Sculptra Vs Radiesse: What is the Difference?

please compare Radiesse and Sculptra

Doctor Answers 31

A Comparision Between Radiesse and Sculptra

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Category: Radiesse:  filler with minimal biostimulation Sculptra:     biostimulator without filling effect   Duration: Radiesse:  up to one year Sculptra:     up to two years   Best Locations of Use: Radiesse:  areas of thick skin:  flat cheek, nose, chin Sculptra:     areas of thin skin:  temple, thin heeks, around the mouth (but not the lips),  jowls, depression in front of the ears, hands   Recovery: Radiesse: slightly more bruising Sculptra:  minimal   Feel; Radiesse:  firm Scultra: nodule if too supeficial or too concentrated   Cost: Radiesse:  more costly per cc Sculptra:  less costly per cc   My favorite combination use: raidisse for chin/nose augmentation and profiling, sculptra for the remaining facial voluminizing and thickening for folds, lines, and depressions,  juvaderm for lips and tip of nose.


Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Both Sculptra and Radiesse are long-term fillers

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Lee, Both Sculptra and Radiesse are long-term fillers which work by slightly different mechanisms, but both lead to very nice results. Sculptra consists of poly-L-lactic acid, sodium carboxymethylcellulose and mannitol which attract water and stimulates collagen production.

The effect of Sculptra will increase with time. Radiesse is made of hydroxyapatite which is an effective temporary volume filler. The effect of Radiesse will not increase with time. Additionally, Radiesse may cause some temporary swelling which enhances its initial effect, but resolves over a few weeks. I hope this is helpful.

Sculptra vs Radiesse

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I use both products heavily in my practice and have found each product has its niche.  Sculptra is my go to product for temple hollows, and volume loss in the soft part of the cheeks(hollows) and along the jawline as well as for smoothing the wrinkling of skin in the décolleté.  Radiesse is my go to product for deeper cheek augmentation, building struts around the corners of the mouth, softening melolabial folds and rejuvenation of the back of the hands.  Absolutely love what Radiesse can to take 10 years off the backs of your hands. 

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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Sculptra vs Radiesse

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.When treating problems due to volume loss such as cheek hollows and sagging skin beside the mouth, I will almost always use stimulatory fillers such as Radiesse and/or Sculptra. They are injected deeper, beneath the skin, and will generate more volume to create a much better lifting effect for sagging skin. They work by stimulating your skin to produce more collagen, which is why they are so effective, and give longer-lasting results too. I often combine Radiesse and Sculptra treatments for different areas of the face as I feel they each have certain advantages, when properly used, to fix specific problems due to volume loss. Radiesse is gel-based and gives instant results that lasts one to two years. It works best for cheeks, nasolabial folds, marionette lines and the jaw line. Sculptra is water based so it is easier to place more diffusely underneath the skin. The results are very gradual and take several treatments to see improvement but then will last for many years. Sculptra also works well in the cheeks and temples. It is my preferred treatment for fines lines throughout the lower face.

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

Sculptra works better for facial contouring

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After using both Sculptra and Radiesse heavily in my practice, I find that Sculptra is superior for filling in hollow temples, defining a sagging jawline and building cheek contours. While radiesse can be used in these areas, radiesse does not last as long and does not have the smooth consistency that sculptra offers. Radiesse works better for deep smile lines, sagging mouth corners and smaller areas of facial depression. Sculptra produces far better results and lasts longer when working on facial areas that require a considerable amount of 3 dimensional contouring such as the temples, cheeks, hollows in front of the ear and jawline. Sculptra also requires a better understanding of 3 dimensional aesthetics of the face as well as greater skill on the part of the injector.

Anita Mandal, MD
Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sculptra tends to be more lumpy bumpy than Radiesse

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Both sculptra and Radiesse are long term filler (lasting 1 yr or more usually). They both are used primarily for filling in nasolabial or cheek grooves and both do nice jobs at that but Radiesse tends to have less chance of leaving uneven or lumpy bumpy results than Sculptra.

David Hansen, MD

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Very good question...easy answer...

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sculptra is a biostimulator...it causes the tissue to build it's own collagen which is the reason it's results last a long time...several years or more...and it's safer to inject since it's a liquid which allows the doctor to make certain it won't be injected to a blood vessel...but the downside is it takes several months to see the results...not like a filler with instant results...

radiesse while marketed as a biostimulator really works by filling and not principally by stimulating collagen...when it was initially marketed the thought was it would last for several years but expectations have reduced that to about a year or less...it's impossible to aspirate since it's so thick, so there's the potential for injecting into a blood vessel which obviously increases the possibility of problems...unlike with sculptra, the filling is immediate with radiesse...

both are injected into the same general area of the skin and both can cause lumps and other minor side effects...

so if long duration and safety is important, go with sculptra...if there's time pressure where you need results right now then radiesse is a better choice...but obviously this sacrifices some longevity and brings up the potential for vascular compromise

Ken Landow, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist

Sculptra v Radiesse

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Both "fillers" stimulate collagen production making them very effective anti aging options.  Radiesse is more of a traditional filler which functions by adding volume.  Sculptra's primary function is to stimulate collagen production.  Radiesse is a single treatment while sculptra is typically done in a series of treatment sessions.

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Sculptra vs Radiesse

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Sculptra is composed of Poly-L-lactic acid.  It works by stimulating neocolagenesis - encouraging your body to deposit collagen where it was injected.  After Sculptra is injected, and the initial swelling resolves, results of increased fullness can be seen in 4-6 weeks.  Radiesse is composed of Calcium hydroxyapatite - a naturally occurring compound in our teeth and bones.  Radiesse is injected as a filler in areas of soft tissue deficiency and deeper lines.  Its results as a filler are immediate.  There are long term collagen stimulating effects associated with Radiesse as well, however these are more subtle than with Sculptra.  

Sculptra's results can last up to 3 years where as Radiesse is expected to last 12-18 months.  

Catherine Weng, MD
Denver Otolaryngologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Sculptra vs Radiesse

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Sculptra and Radiesse are quite different. Sculptra is made of Poly-L-Lactic Acid and works by stimulating the body to produce its own collagen in response to the product. Sculptra takes several months to reach its full effect, and is usually injected through a series of treatments spread out over several months. Sculptra works best to restore volume in broad areas such as the cheeks or temples.

Radiesse is a calcium hydroxylapetite product suspended in a water-based gel. Like Sculptra, Radiesse can work well for restoring volume, but can also work more directly on specific lines such as nasolabial folds. Radiesse results are visible immediately, whereas Sculptra results take time to develop.

Radiesse can last 12 to 18 months, while Sculptra results may last 2-3 years in some cases. Neither product is reversible with hyaluronidase like the hyaluronic acid fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Voluma, etc). Both products can work well for specific patients and applications.

I always recommend seeing an expert physician injector for a personalized treatment plan.

All the best,

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