Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) is also known as microneedling. This treatment involves pricking the skin multiple times using a specialty device that induces the regeneration of the collagen lattice.
There are several ways that microneedling is done. The two most popular methods are manual rolling and the second is automated needling. Both of these methods have the same objective but there are advantages and disadvantages to each method.
Advantages of dermarollers
The device is single use and therefore reduces the risk of cross contamination.
The treatment time is short for larger areas.
the rollers typically do not need any lubrication.
Advantages of automated needling
The needles can be adjusted for length. This allows to change the treatment parameters.
What is the advantage of collagen induction therapy compared to surgical treatments?
Collagen Induction Therapy works by creating thousands of micro clefts through the epidermis into the papillary dermis. These tiny wounds in the papillary dermis create a virtually confluent zone of superficial bleeding that is a powerful stimulus to initiate the normal process of wound healing.
Because it is non-ablative and minimally invasive to the dermis, it can be performed on many parts of the body without the risk of hyperpigmentation.
Another advantage of Collagen Induction Therapy is that patients have no open wounds, and because of this, the healing time is significantly reduced. There is no exposure to air or post-inflammatory reactions.
The major disadvantage is the need for lengthy topical anesthetic as it can be painful to the patient. Although structural changes to the face and body may be achieved with plastic surgery, a complete improvement in appearance must include regeneration of the skin’s tone and laxity.
Cosmetic CIT and Medical CIT
CIT is generally divided into two categories, which are cosmetic and medical. The difference is based on the length of the needles and the depth reaching in the skin.
Cosmetic rollers needles typically range between 0.2 mm and 0.3mm.
They micro injure the epidermis and stimulate keratinocytes to release growth factors and promote upregulation of epidermal growth factors. These rollers can be used by aestheticians.
Medical dermarollers needles range from 0.5 mm – 3.0 mm and trigger the wound healing process to stimulate keratinocytes and fibroblasts. These CIT devices are strictly used by healthcare professionals.
Medical Microneedling Treatment Details
The CIT devices that are considered medical use surgical stainless steel needles to make channels into the epidermis and dermis to release growth factors. This promotes scarless healing and the deposition of normal woven collagen versus scar collagen.
Indications of Medical CIT
The following are common skin conditions and disorders that may be improved with microneedling.
Think skin density
Loss of adhesion and resiliency
Epidermal density and strength
Patients with the following conditions or disorders should not receive CIT treatments.
Fungal skin infection
Severe solar keratosis
How does CIT and microneedling help with skin laxity and wrinkles?
Increase availability of cell nutrients and the triggering of the wound healing cascade brings platelets, fibroblasts, epithelial, and immune cells together to facilitate wound healing.
The adult wound healing process
Scarless wound healing is one of the goals of a successful invasive and minimally invasive aesthetic procedure. Although science has helped us understand and the document and the cellular level the wound healing process, scarless wound healing is still unclear.
However, early research places keratinocytes as a significant player in the wound healing process.
Inflammatory Phase (1-3 days)
This process ensures that enough oxygen and building materials are getting to the wound. This process is relatively quick since the body wants to protect itself from the out environment. New type 3 collagen is initially produced at a rapid rate which is then followed by the tougher type 1 collagen rebuild.
One of the key elements in this process is macrophages. Without these cells, healing will not occur. Although they are responsible for the removal of debris, they are more responsible for division of the cells.
Lag and Proliferative Phase (3-5 days)
During this phase, oxygen is very important. However, because of the first phase, access to oxygen has been compromised. Therefore, angiogenesis starts. This process is the formation of new blood vessels which compensates for the earlier limitation. This process can actually be observed as visible point sized nodules on the wound.
Fibroplastic Phase (5-20 days)
At this point the inflammatory phase has diminished significantly and the body enters a phase that helps rebuild the tissue.
Maturative Remodeling Phase (28 days – 2 years)
During the initial proliferative phase, tissue was created in a disorganized method. This phase revisits the wound and corrects the collagen to a more oriented and non-traumatized structure.