What happens if the Sculptra is not massaged after being injected?

What happens if the Sculptra is not massaged after being injected?

Doctor Answers 10

Sculptra and massage

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Chances are that if you have an experience Sculptra injector who evenly disperses the product and uses a dilute solution, then not massaging is probably going to be fine.  I still encourage of my patients to massage unless I am doing a mixture of Sculptra with the traditional hyaluronic acid based fillers.  

Sculptra nodules and facial massage

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Dear margaretknight:

Contemporary techniques in Sculptra use have provide significant improvements in the rejuvenation of facial aging. Originally considered a filler, Sculptra has been found to have a bio-stimulatory effect on the cells which produce the structural molecules in the skin and soft tissues. 

When injected in its currently thinner dilutions, changes to the dermal and epidermal skin and underlying fat occur which are more firming with mild filling than as compared to maximizing volume and projection with hyaluronic acid fillers. 

As it is a liquid suspension and not a gel, Sculptra has the ability to coalesce in particular areas along the lateral brow and forehead and occasionally the corners of the mouth. This will concentrate the product and overstimulate collagen production and therefore nodule formation.

It is easy to reverse a nodule formation when the patient senses a crackle or minute particle formation. But if left alone to increase in size, a tiny pinhead grain can develop a pea-sized nodule and must be excised. 

It is much easier to massage and spread the fluid into a thin, uniform layer rather than allow it to pool. While the current mantra is to massage 5 minutes, 5 times a day for 5 days; more is better in this case with particular emphasis on areas where larger volumes were injected. 

Consult with a well experienced Sculptra Plastic Surgeon or Dermatology Injector. 

I hope this has helped. All the best!

Dean P. Kane, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews


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We recommend that patients massage the treated areas after Sculptra injections to avoid the formation of small nodules in the skin. If the skin is not massaged there is a chance that small nodules may form – they can be treated but we would prefer to avoid the formation in the first place – so massage after treatment!

Lisa Airan, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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There is risk for developing hard nodules under the skin after having Sculptra injections. Nodules are rare, but do happen. To minimize this risk, injectors should massage the areas directly after injecting Sculptra, and then instruct the patient to massage the areas at home for a few minutes three times a day for five days.

Ava Shamban, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Sculptra Massaging

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Sculptra is a fantastic product to restore facial volume which is decreased as one ages.  Although, the risks of problems with Sculptra administration are rare; the occurrence of nodules can occur.  Fortunately, if nodules occur they are usually palpable but not visible and they will resolve over time.  The manner in which Sculptra is prepared, administered and the use of massaging  can reduce the incidence of nodules.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon


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There are no medical studies showing that there are less nodules when massage is done after Sculptra in fact, we are nearing completion of an FDA-approved clinical study that demonstrates That massage after Sculptra does not prevent nodules... In the hands of experienced Board Certified Dermatologist, nodules are extremely rare and if they occur they are usually extremely small and resolve within a few months.

Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Sculptra and Facial Massage

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Sculptra is a fabulous product for facial rejuvenation.  One potential side effect are facial nodules.  This is a rare side effect and it is recommended to massage the face five times a day for five minutes for five days in order to prevent this side effect.  For the best results please consult a board certified dermatologist with a great deal of experience with facial cosmetic injections.

What happens if Sculptra not massaged after treatment?

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In most cases, I would say that nothing unusual should occur if an area treated with Sculptra is not massaged.  In theory, massaging the area after treatment is thought to help disperse the fluid and decrease the chances of any lumps or bumps forming over time.  I do massage the treated areas myself after treating patients with Sculptra for the above reasons.  Even without consciously massaging the area after treatment, there most likely is some of this occurring just with everyday life, such as sleeping and washing the face.  If you have any concern about your particular treatment, you should contact the physician who treated you.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

What happens if you don't massage Sculptra?

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Thanks for your question about Sculptra. Massage is important after Sculptra injections to prevent clumping of the product. When Sculptra was initially injected, it was more of a concentrated product. Now, Sculptra is injected in more of a dilute form and the risks of clumping of product is much less.  Having said that, I still have patients massage the injected area for a few days after injection. I hope this was helpful and best of luck with your injections.

Massaging after Sculptra injections

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There are studies showing that there are less nodules when massage is done after Sculptra. It doesn't mean you will get nodules (the incidence is actually quite low). In the hands of experienced injectors, nodules shouldn't be a problem.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.