Skin Home > Injectable Poly-L Lactic Acid

Injectable poly-L lactic acid can help correct facial fat loss, wrinkles, and facial fold lines. This facial filler works by stimulating the body to replace lost collagen. There are two products available, one of which is specifically designed for people who have HIV. Although most people tolerate these injections well, side effects may still occur and can include pain, tenderness, and swelling.

What Is Injectable Poly-L Lactic Acid?

Injectable poly-L lactic acid (Sculptra®) is a long-lasting facial filler. Unlike other facial fillers, injectable poly-L lactic acid may actually help to stimulate the body to replace lost collagen, a protein that acts as a framework to support cells and tissues.
There are actually two injectable poly-L lactic acid products:
  • Regular Sculptra -- approved for correcting facial fat loss in people with HIV
  • Sculptra Aesthetic -- approved for cosmetic uses, such as treating wrinkles and facial fold lines.
There are no significant differences between the two products.
(Click What Is Injectable Poly-L Lactic Acid Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Injectable poly-L lactic acid can cause side effects. However, not everyone who receives the treatment will experience problems. Most people tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Possible side effects of injectable poly-L lactic acid include but are not limited to:
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Pain.
(Click Side Effects of Injectable Poly-L Lactic Acid to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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