In the latest couple of blogs, we’ve gotten into all things collagen, from an overview of what it is and how it functions, to how our collagen changes as we age, along with abnormalities such as dermal scarring. Now we have finally arrived at how we can stimulate our own collagen production through Collagen Induction Therapy, aka CIT.
How does CIT stimulate collagen?
Collagen Induction Therapy stimulates our body’s own natural collagen through a controlled superficial injury to the skin, which incites a wound healing response within our skin. This leads to collagen synthesis among other skin health benefits such as the release of growth factors, improved cell-to-cell communication and cellular function, and overall skin health. CIT is also indicated for the improvement of many skin conditions such as acne, aging, scars, rosacea, etc.
How does it work?
Phases of wound healing;
Inflammatory Phase (1-3 days): In the inflammatory phase, macrophage cells are responsible for phagocytosis (white blood cells migrate from capillaries to clear damaged tissue and debris) and the release of growth factors that cause the migration and division of cells involved in the proliferative phase. The vascular response is a prolonged period of vasodilation following vasoconstriction which results in edema, erythema, and heat.
Lag & Proliferative Phase (3-5 days): The proliferative phase includes angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels by vascular endothelial cells), collagen deposition, granulation tissue formation, epithelialization, and wound contraction. Concurrently, re-epethelialization of the epidermis occurs.
Fibroplastic Phase (5-20 days): The fibroplastic phase is usually established within 5 days of injury and lasts for up to 4 weeks. To produce new tissue, fibroblasts (The cells responsible for collagen production) proliferate in the wound and migrate with the help of the growth factors and fibronectin.
Maturative and Remodeling Phase (28 days-2 years): During the maturation phase, newly formed collagen is strengthened while collagenase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down collagen, breaks down inappropriately oriented collagen molecules. The result is that the new collagen, initially laid down in a chaotic, disorganized way, becomes oriented in a manner similar to the way that nature intended, while non-traumatized collagen appears. This process lasts for 20 days up to 2 years and scar collagen regains about 70%-80% of normal collagen’s original tensile strength.
What is CIT good for?
Dermal needling was initially promoted mainly for increasing and remodeling collagen, hence the term collagen induction therapy. However, collagen induction is just one aspect of this treatment. Controlled microinjury of the skin appears to reboot cellular function. For example, if melanocyte (pigment producing) cells over or under produce pigment, micro needling can normalize melanogenesis. The same goes for keratinocytes when hyperkeratinization exists, or sebocytes which over produce sebum. Because of this, micro needling or CIT is indicated to treat a number of skin concerns.
What are the types of CIT?
The main treatment which is well known as collagen induction therapy is microneedling. At Sapien, we offer a range of options for micro needling such as the Microneedling Facial, Advanced Clinical Microneedling (Microneedling Facial plus a targeted chemical peel for atrophic scars), and Radio Frequency Microneedling with Potenza. We also offer 1540 Fractional Laser Resurfacing which is a collagen stimulating treatment, and Tempsure which is a no-downtime version of CIT utilizing RF energy without the needles. To find out more about these individual services, check out our services and FAQ pages here. Wanna know which is right for you? Book a service consultation here.
See you in the treatment room!
Setterfield, L. (2017). The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling. Acacia Dermacare.