How Does Sculptra Fade?

I had Sculptra approximately 16 months ago to try to reduce the 'jowel' look on either side of my mouth. I felt like the Dr. put too much into my cheek area rather than the cheekbone. I have noticed even now that my cheeks are very poochy - not a good look at all. When the Sculptra 'fades' - what does it actually do? Can it actually 'settle' into my cheeks?

Doctor Answers 6


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would recommend that you see your physician for a follow-up regarding your concerns.  It may be that some fillers can be placed higher on your cheekbone to help lift the areas as the Sculptra fades.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Sculptra does not fade but the collagen slowly breaks down

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Sculptra does not fade but the collagen slowly breaks down over about 2 to 3 years and the effect is then lost. You generally outgrow Sculptra or in other words, the aging process continues and the collagen produced by Sculptra slowly fades. A lot of times if you do not like the result, having filler in other areas to lift and reshape may be helpful to balance the face without having to wait for the Sculptra to fade.

Joseph A. Eviatar, MD, FACS
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Sculptra is unique among fillers

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unlike traditional fillers which begin to slowly disappear as soon as they are injected, Sculptra works differently. The initial volume enhancement you see on the day of the procedure goes away fairly quickly as the water portion of the injection is absorbed.  You should anticipate this. Otherwise you might think your investment of time and expense had not been worthwhile.

Your own skin then is stimulated by the Sculptra to produce collagen. This occurs over 2 to 4 months. Eventually the  new collagen breaks down over a couple of years or more.

Because it is part of your own skin, it will not move or settle. 

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

How does Sculptra fade?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Sculptra helps stimulate or increase collagen production in areas, such as cheeks, nasolabial folds and temples where volume has been depleted due to the natural aging process. I would recommend for you to see a provider to best assess the area because Sculptra may not be the best choice for your treatment, depending on what the problem is; volume loss or tightening of he skin.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Sculptra does not move

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Once you have had Sculptra for a while the results that you see are not the material i.e., Sculptra but collagen instead which is a part of your skin. It will not move. It disappears slowly as the collagen degenerates. If your cheeks are sagging, you should get a filler in the cheek bones to compensate for that look.


Dr. J



This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

How does Sculptra fade?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

After Sculptra has been injected, the increase in volume is quite gradual, starting 3 months after the injection and achieving a maximum at approximately 5 to 6 months post injection. Sculptra is gradually degraded into water and carbon dioxide over approximately 9 to 24 months. Newly formed collagen remains and the cosmetic augmentation can last up to at least 24 months. Therefore it won't "settle" into an area where it wasn't injected.

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