How to get the benefits from Sculptra and avoid lumps.

I have lumps after sculptra filler. I guess this can't be dissolved. I did not do my research. My dermatologist said this was great and I just let him put one injection in my frown lines and on the right side I have lumps. After being a stage 4 cancer survivor I thought I would be doing myself a favor but I guess not. Jean

My heart goes out to you on this. I’m not sure where you live, but is there anyone in the area who is a Sculptra expert where you could get a second opinion. We are in Seattle, which is a long ways for most people. Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald in Los Angeles and Dr. Richard Glogau in San Francisco are also very experienced with Sculptra and problems with it.

Thank you for writing because I feel like I can help more of you avoid these problems in the future.  Sculptra is a collagen stimulator.  It goes away while increasing the growth of your own collagen. It is NOT like the hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, etc. These are soft gel “implants” that are injected and then gradually dissolve over months to years.

The below is my opinion based on 20 years of experience, but below is also the general consensus of other very experienced providers, and consistent with Galderma’s (the current owner) recommendations.  You can take this list with you, if you have an appointment.

Where Sculptra should NOT be injected !

These are areas where the strong natural muscle movement in the face causes the Sculptra to collect into lumps.

  • The frown lines (corrugator muscle). These are often called the 11s.
  • The nose (unless an expert is doing it). Especially the area called the “bunny lines” on the upper top and sides of the nose (procerus muscle).
  • Anywhere close the the eyes. This area has been prone to Sculptra bumps in the past. The muscles around the eyes (orbicularis oculi) are strong.
  • The upper lip and close to the mouth. The same problem (orbicularis oris). The muscles are too strong.
  • The thin muscle on the forehead that raises the brows (frontalis). When the doctor is well trained, it’s fine to use Sculptra in the temples.

Where Sculptra is good and excels!

When done well, Scuptra boosts your natural collagen in a way that is soft, not puffy and helps to maintain the natural structure of your face, especially the “framing.”

  • All along the sides of the face from the temples down to the chin, following the natural contours of the bones.
  • The cheeks if there has been natural loss of (atrophy) fat there.
  • The folds from the nose to the corner of the mouth (nasolabial folds).
  • The folds from the corner of the mouth to the chin (mesolabial folds).
  • Certain areas on the chin that are NOT near the muscles around the lips.
  • Some areas on the body can be injected (off-label), but the Sculptra should be used at a different dilution.

Hope this helps, and stay safe!!

Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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