Sculptra and Radiesse: What are the Differences Between these Dermal Fillers?

Sculptra and Radiesse: What are the Differences Between these Dermal Fillers?

Radiesse and Sculptra are both dermal fillers as well as collagen biostimulators that help to restore lost volume in the desired area. These two fillers (Sculptra or Radiesse) can be used to treat wrinkles and deep folds to reverse signs of aging, but what is the difference between these two injectable fillers, and how can they be used together to achieve optimal results with minimal downtime? Both are injected below the skin to stimulate  a foreign body inflammatory response .  

Key Difference between Sculptra and Radiesse

The key difference between Radiesse filler and Sculptra filler  lies in their action mechanisms. Radiesse comprises calcium hydroxylapatite particles that not only lift mechanically but also stimulate new tissue growth, such as collagen, elastin, and new blood vessels called angiogenesis. Its dual action is ideal for immediate effects and regenerative tissue growth, lasting over a year.

 Sculptra, in comparison, is considered a seed that gradually stimulates the growth of your own collagen, filling in areas over manny  weeks. Sculptra is a pure stimulator of new collagen and is not a mechanical lifter like Radiesse. It excels in volumizing and rejuvenating the face and off label use  for the buttocks and effects can persist for up to 24 months.

How Do You Use Radiesse and How Does it Stimulate Collagen Production, Elastin and new blood vessels ? 

Radiesse is a biostimulator likened to a bones and teeth-like matrix within a carrier gel  that provides instant lifting, as well as shape and contouring   and  definition to the injection site . Radiesse uses a calcium microsphere to  add back volume underneath the skin to treat areas of the face such as the nasolabial folds and to replenish the contours of the face such as jawline and the cheeks. Eventually, the  non inflammatory carrier gel portion  is absorbed by the body but the bony matrix of calcium particles  remains ,  while fibroblasts work to  rebuild lost support below  the skin. By simulating  the body’s naturally occurring bony like  minerals, Radiesse is able to provide a lifted, youthful appearance. Additionally, Radiesse is FDA-approved for the hands. Moreover Radiesse is quite effective for deeper depressed acne  scars in its ability to lift and stretch out the scar.Dermatologists often apply a technique of subcision which breaks open the scar, and Radiesse can then  be applied as a scaffold to allow building of replacement collagen . Furthermore Radiesse can be diluted to be used superficially into stretch marks.

How Do You Use Sculptra? 

Sculptra is made of poly-L-lactic acid which primarily boosts the production of collagen, leading to gradual fullness and is effective for moderate to severe facial volume loss, with results that can last for years. It’s known for creating profound plumping effects without puffiness or water retention effects, especially in the off label area of the buttocks. Sculptra uses the same materials found  in dissolvable sutures , providing a scaffold for collagen production . 

Sculptra is noted for addressing volume loss in the face gradually and is less defining than Radiesse. For buttocks injections, it’s chosen for its deeper , volumizing effects that develop over time.

Sculptra can be used for moderate to severe fat loss in the face due to its generalized volume replacement and ability to stimulate collagen. It doesn’t cause puffiness as it doesn’t retain water, making it a suitable overall volumizer.

The reasons for choosing Sculptra include its role as a volumizer through collagen stimulation, long-lasting effects, and lack of water retention, making it ideal for size improvement when definition is not the main priority .

What other dermal fillers are available? 

Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, and others are suitable for small quantity volume replacement and are especially good for the lips, tear troughs, and nose due to their softer and dissolvable properties . However, they tend to create puffiness because they are hydrophilic. Extra care is needed to avoid the overuse of these soft fillers as they can add up to a lot of water retention in the face and cause a puffy look .

Top injectors use all of  the above , each having its advantages and specific uses. Novice injectors prefer hyaluronic acid fillers for their ease of application and reversibility, despite their tendency to cause puffiness when used in larger quantities.

It is not uncommon that I choose a combination of Radiesse and Sculptra together as two dermal fillers in combination often provide better results than each alone. What is meant by that is applying Radiesse to an area treated with Sculptra, the results are often enhanced.

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