Collagen induction therapy

Collagen induction therapy (CIT), also known as microneedling, dermarolling, or skin needling, is a cosmetic procedure that involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with tiny, sterile needles (microneedling the skin). CIT should be separated from other contexts in which microneedling devices are used on the skin (e.g., transdermal drug delivery, vaccination).

Collagen induction therapy
Nurse performing collagen induction therapy for scar reduction using a microneedle stamping device

It is a technique for which research is ongoing, but has been used for a number of skin problems including scarring and acne.[1] Some studies have also shown that when combined with minoxidil treatment, microneedling is able to treat hair loss more effectively than minoxidil treatment alone.[2]

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be combined with collagen induction therapy treatment in a form of dermatologic autologous blood therapy. PRP is derived from the patient's own blood and may contain growth factors that increase collagen production.[3] It can be applied topically to the entire treatment area during and after collagen induction therapy treatments or injected intradermally to scars. Efficacy of the combined treatments remains in question pending scientific studies.[4][5]

More serious safety concerns have been cited for these treatments, popularly known as vampire facials, when performed in non-medical settings by people untrained in infection control.[6][7] The New Mexico Department of Health issued a statement that at least one such business offering vampire facials "could potentially spread blood-borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to clients".[6]

In April 2024, the CDC announced that three women who had been patients at the Albuquerque, New Mexico, VIP Spa had been diagnosed with HIV after getting "vampire facials" there. Another almost 200 former clients and their sexual partners were also tested but were found to not have HIV. No mention was made of any testing for other possible blood-borne infections.[8]


  1. ^ Cohen, BE; Elbuluk, N (5 November 2015). "Microneedling in skin of color: A review of uses and efficacy". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 74 (2): 348–55. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2015.09.024. PMID 26549251.
  2. ^ Dhurat R, Sukesh MS, Avhad G, Dandale A, Pal A, Pund P (January–March 2013). "A Randomized Evaluator Blinded Study of Effect of Microneedling in Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study". Int J Trichology. 5 (1): 6–11. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.114700. PMC 3746236. PMID 23960389.
  3. ^ Abuaf OK, Yildiz H, Baloglu H, Bilgili ME, Simsek HA, Dogan B (December 2016). "Histologic Evidence of New Collagen Formulation Using Platelet Rich Plasma in Skin Rejuvenation: A Prospective Controlled Clinical Study". Ann Dermatol. 28 (6): 718–724. doi:10.5021/ad.2016.28.6.718. PMC 5125953. PMID 27904271.
  4. ^ Hall, Harriet (3 December 2018). "Vampire Facials". Skeptical Inquirer. CSI. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Facial Collagen Mask".
  6. ^ a b Jennings, Rebecca (14 September 2018), ""Vampire facials" are massively popular. And – surprise! – potentially dangerous", Vox, retrieved 14 January 2019.
  7. ^ Robertson, Michelle (14 September 2018). "New Mexico officials urge 'vampire facial' spa clients to get HIV tests". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  8. ^ St. John, Alexa (29 April 2024), "'Vampire facials' were linked to cases of HIV. Here's what to know about the beauty treatment", Associated Press, retrieved 29 April 2024.