Microneedling or CIT

Microneedling or CIT (Collagen Induction Therapy) doesn't necessarily involve chemicals, but it's an inexpensive method for treating fine lines and scars at home. I use a stamp and a roller.

There is much evidence that microneedling is effective for building collagen, which reduces wrinkles and scars, but research, research, research before any DIY procedure! I’ve included some clinical reports and research below (see references).

  • Clinical evidence shows it works for wrinkles AND scars
  • Very Inexpensive
  • DIY
  • Down time is very short, much better than chemical peels
  • May help improve transdermal absorption of actives (questionable)

  • Pain: it can hurt, but numbing cream helps
  • There's a little blood, but very small amounts from the pinpricks
  • Finding the best tools is challenging since not FDA approved for DIY
  • Expect slow results since collagen modeling takes time
  • Always a risk of infection with puncture wounds, so sterilize and sanitize
  • Not recommended for those with active acne lesions
My DIY Microneedling:
  1. I start with a high-quality instrument; I found the DermaRoller brand, which has titanium needles; I’ve read that poor tools may lead to breakage of needles in the skin or more damage in the skin than is necessary to induce collagen. My tools include a .5 mm stamp and a 1 mm roller. I use both, starting with the stamp, but I do not roll with the roller; I’ve found that just pressing like a stamp works better for me. I purchased my tools abroad as they’re not FDA approved.
  2. Always clean instrument(s) thoroughly with alcohol before and after each treatment and avoid touching the needles; I soak mine in alcohol for about 5 minutes each.
  3. I do my therapy before bed since I see a little blood and lots of redness. The redness lasts 24-48 hours for me, so doing this at night helps avoid having to apply concealer until some of the swelling subsides. I also see swelling for a couple of days.
  4. PAIN: I use lidocaine 5% prior to treatments to minimize pain, leaving it on for about 15-20 minutes and remove, wiping with alcohol before starting the treatment. I like the one linked because it’s non-oily and doesn’t cause breakouts for me. This treatment hurts, so it takes real commitment.
  5. After the therapy, I spray a DIY Vitamin C mixture on my face several times and follow with an antibacterial ointment. I make this DIY mixture just before treatment, so I don’t need preservatives, and I know bacteria growth should be minimal since I’m using distilled water (steam) and vitamin C powder.
  6. I’ve read that some people apply other actives following the treatment because the open channels in the dermis allow for deeper penetration, but I’ve read too many horror stories about infections arising from this practice, so I don’t use anything besides what’s listed above.
  7. I apply a good physical sunblock the morning after these treatments, which I apply daily anyway!
  8. I repeat every 3-5 weeks, depending upon needle size and aggressiveness
Google Images include many before and after photos that show much more detail than the photos I've taken with my phone.


I've been doing the therapy about every 3-4 weeks for 4+ months now, so I'm not sure if there's any improvement, though theoretically, there must be some. It always looks great for the first couple of days afterward due to swelling, but that's temporary.

I've read that DIY'ers must be careful about doing the treatment too frequently since the collagen modeling can take 2-3 weeks to form after each treatment, so we risk damaging that repair process if we rush the treatments. I'm planning to do this regularly for the next year before I do anything else (besides my chemical peels) to see what kind of progress I can expect. I'd love to avoid plastic surgery, which all my friends seems to be having done. My sister just had a full face lift, and she's four years older than me. (I'll be 53 in Feb '17.)

A Brief History of Microneedling:
  • 1995 - Orentreich and Orentreich described subcision or dermal needling for scars
  • 1997 - Camirand and Doucet described needle dermabrasion using a "tattoo pistol" to treat scars
  • 2006 - Fernandes developed collagen induction therapy with the dermaroller
This book provides some interesting information, and if you have KindleUnlimited, it may be free. It has an interesting chapter that compares microneedling to lasers, chemical peels, dermabrasion, fillers, and IPL. There's also a chapter that addresses all the issues it may treat, though I haven't found clinical evidence supporting some of them.

1.            Orentreich DS, Orentreich N. “Subcutaneous incisionless (subcision) surgery for the correction of depressed scars and wrinkles.” Dermatological Surgery,  1995, Vol. 21. 
2.            Camirand A, Doucet J. Needle Dermabrasion. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 1997, Vol. 21, pp. 48-51. 
3.            Fernandes D. “Minimally invasive Percutaneous Collagen Induction.” Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, 2006, Issue 17, pp. 51-63. 
4.            Aust MC, Fernandes D, Kolokythas P, Kaplan HM, Vogt PM. “Percutaneous collagen induction therapy: An alternative treatment for scars, wrinkles and skin laxity.” Plastic Reconstructive Surgery,  2008, Vol. 21.      
5.            Fernandes D, Signorini M. ‘Combating photoaging with percutaneous collagen induction.” Clinical Dermatology, 2008, Vol. 26. 
6.            Aust MC, Reimers K, Repenning C, Stahl F, j0 ahn S, Guggenheim M, et al. “Percutaneous collagen induction: Minimally invasive skin rejuvenation without risk of hyperpigmentation-fact or fiction.” Plastic Reconstructive Surgery,  2008, Vol. 122, Issue 15, pp. 53-63.

No comments:

Post a Comment