Juvederm vs. Sculptra: What’s The Difference?

Written by Ramya Kollipara, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on August 6, 2020 No Comments

juvederm vs sculptra

Dermal fillers are injected under the skin to remove wrinkles or creases, provide volume, or alter facial contours. This popular anti-aging technique can improve appearance as bone, muscle and skin thin due to age. Dermal fillers can also be used to cosmetically enhance lips, reshape cheek bones or smooth out under-eye circles. Natural-looking results can be achieved without the pain and cost of surgery.

Dermal fillers can be natural or synthetic and are made from a variety of substances. Two of the most popular are Sculptra, a poly-L-lactic acid filler, and Juvederm, a hyaluronic acid gel. Read more to understand the differences between the two.

About Juvederm

Juvederm is a dermal filler made of hyaluronic acid, or HA. HA is a naturally occurring compound found in the skin, mostly around the eyes and within the connective tissue in your joints. Hyaluronic acid contributes to the volume and hydration of your skin by binding to water molecules.

The clear, gel-like substance commonly declines with age, exposure to sunlight, and exposure to tobacco smoke or pollution. You may have seen hyaluronic acid supplements which reduce dry skin, or hyaluronic acid serums that claim to reduce wrinkles and redness. HA is most effective, however, as a dermal filler.

Juvederm is preferred by some because the benefits are immediate, and yet reversible. The filler can be removed at any time if you’re unhappy with the results, and it will naturally become absorbed by the body naturally after 6-12 months. Juvederm fillers are available in several different consistencies, depending upon the area to be treated and the desired results.

A Juvederm injection can often be completed in the same visit as your consultation, and will take anywhere from 15-45 minutes. To prevent bruising, abstain from drinking the week before your injection. You may take tylenol to minimize pain. After a Juvederm injection expect some swelling, redness or itching, all of which should subside in 1-2 weeks.

Areas Commonly Treated with Juvederm: Lips, smile lines, nasolabial folds, cheeks, temples, jawline, marionette lines

About Sculptra

Sculptra is a poly-L-lactic acid filler. This synthetic filler, which is not really a “filler” at all, works with your body to help stimulate collagen production. Collagen, a structural protein found in the body, declines due to age, exposure to tobacco smoke or sunlight. Because collagen acts as a scaffolding of sorts to give structure to your skin and cartilage, loss of collagen causes wrinkles, sagging skin and even joint pain.

Sculptra works with your body to stimulate collagen production, resulting in natural looking volume and more youthful skin. Because Sculptra works by increasing your body’s own collagen, results appear gradually. On average, it takes 2 or 3 treatments over the course of 2 months to achieve complete correction of wrinkles or the desired volume. Many believe the wait is worth it, as results can last for upwards of 2-3 years, making Sculptra the longest-lasting filler available.

Eight weeks after your final injection you and your provider will discuss your progress to see if you need more. You may experience swelling, redness or itching at the injection site, which should subside shortly after each procedure. With Sculptra, there’s very little recovery time needed. Most people find they can return to normal activities the following day. Your provider may recommend gently massaging the injection site for 5 minutes, 5 times per day.

Areas Commonly Treated with Sculptra: Cheeks, temples, jowls, chin

Which Filler Should I Choose? 

Choosing the dermal filler that’s right for you depends upon the area to be treated, the results desired, and the expected longevity of the results. You and your doctor will discuss your facial anatomy, areas of concern, and what you hope to achieve.

See our Dermal Filler Guide to learn more about today’s most popular fillers.

When Will I See Results? 

With Juvederm, results are immediate and manifest right after injection. Results with Sculptra are more gradual and can take up to two months to appear as it can take some time for the boost in collagen production to have a visual effect. Some patients prefer the anonymity of gradual transformation while others are keen on seeing rapid change.

How Long Will My Results Last? 

Juvederm will last for 9 to 16 months, depending upon the density of the filler used. Results from Sculptra can last for up to 5 years. What’s best for you is personal. Those who are new to dermal fillers may prefer a less permanent change.

Patients can elect to extend the results of either Juvederm or Sculptra by undergoing additional maintenance treatment sessions. This blog post has tips for making any filler treatment last longer.

Will It Boost My Natural Collagen Production?

Juvederm fills the area under the skin with a gel-like substance to achieve volume. Juvederm does not affect your natural collagen production. Sculptra does not necessarily “fill” the area under your skin, but instead works with your body to boost natural collagen.

Both Juvederm and Sculptura can do wonders to help you achieve a youthful, natural look without surgery. Which is best for you will depend upon the area you want treated, the results you expect, and your personal preference. A skilled injector can help guide you through these questions during your consultation.


Ramya Kollipara, MD

Ramya Kollipara, MD is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained cosmetic dermatologic surgeon specializing in the practice of both cosmetic and medical dermatology. Dr. Kollipara completed a prestigious laser and cosmetic surgery fellowship program at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in La Jolla, California. During her fellowship, she was involved in cutting-edge clinical research for novel cosmetic treatments involving fillers, neuromodulators and lasers.


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