Sculptra vs Radiesse - difference between the two?

For what are they used? Is one better than the other?


F, 39, Massachusetts

Sculptra and Radiesse have different mechanisms of action and are used to address different aesthetic goals. We use Radiesse like a traditional filler to add volume to the nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and better definition to the jawline and chin. We also use Radiesse to support the corners of the mouth should they start to sag or look downturned.

Sculptra works differently from Radiesse. Instead of “filling” it actually stimulates your skin’s own natural collagen production. The result is more natural looking volume that’s perfect for the cheek area, midface, and hollow temples -- a spot where we often need broader fills.


I wouldn't say one is better than the other. Both products produce very nice results. Which one we choose depends on the patient and the situation we’re presented with. A skilled injector will understand the benefits of each option and choose the one that provides the most beautiful results for your face.

Always be sure to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist for the best results.

Dr. Robert Brueck has 1 Injectables before & after:

Injectables before image performed by Dr. Robert BrueckInjectables after image performed by Dr. Robert Brueck

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While Sculptra and Radiesse are both volume enhancers they work in very different ways.

Radiesse is a traditional injectable filler which is used to replace facial volume in areas where volume loss has occurred. It’s excellent for creating volume in the nasolabial folds and other deep wrinkles. It can also be used to add structure along the jawline, and to help push up the corners of the mouth if they start to turn down.

As with traditional fillers like Juvederm and Restylane Lyft, Radiesse provides relatively immediate results which are typically visible within one week.

Unlike traditional fillers, however, Radiesse is made from calcium hydroxyapatite spheres -- while other fillers are typically made with hyaluronic acid. The results from Radiesse tend to be longer lasting than traditional dermal fillers, anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

Sculptra treatment, on the other hand, works differently than other filler options. Formulated with poly-l-lactic acid, “Sculptra Aesthetic” stimulates your body's own natural collagen production. The result is a very natural looking increase in volume which develops over a period of months. Because collagen formation can take a long time, you may not start to see the results from Sculptra injections until six weeks after your treatment session. The good news is that Sculptra's effects on facial wrinkles will sometimes last for over two years.

While they are both volume enhancers they actually work differently.  With Radiesse you will see an immediate improvement with results lasting 6-9 months at which time you will most likely need an additional injection.  Sculptra is a slower acting filler which actually stimulates your own collagen.  Sculptra is usually done in multiple sessions over a 6 week period.  Sculptra can last up to two years before you need to have any additional injections done.  You should meet with and discuss your options and the pros and cons of both products to make sure you are getting the correct product for you. I would love to meet with you in person to discuss this further with you.  If you wish I invite you to call my office at 781-239-0680 to set up a consultation.  

Both are volume enhancers.  I like to describe them as the tortoise and the hare.

Radiesse is immediate results and should last 6-9 months. Sculptra is slower acting and creates a lattice structure for collagen formation. The general rule with sculptra is 2 syringes for every decade you are over 30.  There is also some aftercare with Sculptra. 5/5/5 massage for 5min/5times a day/5 days. Sculptra is longer lasting- about 2 years. I do think you get an added benefit of improved skin texture due to the collagen  .

See an experienced injector with multiple product options. They should review with you options and costs.


Jack Peterson md

Both work well.  Sculptra takes about six weeks to see the results while the results of Radiesse are visible immediately.  Both will last a long time.

Radiesse and Sculptra are very different. Radiesse is generally used for deep, semi-permanent bony-type augmentation. For example, I prefer it for nonsurgical rhinoplasty, some nasolabial folds (just under the nostrils), and cheek augmentation. Sculptra is better for larger volume, broader fills, like the temples and cheeks.