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Sculptra® Risks and Benefits


Sculptra® treatments reduce the lines, wrinkles, and furrows that can develop around your eyes, cheeks, mouth, lips, and neck. With Sculptra®, a revitalized, more youthful appearance can be achieved, with results that can last for up to two years.

Sculptra® Benefits

Sculptra® is a safe, synthetic, and biocompatible material used to restore volume in areas of facial fat loss. Sculptra® is the injectable form of poly-L-lactic acid, a substance that has been used for more than 30 years in absorbable sutures and other medical applications. Because Sculptra® is biocompatible, no allergy pretesting is necessary. When Sculptra® is injected into the skin, it "revs up" collagen production; more collagen is naturally produced, adding volume to correct indentations, wrinkles, or folds. And because Sculptra® is a relatively thick substance, the plumping effect can last up to two years — significantly longer than most other dermal fillers.

Reduced Risk of Allergic Reaction

There is almost zero risk of having an allergic reaction to Sculptra® because its main ingredient, poly-L-lactic acid (PLA), is synthesized from lactic acid, which is present in the human body. There is, however, a very slight risk of an allergic reaction to some other aspect of Sculptra® treatment, such as the cleanser used to prepare the area to be treated. Talk to your physician if you have any concerns about allergies or sensitivity to specific substances.

Possible Sculptra® Side Effects

Sculptra® side effects are generally injection-related symptoms at the site of injection, such as:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Bleeding

These effects, if they occur, usually last between two and six days. Other possible side effects include small bumps and inflammation, both of which can appear within a year of treatment.

Post-Treatment Nodules (Bumps)

Data from clinical studies of Sculptra® indicate that, in rare instances, small and invisible or visible bumps (nodules) in the injection area can occur within a year of Sculptra® treatment. These bumps may be due to overcorrection. Occasionally, the bumps are accompanied by discoloration or inflammation.

The risk of bumps is lessened by proper preparation of Sculptra®, accurate placement of the injections, and regular massage of the treated areas. Most bumps break down within days or weeks. If the bumps persist, they may need laser treatment, cortisone injections, or (rarely) surgical removal.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Sculptra® Treatment

The pros and cons of Sculptra® should be weighed and discussed at length with your cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist. The pros of Sculptra® include the long duration of its effects, plus its safety and biocompatibility; its 'cons' include possible nodules, swelling, and bruising, although these effects are temporary.

Use DocShop to Find a Dermatologist near You

Use DocShop to find a qualified dermatologist with whom you can discuss the pros and cons of Sculptra®. Sculptra® side effects are rare, and the benefits provided by this safe and biocompatible dermal filler are dramatic and long-lasting.

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