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How are Dermal Fillers Different from Sculptra?

Juvéderm Ultra and Ultra Plus, Voluma, Volbella and Vollure are all dermal fillers in the Juvederm family of fillers and work to correct volume loss that contribute to an aging appearance.  Made from hyaluronic acid, a sugar found naturally in the body, dermal fillers are an injectable gel used to create immediate volume to enhance the cheek bones, plump the lips and minimize the appearance of deeper folds and wrinkles, as seen in “parenthesis” lines and marionette lines.

 

Sculptra can be considered a dermal filler because it does “fill things in,” however, the treatment is much different than dermal fillers and it works differently to produce a more youthful appearance overall. Sculptra is injected into several areas of the face to restore lost volume that naturally comes with age.  Sculptra will add volume where there are hollow areas as well as improve the appearance of flat cheeks, fine lines and wrinkles as well as deeper folds.  Sculptra is mixed with sterile water prior to injection and following treatment the face looks plump and likely swollen.  Over a few days, the swelling resolves and the sterile water is absorbed by the body.  Sculptra then entices the body to make more collagen in the deep layers of the skin over several weeks, not immediately like dermal fillers.  Here are the main differences in Sculptra and dermal fillers:

 

Dermal Fillers Sculptra
What areas does it affect? Very specific areas are treated to minimize deep folds and volume loss.  Examples include lips, cheeks, nasolabial folds (smile or “parenthesis” lines, marionette lines), eye hollows, temple hollows or jowls/jaw to name a few.  Not all fillers are appropriate in each area of the face.  The specific filler needed is based on the area treated and the goals of the patient. Sculptra affects volume loss in multiple areas of the face including temples, cheeks, jowls/jaw, nasolabial folds and marionette lines.  Sculptra cannot be used to fill hollows directly below the eye or the lips.
How long does it last? This can vary based on which filler is used, how many syringes are included in the treatment and what area of the face is being treated.  In general, 6-24 months. Sculptra lasts up to 2 years.
How much is needed? Often patients need at least two syringes of any given filler to accomplish their treatment goals.  Different types of fillers can be combined to treat multiple areas of the face in a single treatment.  Using a single syringe to treat several areas usually results in little to no result in the treatment area and is not recommended. One basic rule of thumb is one vial per decade of life.  For example, a 60-year old person would need six vials and this would be divided over three treatment sessions.  The amount needed can vary widely while some patients are pleased with the results of one treatment with two vials of Sculptra, another may need up to three or four treatments based on their cosmetic goals.
How often are treatments necessary? This can vary from 6-12 months.  If you re-treat the area before the dermal filler has completely dissolved, you can build on a previous treatment, even if treated several months before, to increase longevity and dermal filler affects. Initially, three treatments are scheduled every 4-8 weeks and then one treatment once a year is recommended to maintain results.
How long does it take to work? Results are seen immediately but may be masked by swelling and/or bruising, both are known risks of dermal filler treatment.  Swelling and bruising usually resolve within 5-10 days. Sculptra works slowly as the body develops new collagen in the deep layers of the skin to create volume in the areas treated over 4-8 weeks.
How much does it cost? Dermal filler treatments are charged by the syringe and several syringes may be necessary to reach your treatment goals.

Retail pricing:

Volbella:         $398

Ultra/Ultra Plus: $680

Vollure:          $730

Voluma:         $800

Various promotional pricing is often available at Dandelion Medical Aesthetics.

Sculptra is charged per vial/treatment or as a package price.

Retail pricing:

1 treatment, 2 vials:  $1400

2 treatments, 4 vials: $2600

3 treatments, 6 vials: $3550

Various promotional pricing is often available at Dandelion Medical Aesthetics.

Remember, each patient is unique from any other and the effects of dermal filler and Sculptra will vary depending on many variables such as age, skin texture, genetics, skin care routines/products and life style factors (diet, exercise, smoking, sun protection, water intake, etc.).  While intended to be informative, this information does not substitute for medical advice and it is only after a consultation that a treatment plan can be decided upon.  To learn more about dermal fillers, click here or to learn more about Sculptra, click here.