Recommended Downtime for Sculptra?

How much vacation time do you advise workers to take for Sculptra injections? My boss does not allow "bruised and swollen" employees to work in his casino.

Doctor Answers 11

Sculptra downtime depends

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I know this sounds like a cop out answer, but it is so true. The amount of product you have injected makes a lot of difference. Some people just bruise more than others. Typically though with make up you should be OK in 2-3 days. You must realize though that the result that you will see with Sculptra take place over weeks to months and may need to be repeated to get full correction sometimes up to 3 times. Hope this has been helpful, Dr T


Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Little to no downtime with Sculptra

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Although patients heal differently, downtime is seldom factor with Sculptra. Most of my patients return to work the next day.

Patients may have a small amount of bruising and some puffiness after Sculptra injections. Frequently the puffiness actually looks good because it replaces some of the lost volume that we are trying to build up.

With the first treatment, I suggest that patients have a weekend or at least have one day where they can be off work if needed. This gives them a chance to see what their appearance will be after the injections. Minor bruising can easily be covered with makeup the next day. Ice packs on the first day help minimize inflammatory swelling. Also taking supplements such as Bromelain after the injections can minimize bruising.

It is important to massage the areas of the face where Sculptra has been injected. This should be done several time a day for 3 to 5 minutes for five consecutive days.

Andrew Coundouriotis, MD
Saint Petersburg Facial Plastic Surgeon

Swelling resolves faster than bruising

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The swelling associated with Sculptra injections typically lasts 1-3 days, so Friday injections with a Monday return to work would be fine from the swelling perspective.

Bruising, however, will take longer to resolve if it occurs. Each patient has a different reaction with regard to bruising, depending on their current medicines (aspirin, herbal medications, etc.). If bruising does occur, it typically lasts 5-7 days. But bruising can be covered with heavy makeup if that's a possibility for you at work.

Short answer - take 3 days off if you're prepared to cover bruising with heavy makeup. Take 7 days if you're not.

Chad L. Prather, MD
Baton Rouge Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Bruising and swelling from Sculptra

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Sculptra may cause bruising. Different techniques, different doctors, different sides of the face, different appointments, there can be more brusing some times than others, with the same patient. Brusing can last up to two weeks or even slightly more. Avoid aspirin for two weeks before, Motrin, Advil, Alleve, Fish Oil, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginko and other herbs may increase your bruising, so you should stop those as well. Some people take Arnica montana and or bromelain to decrease the possibility of bruising. Ice packs immediately after may or may not reduce bruising. I hope this helps.

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

Recommended downtime for Sculptra

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Most patients can go back to work the next day after Sculptra injections. While bruising is possible, it is generally mild even when it does occur, and can be covered by makeup. I do not see bruising with Sculptra in the majority of my patients. There is some puffiness and swelling that occurs with Sculptra, but generally this is not severe, and patients are able to return to their normal activities the day after injections. Some patients will choose to avoid work for 2-3 days after any filler injections. 

Always see an expert physician injector.

All the best,

Matthew Richardson, MD
Frisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Minimal downtime with Sculptra

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There is always a chance of bruising and some patients are more prone to it than others. Stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, herbal supplements and fish oil before treatment. The swelling that does occur usually is mild and only lasts 24 hours. If you got the Sculptra treatment on a Friday you would have the weekend to allow any swelling to go down before returning to work.

Anil Sharma, MD
Edmonton Otolaryngologist

Sculptra downtime

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With any injection, there is a risk of bleeding and bruising.  I advice that you discontinue any aspirin, fish oil, prior to the Sculptra injections.  If there is bruising, it may last up to a week or longer. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Sculptra downtime

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If it is truly a concern I would say 1 week should be enough. Injecting a needle into the skin can create bruising. For the type of injection that is being done, 95% of bruises should resolve or be able to be covered up with makeup within a week after sculptra. 

Chris Thiagarajah, MD
Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon

Almost no downtime with Sculptra

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I tell my Sculptra patients they can go to work the next day. I do instruct massages 3x a day for 3 minutes for 3 days. I get very little bruising with scupltra, but some people bleed and bruise more than others. I do note some swelling and redness immediately afterwards, but that should improve within a day.

Robert Schwarcz, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

If you bruise, it typically lasts 1 week

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Bruising is always a possibility. Make sure you are off aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, herbal supplements, all blood thinners, and fish oil. This reduces your risk. Pre-use Prevedem lotion twice daily for 2 weeks before, and try Bruise Relief after for several applications for several hours after treatment.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.