What are the differences between Juvederm Voluma and Sculptra?

Doctor Answers 6

Juvederm, Voluma, and Sculptra: What You Need To Know

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All three are great products and have different indications for use.  

Juvederm:  Hyalronic acid based.  Restores volume to nasolabial folds and cheeks, adds volume to lips. Results observed immediately post-injection, lasting up to 8 months.

Voluma: Hyalronic acid based. Augments and enhances cheeks that have lost their structural volume and natural contour. Results also observed immediately and can last up to 2 years.

Sculptra:  Comprised of Poly-L-Lactic acid. Stimulates your body to make more collagen gradually over time.  Patients typically require 1 vial per every 10 years of life for best results with final result peaking out at around 2 years post-completion of final treatment.

These products can be used singularly or in combination to help patients achieve global facial rejuvenation without undergoing surgery. A board-certified plastic surgeon can evaluate what products would be most appropriate for you to ensure you get outstanding results.

Richardson Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Voluma is a long lasting, thicker filler with immediate results; Sculptra is for diffuse filling with delayed results

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Thank you for your question. You’re asking about the difference between Juvederm Voluma and Sculptra. I suspect you’re asking because you’re looking at some overlap in results, so you’re wondering what are these two products and what really makes one different from the other.  

I can share with you how I educate my patients who ask a similar question in my practice. A little background: I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I have been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. Injectable fillers are a big part of what I do, and I’m quite familiar with both fillers so I can help you understand the difference, and how I approach the use of these fillers in my practice. This is specifically my approach, so it doesn’t mean the way other people work is wrong, but this is how I do it.

There are basic medical or chemical structural differences between the two without getting unnecessarily technical. Juvederm Voluma falls in the category of hyaluronic acid fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that’s found in our body, and hyaluronic acid fillers come in a wide range of different thicknesses and compositions. Major companies such as Galderma, Allergan and Merz have hyaluronic acid products. Now Juvederm specifically has FDA approval for mid-facial volume correction. FDA approval doesn’t mean that’s the only place doctors could use it, but that’s the only place the company Allergan, can promote its specific indications. The FDA regulates drugs and devices, and companies can do promotional activities specific to those indications. Physicians practice medicine and can do what is referred to as off label use, so they can use any material in a way they feel is best for the patient, so Juvederm Voluma can be used in different places by physicians.

What Juvederm Voluma and other hyaluronic acid fillers can do is restore volume with immediacy. When you place it, you see the correction immediately, and you pretty much know how much correction you’re getting.

Sculptra comes as a powder, which is mixed with saline. The chemical name for Sculptra is poly-l-lactic acid. What makes Sculptra very different from a hyaluronic acid filler is when it’s injected, it depends on your body’s response to generate a certain amount of volume correction. The way I look at it, Sculptra is more for diffuse areas of filling, typically in the hollows of the cheeks. When someone is very hollow, I consider using Sculptra.

Sculptra was initially used to help people with HIV lipodystrophy. This is the result of people who are HIV positive and taking antiviral drugs to help manage their disease or condition, and unfortunately it resulted in incredible amounts of fat loss in the face. Sculptra was incredibly effective in helping people look better by restoring some volume. When it came to the market, it was a bit of a challenge because people had an unfortunate tendency to develop some nodules and other things with the body’s response, but that was more on the technical elements of placement.

At present, when I make the decision on which filler to use, I look at from what is most predictable for me. When I want to specifically treat areas such as the cheekbones, jawline, chin, and jaw angle in a technique we call structural volumizing, I find Juvederm Voluma very useful. Juvederm Voluma and Ultra Plus are very effective, and work very well. I find these materials have a certain thickness, and I can see the correction, and the patient can see results immediately. I would not use Sculptra for those areas because of a variety of reasons, one being I can’t predict how much volume there will be when the material initiates a collagen response. It actually takes a few weeks to see the full response, so in a Sculptra patient, we see them after a month to see how much correction they had, then decide if they need more vials to get more correction. With someone who I place Juvederm, Juvederm Ultra Plus, or Juvederm Voluma, I place it and I usually see them after 2 weeks, and I see if any enhancement would be of benefit.

Just speaking from my practice, I generally use Juvederm Voluma considerably more often than I use Sculptra. I think for my kind of practice where I deal with a lot of facial aging issues, and volume loss related to bone structure, relative bone deficit in people who are a bit younger, or volume loss with people who are 40 and older, we end up using a lot more Voluma and hyaluronic acid fillers in our practice.

Understanding there are two different methods of correction, and two different areas, in my opinion, are best suited for these materials. There can be some degree of overlap particularly in the soft tissue area. You can put Sculptra in the soft tissue of the cheek, then allow it to increase to get a nice correction, and it can last a significant amount of time. However, I think in the modern world and in my practice, the immediacy of the result and the longevity of benefit, I end up using a lot more Juvederm Voluma. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your question.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Voluma vs Scultpra

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Hello, and thanks for your question. These are both great products, but they work differently. Voluma is a thick hyaluronic acid filler that is great for volumizing the central face. Sculptra is a milk sugar derivative that stimulates your skin to produce new collagen, and is therefore long-lasting and great for global facial rejuvenation (larger volumes can be used).

Corey Frucht, MD, PhD
Santa Barbara Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Injectables Juvederm, Voluma, and Sculptra

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Juvederm and Juvederm Voluma are similar products for facial rejuvenation comprised of Hyaluronic Acid gel.  Voluma has Vycross technology so is "spongy" and lasts longer and is fantastic.  Sculptra is ideal for building up your own collagen, especially if your skin has laxity.  I use all of them for different indications and you need to consult an expert in facial injections to advise you.  Best, Dr. Green

Sculptura vs Voluma

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Thank you for your question. Voluma and Sculptra are vastly different but aim to provide the same thing: increased volume. Voluma is a hyaluronic acid (HA) filler that can be dissolved with hyaluornidase. Despite it's durability it's not permanent. It fills the area of interest and dissipates over time. Sculptura, on the other hand, is a collagen stimulant. It cannot be dissolved. It works by causing collagen deposition in the areas treated. While both require expertise with injection, Sculptra is particularly tricky.

Anthony J. Wilson, MD
Portsmouth Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Juvederm vs Voluma vs Sculptra

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The difference between Voluma and Juvederm is simple. They are both HA fillers, but they hold different textures Juvederm Voluma holds more of a jello texture as Juvederm Ultra XC is a texture comparable to pudding. Voluma is just a deeper injected filler placed closer on top of the bone. It is able to reach the dermis and hold its position for up to 2 years, where as Juvederm Ultra XC. is usually injected into layers closer to the surface making the result dissolve quicker. Both being of the Juvederm class I still suggest Voluma if you would like a longer lasting result. Sculptra, is a collagen stimulator which produces a growth over a longer period of time showing slower but longer lasting results with injection periods between 6-8 weeks and you will have to get at least 3 injections to see the final full result. The positive thing about sculptra is that it is producing collagen. So the decision is up to you. You can find immediate and long lasting results, immediate results with a shorter lifetime, last a longer period of time with more injections to see final results that are long lasting building collagen. Best, Dr. Berger

Andre Berger, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 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.