is diluted.  In essence, it is a liquid face lift, by allowing these particles of poly-l-lactic to be distributed to the areas that one needs facial volume replacement.  Juvederm is quite a firm substance and can be more difficult to mold to the area.  Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid based gel and so completely different from a water based material.  Juvederm "fills" the area and cannot be used in the same area or the same way that Sculptra is used.  My advice is to find an experienced Board Certified Dermatologist who has a great deal of experience with cosmetic procedures and facial injections for the best results.

Sculptra is not actually a filler at all

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Sculptra's method of action is completely unlike fillers such as Juvederm. Because the actual "fill" is from new collagen produced by your own body, Sculptra results in the most natural response.

Sculptra is a powder made of finely ground poly l lactic acid, diluted with a large amount of water for smooth distribution. The water is absorbed in a couple of days and most patients at that point feel like they didn't get anything. is now that the process of collagen building begins.

The microscopic particles induce a response by the body of collagen production. THIS is what you will eventually feel and see. So, is it soft? Yes, as soft as your own skin because it IS your own skin. The actual amount of the PLLA is minuscule and degrades over time.

The younger you are, the quicker you'll see results and the less amount of product you'll need to get to your desired end results.

Best for those with patience. Juvederm, Restylane and Radiesse are all instant result fillers. A great majority of Sculptra users also use these other injectables for certain areas where Sculptra is not appropriate such as in the lips.

Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

What differentiates Sculptra from other fillers.

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Sculptra is a bio-stimulatory filler that is used to improve the 3 dimensional quality of the face. When first injected it is a watery liquid. After several weeks the Sculptra acts like seeds on which new collagen is grown. Sculptra creates a very natural increase in facial volume. Sculptra is long lasting, about two years. In contrast silicone is permanent and the hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm will last less than one year. All the fillers have their benefits and risks. Each must be selected according to the individual patient's needs and wants. Your board certified dermatologist can assist you in understanding which filler or combination will give you the best most natural correction for your purposes.

Pamela Carr, MD
Sugar Land Dermatologic Surgeon

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Sculptra is neither a hard, nor soft filler

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Both Sculptra and fillers can provide soft augmentation results.

Sculptra is a collagen stimulator. It is a seed that is implanted and you then wait for your body to produce collagen as a response. Collagen, a protein, has a harder texture than fluid. Scars are made from protein and you can feel a scar's greater firmness than normal skin in the first few months after injury or surgery.

Hyaluronic acid fillers bind your own water to the molecules and the result often is a soft feel. Studies have shown that some of your collagen is also produced as a result of the injeciton of the material, but this is not as an important component of the filling property of the hyaluronic acids as the water binding.

Sculptra and more rarely fillers, can produce lumps. Some lumps are from overfilling, but other immediate and delayed lumps can occur from the particulate material in Sculptra and the body's host defense system, such as a foreign body reaction. Radiesse is another filler and that too can create, rarely, such lumps. These lumps are typically hard and may need to be extracted surgically if they are very bothersome to you in appearance, but that may leave a scar. Occasionally the lumps can be injected with hyaluronidase if the filler was a hyaluronic acid such as Restylane or Juvederm. Other lumps might be treated by injecting saline into the area to break it up into smaller lumps or corticosteroid injections might be used.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Sculptra is probably the softest of the fillers

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Sculptra is a "stimulatory" filler. It creates fullness by creating a reaction in the areas it is injected into and is quite different then all the other "volume" fillers.

Its ettect takes at least three weeks and often longer to be seen.

Except in unusual cases and they are very unusual, it results in a very soft outcome and cannot be felt.

It absolutely should not be used in lips or in the eyelids.

It typically will take at least two sessions and often three to create the volume that is wished, but the effects are very long lasting. The manufacturer claims two years, but we have had the impression that it will last even longer.

Dr. Mayl

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

How does Sculptra feel?

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When Sculptra was introduced, we were all taught to inject in the subcutaneous plane. Even then, the only time you could even feel it is when smiling, your fingers can get a sense that there is something there. Now we are moving in the direction of injecting Scultra much deeper, against the bone if possible. In this scenario, you cannot feel it at all. Of course what you are feeling is the natural collagen it induces, not the particles themselves.

I do not inject Sculptra around the eyes where it tends to form palpable nodules.

Peter T. Truong, MD
Fresno Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 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.