Sculptura vs Radiesse

Sculptra vs. Radiesse: What’s The Difference?



Sculptra and Radiesse are both FDA-approved dermal fillers. They both are collagen biostimulators, meaning they work by stimulating the body’s natural production of collagen, and both non-surgically plump, sculpt and rejuvenate the face. Either one of them will address lines, wrinkles, volume loss, sagging skin, deep folds and scars with little or no pain and no downtime. So, flip a coin? Either one will do? Certainly not!


The two fillers have significant differences that you will discuss with your dermatologist to determine which best suits your needs. They differ in composition, mechanism of action and result.


Sculptra vs. Radiesse: The Difference in Composition


Sculptra contains poly-L-lactic acid, a synthetic, non-toxic, polymer material that is absorbed by the body over time. We have known it for decades in dissolvable stitches.


Radiesse contains calcium hydroxylapatite, a mineral-like compound found naturally in bones and teeth, biosynthetically produced to lessen the risk of allergic reactions and suspended in a gel.


Sculptra vs. Radiesse: The Difference in Mechanism of Action


Sculptra uses an inflammatory response in order to trigger the body’s natural production of collagen. Upon injection, the body’s immune system responds by creating fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) to surround the “foreign body,” the filler, the result being firmer, thicker skin.


Radiesse is non-inflammatory. The hydrogen, oxygen and carbon in the gel create a structure that mimics connective tissue and acts as a scaffold that supports the growth of new tissue surrounding the injection site. In addition to its role in stimulating collagen production, Radiesse creates volume due to its thick, elastic and adhesive nature. Due to this nature, Radiesse needs to be injected more deeply into the skin than Sculptra.


Sculptra vs. Radiesse: The Difference in Results


Sculptra results in a very natural looking increase in volume that develops over a period of time. Collagen is not formed overnight, and Sculptra results depend on the natural production. You may not begin to see results for up to six weeks. The pay off for your patience, though, is an extremely natural and youthful appearance that can last for more than two years.


Radiesse provides immediate volumizing effects, somewhat similar to what an implant would. It will last from a year to 18 months. The downside of the immediate improvement is that Radiesse cannot be easily removed if you are unhappy with the results. You will need to wait until it takes its normal course. Beginners may want to start out with Sculptra.


Note: Duration for any dermal filler is difficult to determine, because several factors are involved in addition to the formulation of the filler, such as the area of the face injected, the amount of filler injected, and an individual’s rate of metabolism.


Sculptra vs. Radiesse: What Areas They Treat


Sculptra is used to diminish marionette lines, smile lines, wrinkles and scars. It can also define the jawline and add volume to hollow temples and cheeks. It is not recommended for use under the eyes or on the lips.


Radiesse is used for the folds and wrinkles around the mouth and nose. It is ideal for plumping the skin on the hands and for people who have lost fat in the facial area.

Radiesse should not be used in areas with thin skin.



Our lead dermatologist, Ife RodneyMD, FAAD will be happy to consult with you about the pros and cons of each product and which is best for you and your needs. Please contact us by phone at 301-678-5772 or email at or fill out the contact form on the website,


We are conveniently located in Fulton and serve Columbia MD, Clarksville, Ellicott City, Laurel, Bowie, Silver Spring and surrounding areas in PG and Howard County, Maryland.



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