What is Collagen Induction Therapy?

Collagen Induction Therapy In our hunt for the ultimate anti-aging treatments, we seem to be willing to try just about anything.  Shaving off the top layer of skin with a scalpel?  Sure.  Injecting facial muscles with a derivative of Botulinum to smooth wrinkles?  No problem. Using a laser to vaporize skin cells?  Kids’ stuff.

So it’s no surprise that it was only a matter of time before doctors tried a new technique that at first glance seems barbaric.  Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), also known as medical needling, involves rolling a device covered in thin, sharp needles across the skin.  Sometimes referred to as the Derma Roller, CIT aims to increase a patient’s natural collagen production by causing damage, and therefore healing, to the deeper layers of the skin.  And just like other cosmetic procedures that seem a little, well, scary, patients are lining up for Collagen Induction Therapy because it, too, seems to work.

What problems does Collagen Induction Therapy treat?

Whether it is through laser resurfacing or a deep chemical peel or medical needling, the goal is always the same – increased collagen production.  Collagen is the building block of young skin that creates its firmness and strength.  As we age, collagen production decreases and skin begins to thin and sag.  By tricking the body into speeding up collagen production once again, collagen induction therapy can effectively treat:

  • Vertical lines above the lips
  • Nasolabial folds (smile lines)
  • Acne Scars
  • Stretch Marks
  • Abdominal Laxity
  • Sun damaged skin, especially on the chest

Collagen Induction Therapy may be safer than lasers for certain people who have an increased risk of hyperpigmentation.  Because a laser is attracted to the natural pigments in the skin, patients with darker skin such as African-Americans, Asians, Indians and Southern Europeans may find CIT an useful alternative.

What is the Collagen Induction Therapy treatment like?  Does it hurt?

Prior to the procedure, the patient is anesthetized, often first with a topical cream.  The provider may also inject a local nerve block such as lidocaine.  For larger areas like the abdomen, conscious sedation may also be utilized.

Next, the skin is prepared for treatment with the application of topical vitamins A and C.  These vitamins seem to reduce the recovery time and assist with patient discomfort.  The patient will continue to use vitamins A and C for up to 6 months on the treated area to assist in the collagen production.

A small, sterile roller with very fine needles is then rolled across the area to be treated.  The needles create thousands of tiny punctures, causing wounds and eventual inflammation and swelling.  The patient’s body naturally reacts to the injury by producing additional collagen and growing new, healthy skin.  Recovery takes 4 to 7 days, and results will take 3 to 9 months as the body slowly heals itself.  As is often the case, most patients will benefit from several treatments spaced 1 to 3 months apart.

Does Collagen Induction Therapy work?  What are the risks?

Doctors, not surprisingly, are torn on the subject of Collagen Induction Therapy.  Because the technique requires no major investment, such as an expensive laser, treatments are generally less expensive.  Those doctors who use medical needling seem to find its effects on vertical lip lines to be quite successful.  Other doctors believe that fractional lasers provide better results for acne scars.  Depending on your skin type, your budget and your desired recovery time, Collagen Induction Therapy may be right for you.  As always, ask a trusted professional for an opinion customized for you.

While medical needling is safe for the majority of patients, it should not be used on those with a higher risk of keloid (poor healing) scars, active infections, blood clotting problems, skin malignancies, or chronic skin disorders.


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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.

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