Sculptra and Radiesse: How do They Compare?

The use of dermal fillers to correct the signs of aging has become the norm. We don’t see that changing anytime soon. In fact, we’ve seen an increasing number of adults express an interest in avoiding surgical procedures in recent months. This increase means that people who have never had dermal fillers before may now be booking their treatments. In light of this, we are going back to basics and explaining how some dermal fillers differ from one another. Here, we look at Sculptra and Radiesse.

Dermal fillers are known for their ability to add volume to the skin. The most common filler products are formulated with hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar compound. Sculptra and Radiesse are different. These two fillers fall outside of the hyaluronic acid realm and each has its own unique formula, which we’ll look at first.

Sculptra Formulation

Sculptra is based on poly-L-lactic acid, a synthetic material that the body absorbs over time. Poly-L-lactic acid is the material from which dissolvable stitches are made. As a dermal filler, this material triggers a controlled inflammatory response by acting as a foreign body; one that will deteriorate naturally over time. By creating the inflammatory response, the Sculptra filler stimulates collagen production in the fibroblasts around the filler.

Radiesse Formulation

Radiesse carries microspheres of calcium hydroxylapatite in a gel base. Calcium hydroxylapatite is similar in structure to the teeth and bones. This filler is a biostimulator that also activates the fibroblasts to make more collagen. Where Radiesse differs from Sculptra in this sense is that it stimulates collagen proliferation without causing an inflammatory response. Instead, the tiny particles of calcium embed themselves in the dermal tissues to form a temporary scaffold around which new collagen grows.

Sculptra and Radiesse Results

One of the primary questions that people have when deciding which dermal filler they may want is what they can expect in terms of results. Both Sculptra and Radiesse are used to smooth moderate to severe creases like nasolabial folds (aka laugh lines). Both may be used to reduce the appearance of depressed scars or to rejuvenate the backs of the hands. Where they differ is in the timing of results.

Patients treated with Radiesse can expect to see an immediate improvement in their appearance. This is because the calcium microspheres take up space beneath the skin, adding volume. Sculptra, on the other hand, typically takes at least a few months and repeat injections to achieve its maximum potential. How long the results last is also important. Radiesse can last approximately one year, where Sculptra can last approximately 2 years. It is necessary to note that results can vary based on how the body breaks down any type of dermal filler.

If you’re ready for a refreshed appearance, we’re ready to see you in our Sarasota office. Call (941) 379-6647 to schedule your visit with us.

Posted in: Dermal Fillers

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