WHAT IS NEEDLING?
Needling or CIT (collagen induction therapy) is an interesting, low-tech technique that is actually very effective in treating the following skin conditions: wrinkles, loose skin, skin aging, stretch marks (striae distensiae) cellulite, hyperpigmentation and scars.
There are basically two types of needling depending on the length of needle utilized. Dr. Haworth in his medical practice utilizes 2.5 to 3 mm long needles, whereas 0.02 to 2 mm needles are employed for home use and by nurse practitioners, respectively.
All parts of the body including the face as well as all skin types can be safely treated with this technique. Dr. Haworth has found that the more aggressive the treatment, the more impressive the results. The results can be seen with as little as one treatment, but 3 to 5 treatments are usually recommended to better achieve the average patients goals.
The device consists of a roller with up to 200 needles attached to it in an evenly spaced and perpendicular manner. The practitioner applies pressure and rolls the device over the treated area to penetrate the associated dermis thousands of times with the needles. This in turn induces an “avalanche” of collagen production within the dermis, resulting in skin tightening and stretch mark diminishment. This process is often referred to as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT).
Ablative skin treatments such as dermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatments involve removing various amounts of the outer protective covering of the skin (epidermis) in order to force the body to produce a new tissue skin covering. Certain risks maybe associated with these procedures including long-term discomfort, prolonged inflammation with associated redness, light sensitivity and possible irreversible pigment changes and scarring. However, there are no known significant risks of permanent skin damage with needling treatments since the outer layer of the skin remains intact with this methodology. When performed in conjunction with antioxidant vitamin A and C fat-soluble oil application, the penetration of these latter substances is vastly increased.
One can only imagine the benefit of this combination treatment when one realizes that scientific studies have shown that only 0.3% of the active ingredients in traditional cosmetics are able to penetrate the skin normally. It is safe to conclude that these roller/needling devices are a great drug delivery system went performed properly.
What to Expect?
Needling therapy / CIT can be ideal for mild to moderate skin conditions as delineated above. When larger areas of the body are treated with the 2 to 3 mm length needling device, twilight sleep is often recommended. The healing time is relatively short compared to the other noninvasive skin treatments. Discomfort lasts approximately 6 hours and the skin appears with a red “blush” for approximately 3 to 5 days.
You will notice some improvement within the first week or two after the procedure but, as with all collagen induction treatments, the full results will not appear until about 2 to 6 months.