If you’ve ever wondered how your skin maintains its shape and structure, or how it recovers after being scratched, scraped, or cut, you have collagen to thank in large part. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that is abundant in mammals, making up approximately one-third of a human’s total protein content. Collagen is foundational not only for skin, but also for bones, ligaments, tendons, and more. Without collagen, our bodies would, frankly, fall apart, lacking the essential glue that keeps it all together and aids in making necessary repairs. If our bodies start producing less collagen than before, we may notice changes, particularly in our skin’s appearance, structure, and texture.
Fortunately, it’s possible to introduce more collagen into our bodies if necessary. Collagen supplements, creams, and powders are becoming more prevalent as people catch on to this protein’s importance. But there are also ways to coax our bodies into producing more collagen of its own, the most common being Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). Our bodies are good at healing themselves, after all, and this method can help target and treat damaged areas of skin, such as scars and wrinkles. Here’s how CIT can empower your body’s natural healing processes.
Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) goes by many names, including dermarolling, microneedling, and skin needling, all of which hint at what this cosmetic dermatology procedure is all about. The main aim of CIT is to encourage the skin to produce more collagen by stimulating it with small needle pricks. In a way, it’s like knocking on someone’s door to wake them up. In this case, the knocking is the needle, the door is the skin, and the sleeping beauty is the collagen.
Microneedling causes miniscule damage to the skin, often enough to elicit an immune response that calls for increased collagen production. Dermarolling is usually performed to treat and reduce acne scars, as CIT helps new skin tissue grow in, smoothing out the skin and decreasing discoloration.
Research for CIT methods is ongoing, but dermarolling/microneedling has already shown great promise, boasting a hefty list of potential benefits. The face is the most common target area for CIT. As mentioned above, CIT is most often used as an acne scar treatment, but CIT can also help reduce facial lines and wrinkles, sun spots, uneven skin pigmentation, enlarged pores, stretch marks, and more. While mostly used on the face, CIT methods can theoretically benefit any part of the skin suffering from various kinds of damage or cosmetic concern. When compared to other skin treatments and procedures, microneedling is relatively safe, minimally invasive, and short in duration (30 minutes to an hour).
All the benefits in the world don’t add up to much if the treatment itself isn’t all that effective. Fortunately, CIT has a strong track record of efficacy. As always, results will vary from patient to patient and treatment to treatment, but when used to treat minor facial scarring and aging, dermarolling tends to brighten, smooth, and firm up most patients’ skin.
Of course, it takes some time for results to show up, and in most cases, multiple CIT treatments are recommended for the best outcome. On top of that, there are potential side effects and complications related to CIT, such as bleeding, peeling, bruising, and infection, but these are rare, especially if the procedure is performed by a trained microneedling dermatologist. Some irritation and redness is normal shortly after CIT treatment.
While CIT can have real physical, emotional, and aesthetic benefits, it is classified as merely a cosmetic procedure, meaning it won’t be covered by the vast majority of health insurance plans. The average microneedling session may run between $200 and $700, all of which must be footed by the patient. And because multiple CIT sessions are usually required, the overall cost can run into the thousands. These high numbers might lead one to dabble in self-CIT treatment via a home roller. Unfortunately, these rollers are not nearly as effective as the tools used by professional dermatologists. Home rollers barely penetrate the skin, which is necessary for increased collagen production. So, while doing it yourself might save you money, seeking professional CIT treatment is safer and much more effective.
When functioning at its best, your body knows how to heal itself naturally. Collagen Induction Therapy is just a way of reminding your body of its innate abilities. If you think CIT is right for your skin, reach out to Premier Dermatology Partners. Our team can help you learn more about CIT methods, benefits, and risks, and point you in the right direction. To learn more about our team and all the services we provide, contact us.