What is needlederm abrasion, cit, or skin needling?

Needlederm Abrasion is also called dry needling, dry tattooing, facial needling, Collagen induction therapy  (CIT) skin needling, (not acupuncture) or medical needling.  The technique has been available since the 1940’s but the methods and machines have vastly improved.  The United States has also been slower to adopt this procedure. While popular in California, The US is still behind many other countries using this procedure, mainly Europe, South Africa, and Canada.


The procedure reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This process does not use chemicals or lasers.  The special machine (similar to a tattoo machine) administers hundreds of tiny pinpricks while tracing the wrinkle, fine line or scar. The needle is 1-2 millimeters in diameter.  The healing process then uses the body’s own collagen and elastin to fill in the wrinkle, frown line, or acne scar.  Similar to the appearance of a cat scratch, the machine causes micro trauma triggering an immune response. This response is what aids the creation of the collagen and elastin to the areas that are desired (forehead, frown lines, laugh lines, crows feet, etc.) As the skin repairs, new collagen builds up the middle layer of the skin, causing wrinkles, lines, pits, depressions, plump up with out the need of fillers.  Treatments need to be repeated to have the desired results.
It is important to note, all needles are sterile and immediately deposited in a sharps container after each use. No pigment is used, and regions worked on have a topical numbing cream to decrease pain.

As stated, particularly beneficial for this treatment are wrinkles, acne scars, and stretch marks.  However, surgical scars, (cesarean sections, chest surgery, breast augmentations, etc…are greatly improved. Severe fibrous scarring from burns are lessened with this procedure as are hypertrophic scars. This is known as scar tissue relaxation, or Relaxation of scar tissue.

Depending on the severity and depth of a wrinkle or scar will determine how many treatments are needed.  Shallow wrinkles may need 1-2 treatments, and deeper 4-6 and so on. The downtime may be 4-7 days at most. Treatments should be performed a minimum of 6-8 weeks apart for complete healing and collagen production. 2-6 months may be the time line in between treatments.

The Good Stuff:

Epidermis stays intact: Needling does not remove or damage the outer skin layers as peels, or lasers do. This means faster healing time and more direct collagen stimulation.  The skin also does not change pigmentation, as it does with lasers, meaning there is less worry of hyper pigmentation or whitening.  The skin is less sensitive, while it is important to stay out of the sun while healing…some lasers, peels, and fillers can cause sensitivities to sun and possible allergic reactions. Needlederm may be used indefinitely with good results. Other resurfacing methods are not possible due to side effects such as photosensitivity.

Benefits of CIT work well with the “non” natural modalities as well…