Is there a way to avoid bruising with Sculptra?

Hi, Dr. Irwin: I had Sculptra injections and am scheduled to return Monday for my next treatment, but I am VERY nervous about having it done again. I had the most outrageous bruising -- from mid-chin below the mouth all the way up my jawline to the ear. Impossible to cover with makeup...what are my alternatives besides forgetting the whole thing? Sonja

There are two parts to bruising with Sculptra.  What the patient (you) does and what the doctor does.

You hopefully were told to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen/Advil, naproxyn/Aleve, etc and all other meds in this category for a week prior to your Sculptra (unless prescribed by your doctors for medical reasons).  Many prescription antiinflammatories also cause bleeding as does coumadin. Discuss with your doctor if you have questions.

Also avoid herbals (look these up on the web) that can increase bleeding, alcohol the night before, and extra vitamin E.  You can also start the homeopathic Arnica tablets (don’t do this if you have high blood pressure or heart problems) the day before. They help a little.

The doctors technique also matters.  We use a "numbing" cream for 30-40 minutes before injecting because it helps constrict the blood vessels in the skin which helps to prevent bruising. If we see a spot start to bleed while I’m injecting, we apply immediate pressure and then ice for a few minutes to help prevent bruising as well.  Some doctors just have a more gentle injection style too.  Most of our patients have a couple of small bruises after but nothing major as long as all these things are done.  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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