Sculptra: FAQs

By: Dr. Lawrence Iteld


You may have heard about Sculptra, but aren’t quite sure if it’s just another dermal filler or different from others on the market. Unlike many of the other fillers we offer that are hyaluronic acid-based, Sculptra uses FDA-approved poly-L-lactic acid to reduce deep wrinkles in your skin. With this noninvasive injectable filler, you’ll start to see added volume right after your treatment. Over time, your results improve as collagen production occurs. We think Sculptra is a great filler to consider, but is it right for you? Let’s explore some frequently asked questions about it.

What is Sculptra?

Collagen can be lost due to aging or other factors. On average, we lose 1% of collagen production per year starting in our mid 20’s to early 30’s. That means that by age 40, we are producing about 85% of the collagen that we were 15 years ago. Add in other factors — such as pollution, stress, sun exposure, and other toxins like alcohol and nicotine use — and this number drops even further. As a poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) collagen stimulator, Sculptra helps your body replace lost collagen, bringing these values back up. It stimulates the body’s natural process by restoring the deep, underlying structures of the skin to diminish wrinkles. It works with your body, gradually creating more collagen over an 8-week process within the deep dermis to help revitalize collagen production and restore your skin’s inner structure and volume. Results appear gradually, look natural, and can last for up to two years.

What are its pros?

The advantages of getting Sculptra dermal filler include:

  • Replenishes collagen production in your skin.
  • Reduces fine lines or deep wrinkles.
  • Elevates recessed areas of skin.
  • Redefines or softens contours.
  • Treats fat loss (lipoatrophy) caused by weight loss.
  • Results are very natural, with minimal to no discomfort reported by patients.
  • Improves your appearance to meet your aesthetic goals.
  • Safe and FDA-approved.

How does Sculptra work?

As with other dermal fillers, our aesthetic nurses expertly inject Sculptra in the appropriate dermal plane where fibroblasts produce new strands of collagen to support your skin’s structure. With a series of treatments, it’s gradually and naturally absorbed by your body. On average, three injection appointments are needed, spaced two months apart, though this varies based on your specific needs. Think of Sculptra as your “Slow and Steady” injectable treatment. It takes time and multiple treatments for collagen to build and fill where it’s needed. This helps turn back the clock on collagen depletion over time. This slower process is appealing to many patients as it’s less noticeable you’re having any “work” done. Plus, it gives you the option to make decisions about how much volume to add over time.

Sculptra helps you look more youthful without appearing like you’ve had work done.

How long does it last?

Sculptra can last over two years. Keep in mind that, like other fillers, it isn’t a permanent solution; you may need multiple injections every few years to maintain your results.

What areas can you treat with Sculptra?

Sculptra injections are most commonly used in facial areas, including:

  • Upper face — along the temples, forehead, and brow line.
  • Mid face — hollow cheeks and softening sharp cheekbones, deep nasolabial folds, and marionette lines.
  • Lower face — chin wrinkles and jowls.

Other applications include:

  • Butt enhancement and lifting.
  • Saggy underarm skin.
  • Wrinkly skin above the knees and hips.
  • Crepey skin of the décolletage.
  • Restoring volume to aging hands.

If you do have other areas of concern, our experts will work with you to assess if this type of treatment may be beneficial to those areas, or if other treatments will work better.

Is Sculptra right for you?

Interested in exploring the benefits of Sculptra? Please contact our experienced patient coordinators to schedule your confidential consultation. Contact us or send us an email at [email protected]. ________ Lawrence Iteld, MD, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the Illinois Society of Plastic Surgery. A highly regarded Chicago based plastic surgeon, Dr. Iteld has received awards from Chicago Magazine’s Top Docs, and Castle Connolly Top Doctors®, and is a Key Opinion Leader with Allergan Aesthetics.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.