Only a Few Hours Inflammation After 1st Vial of Sculptra and 4 Days of Inflammation After 2nd Vail. Is This Normal?

How is it that: After the 1st vial the inflammation took just a few hours to go down. After the 2nd vial the inflammation took 4 days to go down. Why did the inflammation go down so quickly after the 1st vial? Is it possible the doctor only used a fraction of a vial the first time to be cautious in case of allergic reaction? Does anyone do this? If so, wouldn't you give more sculptra in a later session to compensate for the less sculptra in the first treatment?

Doctor Answers 5

Each collagen treatment with Sculptra is different

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Each collagen treatment with Sculptra is different.  But, probably what you see is water, not inflammation.  Sculptra is suspended in water.  Often, the absorption of the water is slow and therefore it can cause the area to look swollen.  However, after about 72 hours, you will go back to the way you looked before.  There could also be tissue swelling from the bruise or needle and that may take longer to go away.  The absorption of the water depends on the dilution and how much product was injected.

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Inflammation from Sculptra

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True inflammation after Sculptra would be unusual.  However, some swelling and bruising would not be uncommon at all.  The  amount of this swelling/bruising could vary from time to time due to either the amount injected or just the simple bad luck of getting more bruising. It is common for an injector to use more product earlier and the same or less product over time as the collagen is restored. However, if your skin is tender and red I would recommend seeing the administering doctor immediately

Karyn Grossman, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Only a Few Hours Inflammation After 1st Vial of Sculptra and 4 Days of Inflammation After 2nd Vail. Is This Normal?

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The issue is did the inflammation subside? Yes it did but as for the cause maybe the sterile techniques were not adhered to. Or this just was one of those events that we can not explain. 

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Inflammation From Sculptra

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Sculptra typically does not cause inflammation in the skin. The swelling that you see for the first few days after the treatment is usually from the water that was used to reconstitute the Sculptra and often makes your face look better immediately. Typically a full vial is used for each treatment so it is unlikely that you would have been injected with less than a vial for your first treatment. Even though the same areas may have been injected the second time, there is always the possibility of additional bruising that could lead to more inflammation. Like with any other filler, local short-term, injection-related adverse events from Sculptra are frequent, including inflammation, bruising, swelling, pain, and itching, but they resolve spontaneously in a few days.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Sculptra injections naturally restore collagen in the skin

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Typically we use more of the product earlier and the same or less over time as the collagen is restored. Every injection session is different and some people have no swelling at all one treatment and may have some swelling or brusing another time. You should ask the doctor if they used a different amount of product or if there was anything done differently from one treatment session to the next just so you feel comfortable with what was done.

I have not heard of any doctors using less product in the first treatment session in case of allergic reactions. This is generally an inert ingredient and allergic reactions are rare. If someone is allergic to absorbable stiches this would not be a good choice for them.

Doris Day, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

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.