Is Sculptra a Permanent Option for Acne Scars?

I was told that Scultpra is a permanent option for acne scars because it helps the skin create alot of collagen. Does this effect last longer than 2 years? Also is there a less expensive filler that works just as well?

Doctor Answers 11


Sculptra treatment may be a good way to improve acne scars, but it is not a permanent treatment.  Typically, the results last 2-3 years.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Sculptra Is Not Permanent

A full treatment of Sculptra Aesthetic, an average of three injection sessions over a few months, can last up to two years. Sculptra is made from poly-L-lactic acid, which helps to replace lost collagen. It helps correct shallow to deep facial wrinkles, and folds, that appear with aging by replacing lost collagen. Therefore, Sculptra should work for acne scars, but not permanently. Best of luck.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Sculptra and acne scars

Sculptra stimulates the production of new collagen, but that does not necessarily make it a good treatment for acne scars. 3-5 years is the maximum amount of time it would last when injected in the face.  Treatment for acne scars is not straight forward.  The size, location, depth of the scars, and your skin color are all factors in your treatment.  For a superficial acne scar, it would be reasonable to try Sculptra.  There are less expensive fillers that would work such as Restylane and Juvederm, but they would not last as long.  Depending on the severity of the scar, a scar revision procedure may be necessary where the scar is excised.  An examination would be necessary to provide you with the best advice. Thank you and good luck.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Sculptra for acne scars

Dont you just love it when people have opinions, but no personal expereince....

Fillers are not for ice pick scars. I general they should be excised with a biopsy punch.

Broad flat acne scars are will treated with subcision and filler. Absorbable fillers like hyluronic acids will work. They just dont last very long. The FDA says the manufacturer can not say the product lasts more than 2 years. If a physician such as myself have a different experience we are allowed to say so. I have patients who's sculptra has lasted over 5 years. How long do you own your car?

Richard Sadove, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Sculptra and acne scars

Sculptra is a product that is best used for restoration of facial volume lost because of aging or some other process.  It is not a good product for reducing the appearance of scars.  A hyaluronic acid filler would be a much better choice.

When used for the right indication, Sculptra gives very nice results and lasts about 2 years.

Robert Stroup, Jr., MD, FACS
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Sculptra for acne scars

Sculptra is neither permanent nor a good treatment for acne scars. Acne scars are best treated with a hyaluronic acid filler such as Restylane which is injected more superficially in the skin at the actual level of the scar tissue. Sculptra is typically injected beneath the skin to generate volume to create a lifting effect for sagging skin.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

On Average Sculptra is Effective Around Two Years

On average, Sculptra is effective about two years.  However, after that particles of polylactic acid are broken down by the bodies natural enzymes (glycolisis), and as collagen fibers break down naturally, the effect of Sculptra eventually wears off.

For shallow rolled acne scars the effects are quite good, but for deeper "ice pick" scars, Sculptra is less effective, and repeat treatments are probably required.

Radiesse is an alternative to Sculptra, and is less expensive.


Alexandra Chambers, MD, PhD
London Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Sculptra and acne scars

Thank you for your question. Sculptra is used to restore facial volume lost. It not used to reduce the appearance of scars. A better choice for scars is to use hyaluronic acid filler. I recommend having a consultation with an expert to determine the best treatment plan for you. Best of Luck

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Sculptra and Acne Scars

Sculptra can definitely help correct acne scars but the effects will last up to two years.  If the acne scars are significant, you should consider Fraxel or Ematrix, depending on your skin type.  These two lasers can significantly and permanently remove acne scars.  Please find a board certified Dermatologist with experience in cosmetic procedures.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Sculptra not a good option for acne scars.

Acne scars typically go through the entire thickness of the skin, and as such, tether the skin. Trying to get the tether to "release" by putting filler (any type, no matter how long it lasts) within (unlikely) or around it (more likely) simply puffs up the surrounding skin, making the scar more visible!

Subcision or excision of the scar tether is the only wayt to effectively release the attachment, and then a pearl of living fat, HA filler (short term), or Sculptra (long term, but not permanent) can fill and help protrude the scar depression.

Steroid injection can "unbundle" collagen fibers (scar) and provide improvement, but can also atrophy surrounding tissue, making a generalized depression that is another sort of problem! Not a fan (usually).

Your best treatment for acne scars is a visit to your plastic surgeon for excision/subcision and treatment of the deep or most visible scars, followed by laser resurfacing. For more information about this click on the web reference link below. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 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.