Microneedling

Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT)

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling (also known as Collagen Induction Therapy or CIT) is an innovative aesthetic procedure designed to improve the appearance of acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, photodamage, and improve the skin’s overall appearance. Most scientific studies have examined the use of microneedling for acne scarring. “Rolling” and “boxcar” acne scars have been shown to be more effectively treated than “ice pick” scars. Some patients have seen more than 50% improvement in their acne scars; however, it is important to have realistic expectations and understand that micro-needling will not eliminate scars entirely. Micro-needling has also been studied for the treatment of facial wrinkles, melasma and stretch marks.

Microneedling Diagram

Microneedling Procedure Video

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Strata electric powered micro needling pen is a handheld device used to create precise microscopic punctures in the skin of varying depths. The pen is composed of a series of fine needles which vibrate rapidly, penetrate the dermis, and allow for controlled induction of the skin self-repair mechanisms by creating ‘micro-injuries.’ These ‘micro-injuries’ are created by gently pressing and gliding the Strata micropen microneedles across the skin surface. These tiny needles vibrate rapidly, more than 10,000 RPM. The end point is the development of “pin-point bleeding.”

The microneedling procedure is normally completed within 30 minutes depending on the required treatment and anatomical site.
Microneedling is well tolerated with minimal discomfort. The skin is pre-treated with a topical anesthetic which renders the procedure virtually painless.
Scientific studies have shown that the creation of abundant micro-injuries to the skin directly stimulates the release of various growth factors that play a role in collagen and elastin synthesis and deposition within the dermis. Increases in TGF-beta3, in particular, is felt to be largely responsible for the regeneration collagen and improvement of the appearance of scars. It has been hypothesized that the creation of numerous microchannels in depressed acne scars physically breaks apart the compact collagen bundles in the superficial layer of the dermis while simultaneously inducing the production of new collagen and elastin underneath the scar.
The process of collagen remodeling and deposition takes weeks to occur and multiple sessions over several months are typically needed to see results.
Typically, we recommend a minimum of 3 sessions, though often people will need closer to 6 sessions to see meaningful results.
Results may last several years, but future micro-needling sessions may be necessary to maintain improvement.

We use the Strata pen due to its ease of use and ability to avoid cross contamination between patients.
A sterile disposable needle tip is used with each patient, avoiding cross contamination.
The StrataPen is FDA approved only for the treatment of micro-pigmentation. Use of micro-needling for the treatment of acne scars, wrinkles, photoaging, melasma, etc. is considered “off label.”

Micro-needling is considered a noninvasive aesthetic procedure and has a low rate of associated adverse effects. The most common and expected side effects of the treatment include:

  1. Temporary redness
  2. Localized swelling
  3. Skin flaking and peeling which typically resolves within three days.
  4. Pinpoint bleeding is the desired endpoint of the procedure and typically resolves within minutes using pressure and cold wet gauze pads. Potential rare side effects include:
  5. Temporary discoloration
  6. Scarring (including stamping type) -very rare.
  7. Infection and worsening of pre-existing infection
  8. Granuloma formation
  9. Reactivation of herpes simplex virus “cold sores”
  1. Active inflammatory acne with pimples and pus bumps
  2. Active herpes infection (cold sores)
  3. Presence of warts
  4. Recent history of sun exposure (or those who are visibly tanned) until all traces of suntan have faded to minimize post-treatment discoloration.
  5. Those who have received facial filler (e.g. Restylane and Juvederm) within the previous seven days
  6. Those with a history of keloids
  7. Those with immunosuppression (weakened immune system)
  8. Those with a history of connective tissue disease such as Lupus and Scleroderma

Sources

  1. Alster TS And Graham PM. Microneedling: A review and practical guide. Derm surgery 2017; 0:1 – 8
  2. Hogan S et. al. Microneedling: a new approach for treating textural abnormalities and scars. Seminars in cutaneous medicine and surgery volume 30: 6: December 2017
  3. Sharad J. Combination of Microneedling and glycolic acid peels for the treatment of acne scars in dark skin. Journal of cosmetic dermatology 2011:10:317 – 323
  4. Fabbrocini G. Collagen induction therapy for the treatment of upper lip wrinkles. Journal of dermatological treatment 2012; 23:144 – 155