Sculptra is the trade name for a dermal filler that uses poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) as its active chemical compound. It can last between two to three years and is exceptionally popular in both Europe and the United States. When Sculptra is injected into the tissues, it is recognized by the body’s immune system as a foreign entity that must be fought off. The body responds by building a wall of collagen around the injected Sculptra, and the resultant volume increase is the subsequent augmentation desired by practitioners and patients alike. This neocollagenesis process is accompanied by an inflammatory reaction that further compounds the initial reaction to produce an aesthetically pleasing result if used appropriately.
Juvederm is a family of hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers that are currently one of the most widely used HA fillers globally. Juvederm is separated into two distinct categories: Hylacross and Vycross products. Both of these categories refer to proprietary technologies used. Hylacross products have a higher concentration of HA, so as to increase their duration of effect when injected into the skin. They also have a higher degree of cohesivity to increase their capacity to lift and expand the skin. Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Ultra Plus are examples of Hylacross products. Vycross products uses a more efficient system in its mixture to produce a lower HA concentration but greater resistance to degradation forces. These products also result in lower amounts of gel swelling after injection due to the fact that they have reduced water uptake. Examples of Vycross products are Juvederm Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella.
Is Sculptra better than Juvederm?
Sculptra has a wide range of indications, ranging from treating the temples, cheeks, nasolabial folds, and prejowl sulcus to treating marionette lines. Essentially, any adults with HIV-related lipoatrophy (fat volume loss) and/or age-related dermal imperfections can benefit from Sculptra. In the United States, the most popular use of this product was for treating lipoatrophy on non-HIV patients.
Juvederm also has a wide range of indications, but these indications tend to be quite different compared to Sculptra. While the latter is used for volume loss, Juvederm’s extensive collection of soft tissue fillers can be used for other concerns, including dehydration, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, deep skin depressions, and volume loss.
Both Sculptra and Juvederm both have benefits when used correctly. One major difference is that Juvederm’s range can target concerns from fine lines to deep wrinkles. Sculptra, on the other hand, is primarily intended to augment volume in order to contour and sculpt areas of the skin that is sinking and/or sagging. Your treatment isn’t about which filler is better, but which filler is right for you.
How much should I expect to pay for treatment?
Sculptra treatment sessions typically cost about $600 per session, and multiple treatment sessions may be needed. The price for Juvederm can range up to $800 or more, depending on the filler chosen.
Treatment with Sculptra vs Juvederm
The practitioner will usually use one to two vials of Sculptra depending on the degree of correction needed and the number of treatment sites. Depending on the area of treatment, different amounts of Sculptra are used. For example, 1 to 3ml of solution is typically used for each temporal hollow; for the cheeks, usually 2 to 3ml per side is used. Keep in mind that the volume augmentation effects usually take a few months to develop. As such, Sculptra may not be an ideal option for patients that would like to see immediate correction of volume deficits. Practitioners and patients must both exhibit patience throughout the treatment process with PLLA.
In comparison, depending on the type of treatment, patients may only need .55ml to 2ml of Juvederm. If you are considering receiving treatment with either Sculptra or Juvederm, talk to a licensed injector about what to expect.
Is HA better?
HA is naturally abundant in the dermis and has sugar components that make it attract and bind water molecules. This explains how and why HA-based fillers are excellent at making the skin look plumper. It is a safe compound insomuch that allergic reactions are extremely rare, and any over- or under-correction can be reversed by hyaluronidase, an enzyme. Different types of HA fillers have different properties because the concentration of HA and the cross-linking process used to manufacture them can be drastically different. These different properties mainly contribute to the final aesthetic outcome these products bring about, as they affect the optimal treatment area and the duration of effect for these fillers. Poly-L-lactic acid is also biocompatible but rather than attracting moisture, it increases neocollagenesis. Ultimately, this helps the skin repair itself from the inside out. One ingredient isn’t necessarily better, unless you are allergic to it, but each has its own unique benefits.
Talk to your doctor today about which filler would be best for your aging concerns.