How to make sure you have a successful Sculptra treatment.

I have a nodule/bump from my sculptra injection. It's at the injection site and is painful if pushed on. The Sculptra was mixed 2 weeks prior, i was injected with lidocaine then a port was put in for the cannula to enter. This is my first round and now when i smile, a small indentation shows on this side. If i smile and stretch the skin i can see a bump. I'm worried this will happen again. I did massage but this side was extremely difficult in the beginning due to pain.

Some clinics in the U.S. and Europe (mostly), including ours,  have been using Sculptra now for 20 years.  We have 100s of happy patients who come back once or twice a year for more Scuptra for decades.  But when I look at the web and what’s going on with Sculptra now, it always puzzles me.  Reports of bumps and lumps, and other issues.  Sculptra should be mixed 2-14 days ahead, but not longer generally.

Since we know that Sculptra if reconstituted correctly, injected correctly and massaged correctly is very safe and effective, there must be a problem with one of these steps.  Sculptra, unlike other fillers, builds your OWN collagen while it goes away.  So it’s really a collagen stimulator primarily, and a filler second.  That extra collagen is great for almost everyone, at every age!

Things to think about before (or after) you’re treatment:

  • How long has your doctor been working with and using Sculptra?   It takes 2-3 years, in my opinion, to get good at it.  Early injectors should stick to one or two areas on the face.
  • About how many vials does the clinic use per week with their patients?  3-10 is a good answer.
  • Do they have an approach if a patient gets a bump?  What is it?
  • Do they use cannulas or needles to inject it?   Experts really differ on this, but most experienced doctors use needles for Sculptra.  They are easier to control for very precise placement.
  • How much bruising should you expect to experience?  Do they use a bruise prevention protocol?  Hopefully, they do and can give or email it to you.  Sculptra rarely bruises when precautions prior are followed.
  • Be sure to disclose any other fillers that you’ve had done.  Sculptra should never be used over or around silicone or Belafill (little plastic beads) which are permanent.

What to do if you’re having a problem:

  • Think about the time frame!  If the problem is occurring in the first month after treatment, it’s rarely the Sculptra itself.  It’s almost always a bruise, or tissue irritation.
  • Call your doctor/provider right away when you notice it.  They (hopefully) will want to look at the area.
  • After the initial massage period, try massaging any bumps very gently twice a day for about a minute, and ALWAYS with lotion.  It will help any bruises or early Sculptra bumps resolve faster.
  • Don’t push on or mash the site!  Overdoing touching the area can cause more problems.  Just do the above while you’re waiting to see your doctor.
  • Remember it takes 2-3 months for Sculptra to develop so any funny areas you see will often resolve during the collagen-building phase.  But show your doctor!
I hope this helps,
Dr. Brandith Irwin
Founder, SkinTour
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
Follow my skin tips and travels on Instagram!
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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