What is Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT)?
Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), is a fancy way of saying non-surgical micro-needling. It is a minimally invasive treatment that involves the use of a medical grade roller with fine needles on it that is worked over an area of skin to help stimulate the production of collagen.
It is used for:
- Tightening loose skin
- Rejuvenating aged hands
- Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
- Reducing acne scars and scars from burns
- Tightening pores
- Reducing stretch marks
- Reducing pigmentation
- Promoting hair growth.
There are various different names for this treatment depending on the type of roller used. Some of the more common ones include:
Dermapen, eDermastamp, MTS Roller, Roll CIT, Genuine Dermaroller, BioSkin Jetting and BioSkin Smoothing, and Collagen P.I.N. Some of these are rollers, some are automated needling devices that are moved by the practitioner over the area that is being treated rather than a roller.
How does it work?
Collagen Induction Therapy works by stimulating our body’s natural collagen production system.
During the treatment, tiny micro-needles (sharp fine needles) on the medical grade roller are moved systematically over the chosen treatment area. The fine needles create evenly spaced micro-punctures in the skin.
The tiny-punctures created micro-damage within the skin, which triggers the body’s natural collagen production. Over next few months after the treatment the amoun to focollagen in the skin will increase giving the skin a revitalised, plumper and smoother looking appearance.
There are various needle sizes that are used to treat different skin concerns; shorter needles penetrate the surface of the skin whereas longer needles penetrate much deeper. Typically:
- 5-1.0 mm needles are used to treat aging and wrinkles, which will stimulate collagen induction.
- 5–2 mm needles are used for acne treatments.
Collagen Induction Therapy sessions vary depending on the size of the area being treated, and can take between 10 – 60 minutes.
Prior to treatment, topical anaesthetic will be applied thereby reducing any pain and discomfort.
Some treatments are combined with radiofrequency, light therapy, vitamin serums or platelet rich plasma (PRP) to enhance the result for certain conditions such as hair loss, acne treatments or anti-aging treatments.
What is it like?
Some people describe Collagen Induction Therapy as is virtually a painless technique with a slight ‘tingling sensation’. That said, some find it painful and usually the practitioner will apply a topical anaesthetic 20 minutes before the treatment to eliminate any potential pain.
What is the recovery time?
The recovery time of the treatment depends on the length of needles used.
The average downtime of the treatment is between 12 – 72 hours.
There may be a bit of redness and swelling.
What are the side effects?
The most common side effect of Collagen Induction Therapy is redness to the skin; however, the following may also occur:
- Bleeding and scabbing
- Dry skin
- Appearance of millia (small white spots).
After Collagen Induction Therapy you must:
- Use only lukewarm to clean the face for up to 48 hours. Try to avoid rubbing at the skin harshly.
- Do not pick at scabs or touch the treated area to avoid the risk of infection. Make sure your hands are clean before touching your face.
- Conventional make up should not be worn for 12 hours but those that are approved for post-cosmetic treatments, such as Oxygenetix may be used.
- Apply SPF immediately after the treatment.
Collagen Induction Therapy must not used if:
- You have used isotretinoin (prescription strength retinol) in the last 3 months
- You are pregnant
- You are breast feeding
- Have poor wound healing or are on anticoagulant therapies
- You have cold sores (herpes simplex)
- Have open wounds
- If you have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the 12 months
- You are prone to keloid scarring
- You have active acne
- You have moderate to severe eczema or psoriasis.
How much does it cost?
Collagen Induction Therapy is not available on the NHS.
You should expect to pay between £275- £400 depending on the clinic and the area being treated.
You can now purchase cosmetic micro-needles for home use, these can range from £60 – £150+. They may not be as effective as professional models due to the differing length of the needles. They should be cleaned thoroughly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid infection.
How many treatments are needed?
This will depend on the area being treated and the reason for the treatment. More than one treatment may be required.
Who should do the treatment?
The treatment should only be carried out by qualified medical professionals including doctors or nurses.
How effective is it?
This treatment has been shown to be quite effective in reducing wrinkles and scarring from acne and burns and areas of pigmentaton. It has also been shown, when combined with minoxidil, to be useful in stimulating hair regrowth.