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​What does the Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) procedure involve?

The skin is cleaned and a topical numbing cream is applied. A small handheld roller device covered with several tiny needles is then used along the affected skin region. The skin is thoroughly needled about 15 to 20 times. "Skin Needling”, as its name implies, involves using specially designed tool studded with a large number of tiny needles across anaesthetized skin. The procedure is performed for 60 minutes and results in increased collagen and elastin production for up to a year afterwards.

Is Collagen Induction Therapy painful?

Prior to the treatment a topical numbing cream is applied to ensure that very little discomfort is felt during the procedure. However, pressure may be felt throughout the procedure – though this should not be painful.

Am I suitable for Collagen Induction Therapy?

Collagen Induction Therapy is suitable for all skin types. Skin Needling can be safely performed on all skin colors and types. There is no risk of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (pigmentation of the skin as a result of skin trauma) as the melanocytes remain, like the dermis, intact during Skin Needling. This is the major distinguishing safety feature when comparing Skin Needling and other invasive procedures that are used to treat deep lines and depressed scars, ie laser resurfacing, deep chemical peels and dermabrasion.

However, it is not suitable for patients who:

  • Have used Accutane (isotretinoin) within the last three months.
  • Have open wounds, cuts, or abrasions on the skin.
  • Have had radiation treatment to the skin within the last year
  • Have any kind of current skin infection, condition, herpes simplex in the area to be treated.
  • Are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Have any history of keloid or hypertrophic scars or poor wound healing

Collagen Induction Diagram
Collagen Induction Therapy
  • stretch marks
  • sun damage


"I'm thrilled with my eyeliner brow and full lips. No one believes me when I tell them I have permanent make-up! The look is so natural it truly makes me look ten years younger!"

- Dori - Yelm, WA

In 1997, South African plastic surgeon Des Fernandes, MD, began to explore the idea of increasing collagen production by inducing bleeding in the skin via hundreds of tiny pricks. Using devices with needles one to two millimeters long we could pierce the dermis (which generates collagen and elastin) while leaving the epidermal layer relatively intact. “Unlike with ablative lasers, there’s no risk of scarring,” says Matthias Aust, MD, a plastic surgeon in Hannover, Germany. “And in addition to stimulating fibroblasts to make collagen and elastin, needling also releases growth factors, which nonablative lasers don’t do.”

Aust authored one recent study, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, that found a considerable deposit of collagen and elastin in the skin six months post-treatment, as well as a 40 percent increase in the thickness of the epidermis. And while trauma to the skin can often induce pigmentary changes, a second study by Aust, soon to be published in the same journal, demonstrated that percutaneous collagen induction (as the treatment is also called) doesn’t activate the melanocytes responsible for hyper-pigmentation. “One advantage is that, unlike lasers or chemical peels, skin needling can be applied to any skin type-even sensitive,” says New York City plastic surgeon Philip Miller, MD, who frequently lectures on PCI at meetings of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. According to Aust, since a single dose of PCI thickens skin, it may actually make treated areas less sensitive, including to UV light.

The treatment has also been shown to help reduce the appearance of certain scars. “Needling can create collagen to fill depressions or smooth out scars that are raised,” Miller says.

Although human studies on skin needling have thus far been performed only on the face, Leaf has had patients use the device on their cleavage and “found immense improvement in fine lines in that area.” One enterprising woman applied an anticellulite cream once a day to both thighs, but rolled it in on only one leg. “Within a month, the needled thigh was one inch smaller than the control,” he says.

Does it hurt?

Every person’s pain level is different, but most people feel very little discomfort. A topical solution is used to numb the skin and create the most pleasant experience possible.

How long until I see results?

This varies from person to person. It can take up to six weeks before visible signs of regeneration and repair are seen and the process will continue over the following months. Results are long lasting. Additional procedures are recommended to achieve significant improvement to lines and scars. Treatment effects are cumulative and will usually be seen within 6-8 weeks of each treatment. Treatments can be safely repeated every 6-10 weeks. More recently, prominent South African plastic surgeon Dr. Des Fernandes delivered a paper about his results with skin needling, which showed improved collagen production, scarring, texture and ageing. The paper “Percutaneous Collagen Induction Therapy: An Alternative Treatment for Scars, Wrinkles, and Skin Laxity” was published in the Journal of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery in 2008 and, in a study of 480 patients, showed significant effectiveness of “skin needling” in treating wrinkles and scars without the tissue damage and scarring frequently observed with laser treatments and chemical peels.

Induction Therapy or CIT which is also called Micro needling is the process that naturally stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin without damaging it. Collagen Induction Therapy stimulates the body’s own natural production of collagen, thereby reducing wrinkles and improving skin texture. Here at Seattle’s Beautiful Skin, the principle behind collagen channeling using the Collagen Induction Therapy treatment is simple. When it is applied to the skin, under local or topical anesthesia, a sterile roller with very fine needles is used to create many microscopic channels deep into the dermis of the skin, which stimulate your own body to produce new collagen. Collagen Induction Therapy is effective in treating the following skin conditions:

  • wrinkles
  • sags
  • acne scars


How does Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) work?

When gardeners want to regenerate an aging lawn, they’ll aerate it using a spiked wheel to draw out small plugs of dirt, which allows oxygen, water, and other nutrients to reach the roots of the grass. Skin needling uses the same premise: A handheld tool embedded with tiny steel tines is run over the face (or body) to spur collagen formation and increase penetration of topical serums.

Micro-Needling aka Collagen Induction Therapy

Wondering where all that collagen went? As we age, our skin’s ability to produce collagen diminishes, and depending on our lifestyle proclivities, from too much sunning to unhealthy habits like smoking or poor diet, collagen breakdown can leave us looking much older than our years. CIT plays an important role in rebuilding collagen by infusing the skin with all-natural, physiological regulating formulations, through a unique system of “rotational acupuncture” utilizing micro-needles. It can be used as either a stand-alone treatment or in combination with lasers, depending on age and skin conditions.

Your skin still has the power to regenerate collagen. It just needs a little boost from CIT!