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Sculptra is an injectable dermal filler that stimulates collagen production in the skin. Unlike most dermal fillers that use hyaluronic acid, Sculptra contains Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA), an FDA-approved solution that triggers the natural ability of the skin to produce collagen and restores volume over time.

How It Works

Sculptra is injected into the dermis where the synthetic polymer PLLA will be released. Within a few days, its components will be absorbed by the skin. Then, the microparticles of PLLA will start to replace lost collagen and repair the structure of the skin.

What’s the difference between Sculptra and other dermal fillers?

Initially, the treatment will add a little volume to the treatment area, but unlike other injectable fillers, it accomplishes more than just “filling.” As it triggers collagen production, patients will gradually see an increased youthfulness in their skin. The treatment results in a continuous smoothening out of fine lines, wrinkles, and other deep to shallow imperfections along the surface of the skin in a span of around 2 years.

FDA Approved

The newest label for Sculptra from Galderma was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2021, making it the first and only FDA-approved PLLA facial injectable treatment.

It was first approved in 2009 in the United States as a facial injectable for the correction of nasolabial folds and wrinkles. It was also approved in 1999 in Europe for small deficiencies in the skin. In addition, its component PLLA has been in use for medical bodily applications since the 1960s.

How long will results last?

Distinct changes may be seen as early as the first session, but gradual improvements should be expected for the next several months. In a clinical study, all participants who have received the treatment showed continuous improvements in the appearance of nasolabial folds and wrinkles two years after their last treatment

Results may last for two to three years. However, the prolongation of the treatment’s results depends on several factors like eating habits, exposure to certain environmental factors, smoking, stress and alcohol consumption among many others. Some patients have reported enjoying the results for up to five years.

Side Effects

Patients may expect side effects including bruising, swelling, tenderness, redness, and discomfort at the injection site. These common side effects should last for only a few days and up to 2 weeks in rare cases. There is also a possibility of seeing small bumps within the treatment area as a delayed side effect. Bleeding and itching may also occur.

There is no downtime required after receiving the treatment, but it is recommended to limit physical activity for at least one day.


Individuals with allergies to any component of the injectable, history of keloid formation or hypertrophic scarring should not undergo the treatment. The safety of the procedure has not been studied among pregnant patients, those who are lactating, breastfeeding and under 18 years of age.

The treatment should only be given to individuals with a healthy immune system.


Before undergoing the procedure, risks, benefits, and expected results are discussed with the patients along with the ‌recautions before continuing with the procedure. Then, patients are assessed for any medical history that may prohibit them from receiving the treatment.

The procedure starts with mapping the treatment areas with a water-soluble pencil. Then, the solution is injected into the treatment areas with a sterile needle with a depth reaching only the dermis. Massaging the treatment areas will ensure proper distribution of the solution in the target area to improve its efficiency.

For best results, one to three sessions may be needed spaced three weeks apart.

For post treatment care, patients are advised to continue massaging the treated areas for 5 minutes five times per day after every session to improve natural-looking correction. Cold compress should also be applied to the treatment areas to reduce bruising.