treatments call appointment

How Does Collagen Induction Therapy Work?

January 5, 2023

Collagen Induction Therapy or CIT is a very popular treatment in the skincare industry.  If you have never heard of CIT before, you may be more familiar with the term Microneedling! Microneedling is a treatment that falls under the broader category of Collagen Induction Therapy. I’ll be answering your questions like: how does collagen induction therapy work? What should you expect during and after the treatment? What are the benefits of collagen induction therapy? Keep reading to learn more!

By: Kaitlyn Hunter, NP


Photo of hands holding a SkinPen Precision tool and SkinPen + Skinfuse Treatment Kit


Collagen is the most abundant natural protein the body produces.  It provides structure, support, and strength to the skin, cartilage, connective tissue, and bones.  Collagen is the most abundant in our earlier years which is why the skin is strong, thick, and healthy.  Shockingly, we start losing 1% of our collagen annually during our mid 20s!  By our mid to late 40s, a quarter of our collagen is gone.  To combat this loss, the skin can undergo collagen stimulating treatments such as Collagen Induction Therapy, aka Microneedling. 

What SKIN CONCERNS can collagen induction therapy help with?

Collagen Induction Therapy can be used as an anti-aging treatment or a treatment to target a specific skin concern. It is a gold standard treatment for uneven texture, in particular large pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne scars. If none of these skin conditions are present or a concern, benefits from CIT treatment can still be seen such as improved complexion. It is important to note that Collagen Induction Therapy is not a good treatment for active acne especially inflammatory or cystic acne, skin that keloids, or any female who is pregnant or nursing.  

how does collagen induction therapy TREATMENT work?

So how does Collagen Induction Therapy actually work?  At Atalo Aesthetics we first start with a complimentary consultation to ensure you are a good candidate for the treatment. During this consultation, your photos will be taken with our Canfield Visia Analysis System, a camera that takes multiple photos of your skin to assess the damage.  These photos are reviewed with one of our providers who may ultimately recommend Collagen Induction Therapy as a treatment for you..  

Photo of a woman receiving collagen induction therapy on her forehead from an Atalo Aesthics provider

During your appointment, topical numbing cream is applied to your face for 45-60 minutes to ensure the treatment is painless. While numbing, you will relax in a cozy chair in our numbing room where you can watch tv, work on your computer, or just close your eyes.  Once you are fully numb, your provider will remove the numbing cream and clean your skin. We use the SkinPen, one of the first FDA-approved CIT devices in the United States.

The SkinPen contains small needles that pulse up and down into your skin creating controlled micro-injuries.  You may feel a vibration on the skin during the treatment, or you may not feel much at all!  This process only takes about 10 minutes.  Customized serums for your skincare concerns are applied to the skin during the treatment or Platelet Rich Plasma (scroll down on our Microneedling treatment page to learn more about PRP) can be applied for enhanced results and healing.  

RESULTS to expect & treatment DOWNTIME

Once we finish your treatment with the SkinPen, your skin will appear pink to red with the potential of pinpoint bleeding.  At Atalo Aesthetics, we finish all Collagen Induction Therapy treatments within 10-15 minutes under our medical grade Red Light Panel by LightStim.  Red Light Therapy uses red light wavelengths to improve the appearance of the skin such as scars, acne, wrinkles, and more. The LightStim panels are honestly the best part of the treatment as the light feels warm and relaxing!

The post-treatment redness stays present for 24-48 hours. During the initial 48-hour period, no sweating should occur and makeup should not be applied to the skin. Hair should stay pulled back so it is out of the face and only a clean pillowcase should be used. On day 3, it is common to experience slight dryness or flaking of the skin. Flaking is a good thing! It means dead skin cells are being removed from the skin so healthier skin cells can rise to the surface. At this stage, makeup can be applied and sweating may occur. Any subsequent skin treatments should be scheduled at least 4 weeks after treatment. Treatments such as facials, peels, lasers, etc.

At Atalo Aesthetics, our favorite skincare line to use in conjunction with treatments is SkinBetter Science.  This medical-grade skincare line is vegan as well as fragrance, dye, cruelty, and paraben-free. Many of their products are award-winning and clinically proven to enhance results.  If these products are safe for your skin to use post-treatment, your provider will provide you with a recommended skincare plan. 

HOW OFTEN should you have collagen induction therapy done?

Collagen Induction Therapy treatments should be done at least twice a year.  If skin concerns such as acne scars are present, it is beneficial to do a more aggressive skincare plan including a series of 3-4 collagen induction therapy treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart.  At Atalo Aesthetics, we believe combination therapy is best. By combining a CIT treatment with others such as injectables, facials, lasers, and medical-grade skincare products at home—the best results are achieved.

Still have questions or looking to book a treatment? Schedule a complimentary skincare consultation with us! One of our providers will sit down to answer all of your questions and concerns. Just fill out our request an appointment form and we’ll be in touch!