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Achieve Youthful, Contoured Cheeks with Sculptra - The Collagen Stimulating Filler

Do you look in the mirror and feel like your face tells a different story than your birth certificate? Have your cheeks lost their youthful plumpness and fullness over time? Do wrinkles and sagging skin make you appear older than you feel?

You're not alone. Still, you don’t have to accept these signs of aging as inevitable. Facial rejuvenation solutions can restore a more lifted, contoured, and youthful appearance without surgery.

Sculptra Aesthetic is an anti-aging injectable that gradually stimulates collagen and can plump cheeks, erase wrinkles, and give you back your cheekbones for more facial definition. Learn how Sculptra cheek filler injections can provide transformative rejuvenation without going under the knife.

What Exactly is Sculptra and How Does it Rejuvenate Facial Skin?

Sculptra Aesthetic, also known as injectable poly-L-lactic acid or simply poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), is one of the most effective and innovative anti-aging facial injectables available today. Here's a quick overview of what makes this procedure unique:

  • Made of poly-L-lactic acid, a biocompatible synthetic polymer
  • Classified as a collagen biostimulator, not a traditional dermal filler 
  • Stimulates your body's own natural collagen production
  • Provides subtle volume along with collagen regeneration for natural-looking results
  • Results get better over time and can last up for relatively longer time for some patients

Now let's dig into the details of how this dermal collagen stimulator can rejuvenate facial skin, erase wrinkles, and restore youthful cheek volume with a series of treatments.

As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid - the compounds that keep skin looking plump and supple. The loss of these key structural proteins leads to sagging cheeks, hollowness under the eyes, laugh lines, wrinkles, and more signs of aging. 

Sculptra is designed to counteract this natural loss of facial volume by stimulating your body to replace lost collagen. Traditional dermal fillers like Juvederm and Restylane add volume by injecting hyaluronic acid gel as a filler. Sculptra works differently - it stimulates your skin to produce more of its own natural structural proteins like collagen.

How Does It Work?

When injected into the dermis in areas of facial volume loss, Sculptra triggers a mild inflammatory response. This inflammation stimulates fibroblasts - the cells that produce collagen in the skin.

The poly-L-lactic acid microparticles in this cheek filler act as a scaffold that promotes new collagen growth around the particles over several weeks and months after injection.

As it stimulates new collagen development, it gradually thickens the skin's dermal layer. This process adds natural-looking volume to sunken areas and smooths out wrinkles for an overall facial rejuvenation effect.

Benefits of Sculptra for Facial Rejuvenation and Cheek Augmentation

a woman getting cheek fillers

The unique ability of this treatment to gradually stimulate natural collagen production provides a host of benefits that other dermal fillers just can’t match. And for cheek augmentation, in particular, its advantages are numerous. 

Here are the key benefits this procedure offers for restoring volume and lifting sagging cheeks:

  • Long-lasting, natural-looking results. The collagen stimulation leads to a gradual improvement in skin quality, texture, and elasticity for more than a year. And results look incredibly natural compared to instant fillers.
  • Smoothens wrinkles and folds. It’s excellent for reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds, marionette lines, smile lines around the mouth, and other facial wrinkles.
  • Restores lost volume in cheeks. It is FDA-approved for the restoration of significant facial volume loss. It can plump up hollow cheeks and temples for a more youthful contour and shape.
  • Provides subtle lift. It doesn’t offer dramatic effects like a facelift. But, many patients see a subtle lift in cheeks and midface after a treatment series.
  • Improves texture and tone. The increase in natural collagen reduces visible pores, evens skin tone, and improves the overall look and feel of skin in treated areas.
  • Minimally invasive, non-surgical. There is no surgery, incisions, or extensive downtime required. Treatment involves a simple series of injections.
  • Little to no recovery time. You may have some temporary redness, swelling, or tenderness for a day or two with each treatment but no major downtime.
  • Lasting, natural results. While treatment requires multiple sessions, benefits build over weeks and months and you can maintain results with periodic touch-up sessions. No frequent treatments are needed.

The treatment applications go far beyond just rejuvenating cheeks, though.

Other Areas Sculptra Can Rejuvenate

While Sculptra is certainly a top choice for restoring plumpness and volume to the cheeks, that’s not all it can do. The injectable PLLA collagen stimulator is also frequently used to:

  • Smooth hollowness or tear troughs under the eyes
  • Plump thinning lips 
  • Soften the appearance of smile lines around the mouth
  • Soften vertical lines around the mouth like marionette lines and chin creases  
  • Enhance and lift cheeks and temples
  • Tighten sagging skin along the jawline and neck
  • Increase collagen in the back of hands to reduce visible veins and age spots

As you can see, there are many applications for Sculptra beyond just augmenting the cheeks. Any area experiencing sagging skin, wrinkles, or volume loss associated with aging can benefit from PLLA collagen stimulation.

Are you ready to learn more about the treatment process so you can decide if it's right to restore a refreshed, youthful look? Let’s explore what to expect...

The Sculptra Injection Treatment: Process, Recovery, and What to Expect

If you’re considering this cosmetic procedure to turn back the hands of time and restore plumpness to your cheeks and face, it’s important to understand the full treatment process and recovery. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of what to expect:

The Initial Consultation

Your first appointment will be an in-depth consultation with an experienced cosmetic injector. This is your chance to explain your goals and expectations and develop a customized treatment plan. Your provider will examine your areas of concern and determine how much product you’ll need and where specifically it should be injected.

Many practices offer 3D facial scans or imaging software to help you “preview” possible enhancement effects. Make sure you feel fully informed about the process and confident in your provider’s expertise before moving forward.

The Sculptra Injections  

On treatment day, your provider will first use an antiseptic cleanser to sanitize the treatment areas. Then a topical numbing cream is applied for about 30 minutes to make the injections as comfortable as possible. 

Using a very fine needle, the Sculptra PLLA microparticles are injected in small amounts into the deep dermis of the treatment areas. The most common injection areas for cheek enhancement are the upper cheekbone hollows, temples, and along the cheekbone contour.

Your injector will use a threading technique and inject tiny amounts of product with each pass of the needle. Multiple injection points are used to evenly distribute the microparticles throughout the cheeks. You may feel some mild pressure or discomfort during the injections, but the whole process usually takes less than an hour.

Recovery Timeline and Process

Immediately after your injections, you may have some temporary redness, swelling, tenderness, or bruising around the injection sites on your cheeks and face. This typically resolves within a day or two. Cold compresses can help minimize swelling. 

Your provider will advise avoiding strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after each treatment. This helps minimize the risk of swelling, bruising, or bumps. Limit alcohol intake and avoid touching or massaging the treatment areas unless directed.

Some mild discomfort at the injection sites is normal. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve tenderness. Any swelling or skin irritation generally subsides within a few days. 

Most patients feel comfortable returning to normal activities like work right after the treatment, as long as they avoid vigorous exercise for at least a day. There are no dissolvable stitches to worry about and you should see very minimal visible signs you had a procedure done.

Some important steps to support healing and reduce risks of side effects after each session include:

  • Use cold compresses for 24 hours to help manage swelling 
  • Sleep face up and slightly elevated to minimize swelling
  • Avoid makeup, sun exposure, and extremes of heat or cold for 24 hours
  • Follow any instructions for gently massaging treatment areas 
  • Take arnica and/or bromelain supplements to help prevent bruising
  • Stay well hydrated and follow a healthy diet but avoid alcohol for 24 hours

Following proper aftercare ensures you heal quickly with minimal downtime or visible signs from each Sculptra treatment. And it supports optimal collagen development for youthful, natural-looking results.

Results and Treatment Plans

Unlike dermal fillers that instantly smooth and add volume, Sculptra works gradually. The PLLA microparticles stimulate new collagen production in the deep dermis over time. Most patients don’t see significant improvements until 6-8 weeks after the first treatment.

Optimal results come after a series of 3-4 sessions spaced 3-6 weeks apart. This spacing allows your body the needed time to naturally regenerate collagen between treatments. The number of injection sessions required depends on the amount of correction needed.

For mild volume loss or wrinkles, some patients only need 1-2 sessions. Moderate to severe improvements usually require 3-4 treatments. Your injector will advise you on the ideal treatment plan for your goals.

It’s crucial to be patient through the process. While you may see some subtle volume improvement right away, the real improvements happen gradually over the first 2-3 months following your complete treatment series. Most patients see about a 20% correction with each session, and results continue improving for months afterward.

How Long Do Sculptra Results Last?

With proper injection technique, cheek enhancement results can last about 1.5-2 years for most patients. However, some periodic maintenance is needed to sustain the collagen stimulation in the long run. 

Your injector may recommend a touch-up treatment every 9-12 months after your initial treatment series. This helps replenish the filler and maintain or build upon the improvements. Proper aftercare also influences longevity.

While results with this procedure last far longer than traditional HA fillers, outcomes vary from patient to patient. Those with good skin elasticity and quality tend to have longer-lasting improvement than older patients or those with sun damage. Either way, the youthful volume is never permanent and touch-ups will be needed.

Sculptra vs. Traditional Dermal Fillers for Cheek Augmentation

If you’re considering most injectables for cheek enhancement, it’s helpful to understand how this type of filler compares to hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm Voluma or Restylane Lyft. Here’s an overview of the key differences:

CategorySculptraHyaluronic Acid Fillers
Filler MechanismStimulates collagen for gradual volumizing over monthsAdds instant volume which smooths but only lasts 6-12 months
ResultsLook very gradual and naturalCreate instant lifting and fullness but can sometimes look overdone
Treatment PlansRequires a series of 3-4 sessions spaced weeks apart"One and done" single treatments
RecoveryVery minimal downtime. Resume normal activities immediately.Also minimal recovery but some temporary swelling is common.
CostAverages $500-$1500 per session so the overall cost is higherMore affordable per syringe but results aren’t as enduring
LongevityLasts about 2 yearsLast 6-12 months

Both require periodic maintenance but Sculptra is longer lasting.

For many patients, the extended longevity and very natural look of the procedure makes it well worth the investment for rejuvenating cheeks and facial contours. But speak to an experienced injector about your particular case and concerns.

Are There Any Side Effects or Risks With Sculptra?

When injected properly by a skilled provider, Sculptra is considered an extremely safe facial injectable with a low-risk profile. Still, as with any cosmetic procedure, there can be some minor side effects including:

  • Mild swelling, redness, tenderness, or bruising at the injection sites for 1-2 days
  • Occasional minor bumps under the skin that usually resolve on their own
  • Unevenness or asymmetry in the results. Usually corrected with massage and follow-up treatments. 
  • Uncommon risks like infection, bleeding, or allergic reaction to PLLA.

To reduce the risks of side effects, closely follow your provider’s post-treatment care instructions. Avoid touching or massaging treatment areas for the first 24 hours unless directed. Stay out of the sun. Avoid blood thinning medications or supplements for several days pre and post-treatment.

Carefully review your full medical history with your provider as certain conditions may increase risks of side effects. This treatment is not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Discuss any medications you are using as well as any previous facial procedures.

With an experienced, reputable injector, Sculptra cheek and facial enhancement are proven to be exceptionally safe. Just follow all pre and post-treatment guidelines and express any concerns that arise during your series of treatments.

How Much Does Sculptra Cost? Is It Covered by Insurance?

Like most cosmetic injectables, the procedure is not covered by insurance since it’s considered an elective aesthetic treatment. But keep in mind you’re investing in results that last far longer than most temporary fillers.

On average, it costs $500 - $1500 per injection session. Since it requires a series of treatments spaced weeks apart for optimal results, your total cost can range from:

  • $1000 to $3000 for 2-3 treatment sessions
  • $2000 to $6000 for 3-4 treatment sessions

The number of treatments and amount of product needed depends on the level of correction desired and how much volume loss exists. In general, those with mild hollows and wrinkles require less product so pay toward the lower end of the range. More significant improvements run higher.

Many cosmetic clinics offer flexible financing plans to help budget the cost over time with low or no interest. Some also run periodic promotions on Sculptra so it pays to keep your eye out for specials. Just be wary of practices offering prices that seem too good to be true.

While not inexpensive, keep in mind the treatment’s ability to last for a year or two as mentioned above. So the upfront investment pays dividends when you consider the cost per year of rejuvenated, plump cheeks. Compare that to the need for 2-3 HA filler treatments yearly to maintain results!

Ideally, choose a provider who charges by the amount injected rather than one price. This allows you to customize your treatment to only what’s needed for your goals and budget.

How Do You Find a Sculptra Injector You Can Trust?

Be wary of medspas, salons, or providers advertising “cheap Sculptra near me”. The skill and experience of your injector are everything when it comes to getting natural-looking results and avoiding any unevenness or bumps. Here are tips for finding an injector you can trust:

  • Check their credentials. Only board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons should perform the injections. Beware of any non-medical personnel. 
  • Look for Sculptra-specific training and expertise. Ask how many treatments they perform monthly and request to see before/after images. 
  • Read reviews of actual patients describing their experiences and results. Facebook and RealSelf are great resources.
  • Schedule an in-person consultation. Get a sense of their professionalism, customization, and bedside manner. Make sure they listen to your goals.
  • Seek injectors who provide this specific procedure exclusively rather than a medspa jack-of-all-trades. Specialization is key.

A reputable, experienced Sculptra injector will provide a customized recommendation to address your specific concerns. They should educate you thoroughly on the process and set realistic expectations around gradual improvements. 

Trust your instincts – if a provider seems to promise overnight dramatic results or pressures you to purchase large “deals”, move on. Finding the right injector ensures your safety and beautiful, natural-looking outcomes.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sculptra Cheek Augmentation? 

The best candidates for it are men and women in overall good health who are bothered by early to moderate signs of facial aging including:

  • Loss of volume and fullness in the cheeks making them appear flat or sunken
  • Hollows under eyes with dark circles or tear troughs  
  • Nasolabial folds and wrinkles around the mouth and chin
  • Sagging skin along the jawline and neck needing a lift
  • Thinning texture and crepey appearance to facial skin 

Sculptra can restore plumpness for up to two years and smooth fine to moderate wrinkles and folds especially around mouth and eyes. It reinflates sunken cheeks to reveal the facial contours of your youth.

Those who want anti-aging but don’t think they need surgery quite yet are prime candidates. While not a replacement for a facelift if you have severe sagging, it can make a noticeable improvement through gradual collagen regeneration.

Younger patients in their 30s to 40s who want to get ahead of early volume loss are also good candidates for preventative procedures. As always, managing expectations around the gradual process and follow-up needed is important.


Considering Sculptra for your cheek or facial rejuvenation? Here are answers to some of the most common questions patients have:

How long is the recovery after each session? 

While you may have temporary swelling, tenderness or redness at injection sites for a day or two, most patients resume normal activities after treatment. There’s no recovery time needed in most cases. 

How painful are the injections? 

Your provider will first apply a topical numbing cream to maximize comfort. Sculptra injections use a very fine needle to minimize discomfort. Most patients tolerate the injections well, describing it as a pinching or burning sensation during injection.

When will I see the results? 

Some subtle improvements are visible after the first session, but optimal results emerge gradually over a period of 2-3 months following your complete treatment series as collagen regenerates. 

Are there any side effects I should know about? 

Most side effects like swelling, bruising tenderness, and redness are temporary. See the above section for full details on risks and side effects.

How do I maintain results long term? 

Follow up with any maintenance treatments your provider recommends, usually every 9-12 months. Protect your skin from sun damage which breaks down collagen. Stay well hydrated and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Reclaim Your Youthful Cheeks and Facial Contours at Dr. Lanna Aesthetics

a woman having cheek fillers

Want to learn more about restoring plump, lifted cheeks and correcting signs of facial aging with Sculptra? Dr. Lanna Aesthetics offers personalized treatments to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

With over 10,000 filler and injectable treatments performed, Dr. Lanna's expertise and master technique produces beautiful, subtle enhancements that restore a refreshed, youthful facial appearance. Patients travel from across the country to receive filler and facial rejuvenation treatments from her.

Call today to schedule your private Sculptra consultation with Dr. Lanna. Restore your facial contours and reveal your inner beauty!

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