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Microneedling: The Lowdown on Collagen Induction Therapy

By Ali Raza

In the quest for timeless beauty, our society has turned to an array of modern marvels and ancient remedies alike, all promising the coveted secret to youthful skin. 

Yet, amidst a sea of fleeting trends and ephemeral solutions, one treatment stands out with its unique blend of simplicity and science: microneedling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). 

This minimally invasive procedure has quietly ascended the ranks of skincare regimes, captivating those in pursuit of rejuvenation with its understated yet profound promise of transformation.

But what exactly makes microneedling such a compelling choice for those chasing the allure of vitality? And how does this modern alchemy work to turn back the clock on our skin’s appearance? 

Understanding Collagen Induction Therapy

Collagen induction therapy, commonly known as microneedling, is a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation technique designed to stimulate the body’s natural collagen and elastin production. This section delves into the intricacies of how microneedling works to revitalize the skin by enhancing its foundational proteins.

Definition and Purpose of Collagen Induction Therapy

CIT leverages the skin’s self-repair mechanism to encourage the formation of new collagen and elastin fibers, resulting in improved skin texture, firmness, and hydration. The primary purpose of this therapy is to target and diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars, thereby promoting a more youthful and vibrant skin complexion. Beyond its aesthetic benefits, CIT also enhances the skin’s overall health by improving its barrier function and increasing its resilience against environmental stressors.

How Microneedling Stimulates Collagen Production

Microneedling, the primary method for conducting collagen induction therapy, involves the use of a specialized device equipped with fine, sterile needles. These needles create tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin, which act as micro-wounds. Although these micro-wounds are superficial, they are enough to trigger the body’s wound healing process.

Upon injury, the skin initiates a multi-phase healing response:

  1. Inflammation: Blood platelets arrive at the site, releasing growth factors and attracting immune cells to prepare the groundwork for tissue repair.
  2. Proliferation: Growth factors and other signaling molecules stimulate the production of new fibroblasts, the cells responsible for collagen synthesis. This phase also sees the formation of new blood vessels, improving nutrient and oxygen supply to the skin.
  3. Remodeling: New collagen and elastin fibers are formed, replacing the temporary, less structured collagen initially laid down during the proliferation phase. This new network of fibers results in firmer, more elastic skin.

The deliberate, controlled injury inflicted by microneedling prompts the skin to produce more collagen and elastin as part of the natural repair process, leading to visibly rejuvenated skin over time.

Mechanism of Action Behind Microneedling

The effectiveness of microneedling lies in its ability to harness the body’s inherent regenerative capabilities. The fine needles of the microneedling device penetrate the skin to a precise depth, ensuring that the micro-wounds are uniform and conducive to triggering a robust healing response.

This process accomplishes several key outcomes:

  • Activation of Growth Factors: The initial injury stimulates the release of growth factors essential for skin regeneration. These growth factors play crucial roles in cell differentiation, angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), and the stimulation of fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin.
  • Breakdown of Scar Tissue: In cases of scarring, the needles can help break down old, fibrous collagen and facilitate its replacement with new, more orderly collagen fibers, reducing the appearance of scars.
  • Enhanced Absorption of Topical Treatments: The micro-channels created by the needles enhance the penetration of topical serums and treatments, allowing them to reach deeper layers of the skin for improved efficacy.

Benefits of Microneedling

From smoothing out the texture to erasing years off the skin by reducing fine lines, microneedling is transforming skincare routines worldwide. Below, we explore the profound benefits microneedling offers.

Improving Skin Texture and Tone

One of the primary advantages of microneedling is its ability to significantly improve skin texture and tone. The process of creating tiny punctures in the skin surface encourages the production of new collagen and elastin, which are the scaffolding of healthy, smooth skin. 

Over time, as the skin heals from these micro-injuries, users notice a more even skin tone and a smoother texture. This improvement is particularly beneficial for individuals with rough skin, enlarged pores, or overall dullness, as microneedling can rejuvenate the skin, giving it a radiant and youthful appearance.


Reducing Fine Lines and Wrinkles

The pursuit of a solution to combat the signs of aging leads many to microneedling. Collagen and elastin, whose production is stimulated through the microneedling process, play a crucial role in maintaining the skin’s structural integrity, elasticity, and firmness. The increased production helps to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, making them less visible. 

Over multiple sessions, the skin becomes firmer, plumper, and more youthful-looking, as the natural aging process is slowed down through the regeneration of these vital proteins.

Minimizing Acne Scars and Other Blemishes

For individuals troubled by acne scars and other blemishes, microneedling offers a beacon of hope. The treatment’s ability to break down old scar tissue and stimulate the production of new, healthy skin cells means that over time, the appearance of scars is significantly reduced. 

This is especially relevant for atrophic or depressed scars, which benefit from the collagen boost that helps to raise the scar closer to the surface level of the surrounding skin, thus diminishing its visibility. Similarly, microneedling can also improve the appearance of other types of blemishes, such as hyperpigmentation and age spots, by promoting an even skin tone and texture.

Enhancing Skin Firmness and Elasticity

Aging, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices can all contribute to a loss of skin firmness and elasticity. Microneedling counteracts these effects by not only boosting collagen and elastin production but also by improving the quality of these proteins. 

The result is a tangible improvement in skin firmness and elasticity. Skin feels tighter and looks more lifted, as if it has been rejuvenated from within. This benefit is particularly appealing to those looking to combat sagging skin without resorting to more invasive procedures.

The Microneedling Procedure

Microneedling has emerged as a preferred skin rejuvenation method for its efficiency and minimal downtime. Its process involves meticulous steps from preparation to post-treatment care. Here’s what you need to know about the microneedling procedure, ensuring you’re well-informed before, during, and after undergoing this transformative skincare treatment.

Preparing for the Treatment

Preparation is key to maximizing the benefits of microneedling and minimizing potential risks. Typically, patients are advised to follow these preparatory steps:

  • Avoid Sun Exposure: Patients should avoid sunbathing or any form of excessive sun exposure for at least 2 weeks before the procedure to prevent sunburns, which can complicate the treatment.
  • Discontinue Certain Products: It’s recommended to stop using products containing retinoids, topical antibiotics, or any exfoliating agents several days prior to the treatment as they can increase skin sensitivity.
  • Stay Hydrated: Keeping the skin well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water can enhance the healing process.
  • Inform the Practitioner: Discuss your medical history, including any autoimmune diseases or skin conditions with your practitioner. Also, inform them about any medications, especially those that may affect blood clotting or immune response.

What to Expect During the Procedure

During the microneedling session, which typically lasts between 30 to 60 minutes, patients can expect the following:

  1. Skin Cleansing: The treated area will be thoroughly cleansed to remove any makeup, oils, or dirt.
  2. Application of Topical Anesthetic: A numbing cream is applied to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
  3. The Microneedling Process: Using a sterile, pen-like device equipped with fine needles, the practitioner will create tiny punctures in the skin, focusing on target areas. The depth of needle penetration can be adjusted based on the treatment goals.
  4. Soothing Serums: Post-treatment, a soothing serum or hydrating treatment may be applied to the skin to enhance the healing process.

Post-Treatment Care and Recovery Process

Post-procedure care is essential for a smooth recovery and optimal results:

  • Skin Sensitivity: It is common for the skin to appear red and feel sensitive similar to a sunburn; this usually subsides within a few days.
  • Hydration and Protection: Keep the skin hydrated and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the healing skin from UV damage.
  • Avoid Certain Activities: Patients should avoid wearing makeup, participating in strenuous activities, or using harsh skincare products for at least 24 to 48 hours post-treatment.
  • Follow-up Care: Follow any additional care instructions provided by your practitioner, including when to schedule your next session for best results.

Potential Side Effects and Risks

While microneedling is considered safe for most skin types, there are potential side effects and risks:

  • Skin Irritation: Redness, swelling, and sensitivity are common but typically mild and temporary.
  • Infection Risk: Though rare, there is a risk of infection, especially if the treated area is not properly cared for or if the procedure was done with non-sterile equipment.
  • Skin Damage: Incorrect use of microneedling devices, especially at-home treatments, can lead to skin damage, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.

Choosing a certified and experienced practitioner is crucial to minimize risks and ensure the safety and efficacy of the treatment. Microneedling offers a promising path to revitalized skin, with preparation, procedure, and post-care steps forming the pillars of a successful treatment experience.

Who Can Benefit from Microneedling?

Understanding who stands to gain the most from this treatment can help individuals make informed decisions about their skincare routines.

Suitable Candidates for Microneedling

Microneedling is suitable for adults seeking improvement in skin texture, tone, and overall appearance. Ideal candidates are those looking for a non-surgical solution to address:

  • Early signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Mild to moderate skin laxity.
  • Uneven skin tone or texture due to sun damage or aging.
  • Pores that appear larger than desired.

Individuals in good general health, with realistic expectations of the outcomes microneedling can provide, tend to experience the most satisfaction. It’s also an excellent option for people seeking to enhance the efficacy of topical treatments by improving the absorption of products into the skin.

Skin Conditions That Can Be Treated with Microneedling

Microneedling proves effective for a variety of skin conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Acne Scars: Helps in reducing the appearance of post-acne marks and scars, especially atrophic scars.
  • Age Spots and Hyperpigmentation: Can lighten pigmentation marks and even out skin tone.
  • Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Stimulates collagen production to reduce the visibility of aging signs.
  • Scars from Surgery or Injury: Smoothens and reduces the appearance of scars by breaking down old tissue and stimulating collagen production.
  • Stretch Marks: Although challenging to treat, stretch marks can be significantly improved in appearance.
  • Large Pores: Helps in reducing the size of pores by promoting collagen production and skin tightening.

Considerations for Different Skin Types and Concerns

While microneedling is broadly applicable, certain considerations must be made for different skin types and concerns:

  • Sensitive Skin: Individuals with highly sensitive skin should proceed with caution, ensuring a professional assesses their skin’s suitability for microneedling. Pre-treatment tests may be recommended.
  • Active Acne or Skin Infections: Those with active acne, rashes, or any skin infections should avoid microneedling until these conditions are resolved to prevent spreading bacteria or aggravating the condition.
  • Skin of Color: While generally safe for darker skin tones, there is a slight risk of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. Choosing an experienced practitioner familiar with treating diverse skin types is crucial.
  • Chronic Skin Conditions: Clients with chronic conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea should consult with a dermatologist before considering microneedling, as it may not be the best choice depending on the condition’s severity and activity level.

Microneedling vs. Other Skin Rejuvenation Techniques

Let’s explore how microneedling compares to other popular treatments like laser therapy and chemical peels, and assess its standing in the broader context of skin rejuvenation options.

Comparison with Laser Therapy


  • Mechanism of Action: Involves using fine needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, which stimulates the body’s natural wound healing processes, thereby boosting collagen and elastin production.
  • Recovery Time: Typically involves minimal downtime, with most individuals experiencing only mild redness and swelling for a few days post-treatment.
  • Suitability Across Skin Types: Microneedling is generally safe for all skin types, including darker skin tones, due to its mechanical nature that doesn’t involve heat, thereby minimizing the risk of hyperpigmentation.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Often more affordable than laser treatments with a high level of efficacy in improving skin texture, scars, and signs of aging.

Laser Therapy:

  • Mechanism of Action: Uses concentrated light beams to remove damaged skin layer by layer or stimulate collagen production beneath the skin’s surface, depending on the type of laser used (ablative or non-ablative).
  • Recovery Time: Can vary significantly from minimal downtime with non-ablative lasers to several weeks for ablative lasers that require more intensive healing.
  • Suitability Across Skin Types: Certain laser treatments may not be recommended for darker skin tones due to an increased risk of pigmentation changes.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Generally more expensive due to the sophisticated technology used; however, it may offer quicker results for specific concerns like deep wrinkles and significant sun damage.

Contrasting with Chemical Peels


  • Mechanism of Action: The physical puncture of the skin triggers a healing response, enhancing skin renewal without chemicals.
  • Recovery Time: Short, with potential redness and sensitivity lasting up to 48 hours, allowing for quick return to daily activities.
  • Suitability Across Skin Types: Microneedling has a broad suitability range, causing fewer issues with pigmentation changes, making it a viable option for a wider spectrum of skin tones.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Cost varies based on session requirements but is generally considered a cost-effective option for gradual improvement.

Chemical Peels:

  • Mechanism of Action: Involves applying a chemical solution to exfoliate dead skin cells, leading to peeling and revealing newer, less damaged skin underneath.
  • Recovery Time: Varies from a few days for superficial peels to several weeks for deep peels, with significant peeling and potential downtime.
  • Suitability Across Skin Types: Light to medium peels are safe for a wide range of skin types, but deep peels may carry risks for darker skin tones, including scarring and pigmentation issues.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: The cost can vary widely; lighter peels are generally more affordable and require multiple sessions, while deeper peels are more costly but offer dramatic results.

How Microneedling Stacks Up Against Other Treatments

Microneedling’s unique advantage lies in its ability to offer a balanced approach to skin rejuvenation. It provides a safer alternative for those with concerns about the heat used in laser treatments or the chemical exposure from peels, making it a universally appealing option for enhancing skin health and appearance. 

Its versatility extends to treating a variety of conditions, from acne scars to aging signs, across a broad spectrum of skin types.

While laser treatments and chemical peels might offer more targeted solutions for specific skin concerns, microneedling stands out for its cost-effectiveness, minimal downtime, and lower risk of adverse effects, especially in terms of pigmentation changes. 

It acts as a bridge between non-invasive skincare practices and more aggressive dermatological procedures, offering a middle ground that appeals to individuals looking for noticeable improvements without significant expense or recovery time.

Ultimately, the choice among these treatments depends on individual skin concerns, goals, budget, and tolerance for downtime. A consultation with a dermatological professional can help determine the most appropriate course of action tailored to each person’s unique skincare needs.

Tips for Choosing a Microneedling Provider

Given the procedure’s popularity, many practitioners offer microneedling services, but the quality of care and results can vary significantly. Here are essential tips to guide you in choosing a reputable microneedling provider:

Qualifications and Expertise to Look For

  • Certification and Training: Ensure the practitioner is certified and has undergone specialized training in microneedling procedures. Aesthetic medicine certifications or dermatology qualifications are indicators of a provider with a comprehensive understanding of skin health and treatment techniques.
  • Experience: Consider the provider’s experience, specifically with microneedling. Providers with several years of experience are likely to have honed their technique and understand how to customize treatments for different skin concerns and types.
  • Knowledge of Skin Physiology: The provider should have a deep understanding of skin anatomy and physiology. This knowledge allows them to accurately assess your skin type, condition, and suitability for microneedling, ensuring the treatment is both effective and safe.
  • Ongoing Education: The field of aesthetic medicine continuously evolves, with new techniques and safety protocols emerging. Check if the provider participates in ongoing education and stays updated with the latest advancements in microneedling and skin care.

Safety Precautions and Hygiene Standards

  • Sterilization Practices: Inquire about the clinic’s sterilization practices and protocols. The provider should use single-use, disposable needle cartridges for each session and follow strict hygiene and sanitation standards to prevent infections.
  • Consultation Process: A reputable provider will always conduct a thorough consultation before the treatment. This includes evaluating your medical history, discussing your skincare goals, and explaining potential risks and side effects.
  • Pre-Treatment and Post-Treatment Guidelines: The provider should offer clear pre-treatment and post-treatment instructions to minimize risks and enhance the healing process. This shows they prioritize client safety and care.
  • Emergency Procedures: Ensure the clinic has procedures in place to handle any adverse reactions or emergencies that may arise during or after treatment.

Assessing Before-and-After Photos and Client Testimonials

  • Portfolio of Results: Ask to see a portfolio of before-and-after photos of previous clients treated by the provider. This can give you a realistic expectation of the results and the provider’s skill level.
  • Client Testimonials: Read or request testimonials from past clients to gauge their satisfaction with the treatment and their overall experience with the provider. Positive feedback and reviews can provide reassurance about the provider’s reputation.
  • Personalized Approach: Look for indications that the provider customizes treatments based on individual skin needs and goals. Before-and-after photos showing a wide range of treated conditions indicate the provider’s versatility and ability to tailor treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is microneedling? 

Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a cosmetic procedure that involves creating tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin using fine needles. The process stimulates the body’s natural wound healing processes, resulting in increased collagen and elastin production.

How does microneedling improve the skin? 

Microneedling can improve the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and large pores; enhance skin texture and firmness; and reduce the severity of stretch marks and hyperpigmentation. It promotes rejuvenated, smoother, and more youthful-looking skin.

Is microneedling painful? 

Most people experience minimal discomfort during the procedure. A topical numbing cream is usually applied to the treatment area before the session to reduce pain.

How long does a microneedling session take? 

A typical microneedling session takes about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated.

What is the downtime after microneedling? 

Downtime is minimal. Most people experience redness and mild swelling for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Some may also notice skin flaking a few days post-treatment as the skin regenerates.

How many microneedling sessions are needed? 

The number of sessions depends on the individual’s skin condition and goals. On average, 3 to 6 sessions spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart are recommended for optimal results.

Can microneedling be done at home? 

While at-home microneedling devices are available, professional treatments are generally safer and more effective. At-home devices have shorter needles and may not penetrate the skin deeply enough to produce significant results. There’s also a higher risk of infection without proper sterilization.

Who should avoid microneedling? 

Individuals with active skin infections, chronic skin conditions (like psoriasis or eczema), active acne, or those who are pregnant should avoid microneedling. Consult with a healthcare provider or dermatologist to determine if it’s safe for you.

Are there any side effects of microneedling? 

Common side effects include redness, swelling, and slight bruising, which typically subside within a few days. There’s also a small risk of infection if the needles aren’t properly sterilized.

How soon will I see results from microneedling? 

Some individuals notice an immediate “glow” to their skin, but visible changes typically develop over several weeks as the skin produces more collagen. Optimal results are often seen a few months after completing a series of treatments.


Microneedling has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in rejuvenating the skin by harnessing the body’s natural healing processes. This minimally invasive procedure stands out for its ability to significantly improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles, and enhance overall skin tone and elasticity. Its benefits extend beyond mere aesthetic enhancements, offering a boost in skin confidence for many individuals.

For those intrigued by the potential of microneedling to transform their skin, the next step is clear. Booking a consultation with Dr Roya Jafari Hassad presents an excellent opportunity to explore how this treatment can be tailored to meet your unique skin needs and concerns. 

With her expertise and personalized approach, Doctor Roya can guide you through the process, ensuring that you achieve the best possible results while adhering to the highest standards of safety and care.

In addition to considering a consultation, we encourage you to follow us on social media. Our platforms are brimming with insightful content, success stories, and the latest updates in skincare innovations. Join our community to stay informed and inspired about ways to nurture and celebrate your skin’s health and beauty.

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