Bio Stimulatory Fillers: Bellafill Vs. Sculptra


Aging. It happens to all of us.  We might try to ignore it, but as we age, three significant changes occur.

1) Volume loss of the face

2) Skin elasticity declines

3) Hyaluronic acid diminishes

As a natural part of the aging process, our faces lose 1 teaspoon of tissue muscle, volume, and fat per decade -- starting at the age of 20. If you're 50, you have lost three teaspoons of volume or 15 cc's (15 syringes of filler!) Fortunately, we have straightforward and effective methods to reverse volume depletion aging. Dermal fillers can add back volume and fullness to the skin and soften fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful and fresh look. These common aging concerns can be treated with different types of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers such as Restylane and Juvéderm. While these injectable fillers are soft and natural-looking, the downside is that results are temporary, lasting 6-24 months depending on the type of filler and where it is injected! The body gradually metabolizes the particles, and repeating the injection process is required to maintain the volumized appearance. 9 out of 10 current filler patients report "filler fatigue," which is the frustration of repeated cost and uncomfortable injection sessions. If this sounds like you, we have the perfect solution.

Bellafill and Sculptra are two of the more popular injectables on the market to treat signs of aging. These dermal fillers are bio stimulators that cause your body to make more of your own collagen and are superior simply because patients get a long-lasting effect. However, the common question we get is, "what is the difference between Bellafill and Sculptra?"

An In-Depth Look At Sculptra

Sculptra has been around since 1999. This popular dermal filler is made from long chains of lactic acid called poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) and is a synthetic molecule comprised of the same lactic acid that makes your muscles sore after your workout. PLLA is also used to create a dissolvable thread for stitches.

Sculptra was initially approved to treat a condition called facial lipoatrophy in people living with HIV. Facial lipoatrophy is an unusual side effect of HIV medication treatment where there is a dramatic loss of subcutaneous fat of the face. Many patients had hollow, sunken cheeks and deep folds of the face that resembled a gaunt skeletonized facial contour. Doctors discovered that they could soften this stigmatizing gaunt facial appearance by injecting PLLA, which would slowly stimulate the body to make its own collagen over several sessions. The effect was then noticed by the esthetic world and is now used for natural-looking, gradual volume enhancement. In addition to facial lipoatrophy, Sculptra is FDA approved for reducing facial lines and wrinkles. It assists in the replacement of lost collagen by stimulating your body to make its own.

Immediately after injections, you will get a great idea of what your volume is going to look like. There is some swelling that occurs after the treatment because of the saline that suspends the PLLA particles and "trauma" from the injections. This immediately plumps up your skin, making it look like your signs of aging have been immediately fixed. Unfortunately, after 24 hours, the swelling goes down. But! Your filler has NOT completely disappeared. It's important to know that the tiny particles of PLLA will start working deep within the dermis to stimulate your skin's own collagen and elastin production. You'll begin to see final improvement by 6-8 weeks. Sculptra typically lasts about 2 years but is usually "touched up" once a year to maintain the ultimate correction and effect.

An In-Depth Look At Bellafill

Bellafill was approved by the FDA back in 2006 and has been used to bring beautiful, supportive collagen into faces ever since.  Bellafill is a collagen-based dermal filler with polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). Because it is made of bovine collagen, this injectable filler requires a small skin test to determine whether the patient is allergic to the unique collagen contained in the filler gel. For decades, PMMA has been used to make intraocular lenses in cataract patients and is frequently used as glue in hip and knee joint replacements. You can rest assured that Bellafill has a very long and safe history of being used in the human tissue. The beauty and power of Bellafill is that once your body has been stimulated to make that extra collagen, it stays for many, many years!

Bellafill is our favorite filler because it does something that no other filler can can last for up to 5 years (if not more!!) So...why rent your filler when you can own it?! Bellafill is better from a long term economic standpoint because you won't need to add more every few months! Now you can look your best without wasting time and money on repeated filler injections.

Unlike Sculptra, when Bellafill is injected, the collagen that it is made from will cause instant improvement. The moment the injections are performed, there is an immediate reduction in the depth of smile lines, acne scars, or hollowed temples. Acne scars or facial folds are diminished by adding volume under the scar or fold, bringing the sunken tissue to the level of the surrounding skin. Final results can be observed after about 3-5 months when new collagen production has peaked. To eliminate any risk of overcorrection with a long-lasting filler, Bellafill treatment is done in a few separate sessions spread out over several months!

Bellafill and Sculptra are an excellent way to rejuvenate your skin and enhance your appearance. However, between the two, Bellafill is the only filler we use in our office! From a patient standpoint — they act the same, but Bellafill won't degrade in two years! Less maintenance will eliminate the need for regularly repeated treatment sessions! If you're interested in the longest-lasting collagen stimulating filler on the market, give our office a call at (916) 941-9400, and let's see what Bellafill can do to help you live confidently.

AUGUST 19, 2020

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