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What is Sculptra Aesthetic?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Sculptra is an injectable fluid used to add volume to areas of the face.

It creates a soft, natural youthful silhouette of the face. Sculptra helps build your own collagen while slowly disappearing. If done well it does not have a “plumped” appearance that is known to happen with hyaluronic acid fillers used in the cheeks. Sculptra is good for adding volume to the following:

  • hollow cheeks
  • softening boney cheekbones
  • nasolabial and melolabial folds
  • hollow chin area
  • defining the jawline
  • hollow temples

What is Sculptra made of?

Sculptra is a synthetic of lactic acid (generic name is “poly-L-lactic acid” or PLLA). Lactic acid is formed in our muscles after exercising.

Polylactic acid is lactic acid molecules attached together in strings (a polymer). Sculptra is made in a laboratory and includes no animal products and no human DNA. It slowly disappears by the movement of your own cell enzymes.

Is Sculptra FDA approved?

Sculptra received full FDA approval in 2009 for cosmetic use in the United States. For over five years Sculptra has had partial FDA approval. Sculptra has been largely used in Europe for over years now.

It has been approved in Canada, Europe, and over 20 other countries.

Is there any place Sculptra should not be used?

Yes. Sculptra should not be used in the frown lines, forehead, around the eyes, around the mouth or in the lips. There also may be other areas that are not allowed in your specific situation. Your doctor will inform you.

Is Sculptra safe?

Since 1999 Sculptra has been used in Europe. In 2002 Sculptra was reformulated. Since then it has had an excellent safety profile when treatments are done correctly.

In Geneva Dr. Vleggar has treated over 8,000 patients and has had less than 20 more serious problems. All of these problems were temporary (lasting 1 year or less). With Sculptra small invisible bumps can occur and will slowly go away. There have been very few cases reported of long lasting nodules. If so, they were reported prior to 2003 when Sculptra was reformulated with a smaller and smoother particle size.

It is now not recommend to treat the eye area because it more likely to develop temporary bumps. It more likely for the Sculptra to be visible there because the skin is so thin.

Sculptra is much more difficult to inject than Botox or hyaluronic acid fillers. So make sure your injector is experienced. Also, remember to follow all recommendations regarding post care and massage.

How long will Sculptra last?

Sculptra can last up to 2 years in most patients. Having one treatment once a year is important for maintenance. You will not want to from full volume to zero volume. It can take 45-90 days after treatment to see full results. This is because you’re is building your own collagen.

Do I need maintenance treatments?

Having one maintenance treatment a year is important so you do not fully return to your original volume. However, everyone is different and this cannot be foreseen exactly.

What does a Sculptra treatment feel like? Is Sculptra painful?

Sculptra is mixed with lidocaine (an anesthetic) so there is little discomfort with the injections. Nearly all offices apply a local numbing cream 45 minutes before the treatment.

Are there side effects with Sculptra?

Some side effects include small, typically invisible temporary bumps.

These bumps will go away on their own. Small visible bumps are common around the eyes, and are rare. It is not recommend to use Sculptra around the eyes. Small bumps can be massaged out or saline can be injected to break the bumps up. On occasion a small amount of anti-inflammatory (such as Kenalog) may be needed to be injected into the bump.

Seldom, small bumps can develop which can take months or a year to go away. These us typically because the massage was not done correctly.

Some common injection reactions might occur, such as swelling, bruising, redness, tenderness, itching and discoloration at the injection site.

Sometimes, Sculptra treatment can trigger an acne flare. These side effects can subside naturally within 1 to 14 days after treatment.

Using anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin may cause bleeding or increase bruising at the injection sites.

If you have previously had facial herpes simplex, the injection may provoke an outbreak. It is advisable to talk to your doctor about this before treatment.


Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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