Collagen Vs. Sculptra Aesthetic: Which Works Better For Smile Lines?

Nasolabial folds, or smile lines, account for many of the cosmetic complaints heard by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Although doctors assess each patient in order to determine which injectable filler is most appropriate, a new study offers strong support for choosing Sculptra Aesthetic over collagen.

Made from poly-L-lactic acid, Sculptra Aesthetic was compared to one of the most popular human-derived collagen fillers by a team at the University of Alabama's Department of Dermatology. More than 200 patients between the ages of 26 and 73 received nasolabial injections of one or the other at three-week intervals, up to four times. In the months following the injections, the photographic measurement tool known as the Wrinkle Assessment Scale was used to analyze the results, which were significantly different.

Not only did Sculptra Aesthetic, which works by gradually replacing lost collagen, score much higher on the Wrinkle Assessment Scale than the collagen filler, it was also proven to last far longer. Sculptra Aesthetic's effects lasted up to 25 months, whereas the collagen wore off within three months.

In terms of safety, the side effects seen in the study were very similar, with around nine percent of participants experiencing nodules regardless of which filler was used.

Keep in mind, your doctor may not recommend either Sculptra Aesthetic or collagen for your nasolabial folds. Although this study did not include them, hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane are options, as well. A board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon who has experience in multiple fillers can help you weigh the benefits when deciding which is right for you.

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