Dermal fillers account for the vast majority of beauty treatments we perform in our Houston office. Around the globe, millions of dermal filler injections are administered each year. Why? Because they work! Several dermal filler products are available and they are all clumped under one product umbrella, albeit with different names. Because there are so many options, the first-time dermal filler patient may have trouble navigating their journey. We’re here to help. In this post, we discuss two common injectables, Juvéderm and Sculptra, to show you how two products that are called the same thing can be very different.
Juvéderm isn’t a single dermal filler; it is the name used to describe a full line of fillers. All of the products in the Juvéderm family are made with hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance that improves volume in the skin. Some of the fillers in this product line are smoother and softer. These are used for goals like plumping the lips or filling fine lines. Some are denser and more structural. These are used for enhancements like nose reshaping or cheek contouring. The mid-line Juvéderm fillers that are so popular are used to correct common concerns like undereye bags or deep creases around the nose and mouth.
Sculptra sits in the category of dermal fillers but perhaps it shouldn’t. Dermal fillers are known for specific effects and limitations that do not apply to Sculptra. This product is made of poly-L-lactic acid, a biologically compatible and biodegradable synthetic polymer from the alpha-hydroxy-acid family. To put more form to it, poly-L-lactic acid is a polymer from which dissolvable stitches can be made of. In 2004, an injectable form of this substance was approved by the FDA. Sculptra is tiny particles of poly-L-lactic acid that can sit in the deeper layers of the skin, but for what purpose?
The purpose of Sculptra, like dermal fillers, is to rejuvenate the face. This injectable achieves this not by immediately increasing tissue volume but by stimulating collagen production. Collagen is an essential aspect of smooth, firm, youthful skin. It is a protein we lose with age and sun exposure. To provoke meaningful production, a series of Sculptra injections are scheduled. Two to three sessions may be scheduled over several weeks.
You may have guessed that, as a collagen stimulator, Sculptra does not offer immediate results. That is correct. With Sculptra, it’s more like aging in reverse. With Juvéderm, lines are instantaneously smoothed; the cheeks or lips or other areas that have lost shape are quickly refined. Dermal fillers like Juvéderm can last from a few months to 2 years. Sculptra typically lasts at least 2 years.