What is Sculptra®?

Sculptra® (other name New Fill®) was approved in Europe in 1999 and in the USA in 2004. Sculptra® is used for volume building and skin rejuvenation. The product was developed by European Aesthetics, then by Sanofi-Aventis and later by Sinclair Pharma and was acquired by Galderma in March 2020. One Sculptra® ampoule contains 150 milligrams of poly-L-lactic acid (40%), 90 milligrams of sodium carboxymethylcellulose (24%) and 127.5 milligrams of mannitol (35%) in freeze-dried condition. Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is produced by polymerisation of lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced by fermentation from sugar and starch. The production was first patented by Du Pont in 1954. The Poly-L-lactic acid molecules have a mass of 140 kilodaltons and a diameter of two to sixty micrometers. Poly-L-lactic acid has been used for decades. Poly-L-lactic acid is a component of absorbable sutures (for example Vycril® threads), screws and plates for the treatment of bone fractures and drug delivery systems.


What are the fields of application for Sculptra®?

Sculptra® is used to create volume in the face. The injection of poly-L-lactic acid also leads to an improvement in skin quality (Bohnert K., et al., 2019, Dermatol Surg). The fields of application of Sculptra® include

  • Reduction of skin redness in the face
  • Skin Smoothing
  • Treatment of skin spots
  • Refining of skin pores
  • Treatment of wrinkles on neck and décolleté
  • Manual rejuvenation
  • Improvement of the skin quality on the arms
  • Collagen booster for the thighs
  • Treatment of stretch marks on the abdomen
  • Helps to a firmer and fuller bottom
  • Treatment of acne scars
  • Reduction of chickenpox scars
  • Improves the skin appearance of Celullite

Wrinkle treatment with Sculptra®

Your goals are first discussed in the consultation. The contours and skin quality are examined and documented photographically. We advise you in detail about the various treatment options. All advantages and disadvantages will be discussed with you. A treatment plan will be drawn up together with you. One day before the treatment the Sculptra® is dissolved in distilled water. The solution is mixed with a local anaesthetic. The skin surface is numbed with a cream. The use of a shaking stick (vibration anaesthesia) additionally reduces the sensation of pain. A pleasant background music contributes to relaxation and distraction. The best results are achieved after three to four repetitions at intervals of four to six weeks. The experience of the first treatment does not even allow the tension to arise before the second treatment.


What does a Sculptra® treatment cost?

The cost of treatment is largely determined by the amount of Sculptra® needed. The larger the area to be treated, the greater the cost of the treatment. You can find an overview of the prices on our costs page.


How long does Sculptra® last?

The half-life of poly-L-lactic acid in the body is estimated to be 31 days, although complete degradation may take 18 to 24 months (Athanasiou KA, et al., 1995, Clin Podiatr Med Surg). By reacting with water, the lactic acid chains are split into individual lactic acid building blocks (hydrolysis). Over time, the lactic acid is absorbed by macrophages. Enzymes metabolise the lactic acid to pyruvate, then to an acetic acid residue (acetyl coenzyme A) and finally carbon dioxide. The reaction of the immune system subsides within 6 months. However, the production of collagen lasts up to two years. This leads to a gradual increase in skin thickness.


Sculptra® versus Radiesse®

Sculptra® and Radiesse® are very different products. They have very little in common. The duration of action of both active ingredients is one to two years. The fillers are called semi-permanent because the ingredients are broken down by the body over the years. Both Sculptra® and Radiesse® are suitable for injection into medium and deep skin layers.

Radiesse® effect:

Radiesse® primarily replaces lost volume. The volume increase is immediately visible. The changes are predictable and permanent. After nine months, enzymes break down the filling material. After eighteen months, 87 percent of patients are still satisfied. In five percent of the cases a temporary bruise is observed (Jacovella P. F., et al., 2006, Plast Reconstr Surg). Allergic reactions are very unlikely.

Sculptra® effect:

Sculptra® is used for skin rejuvenation. The injection of lactic acid triggers an increased collagen production. The effect becomes more and more obvious after two to three refreshes at intervals of four to six weeks (Vleggaar D., et al., 2004, J Drugs Dermatol). Especially the formation of collagen type 1 which is present in increased amounts in juvenile skin is stimulated. A tightening effect of the skin is achieved. Hence the term liquid lifting is derived from this.

Author's note

Author: PD Dr. Stéphane Stahl There are no financial relationships with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries that could have influenced the above text. Any reproduction, even partial, is only permitted for personal use. All texts used on this website are protected by copyright.


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