Dry tattooing, needle-dermabrasion, Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), Percutanous Collagen Induction (PCI) and now Multitrepannic Collagen Actuation(MCA) are names used to describe a tattoo procedure where the result of the healing process results in scar remodeling, using tattoo tools. The Dry Tattooing procedure is used to reduce acne scaring ( pits, boxcars, & rolling scars), surgical scaring, burn contracture and trauma scaring.  It is simple, it is safe (no complications) and our clients report that it consistently gives them good results. 

By the time you get to this page, you have read about all types of "needling" methods.  If not , here's a few;

bulletNeedling with the "Hand Method" 
bulletNeedling with the Tattoo Machine (MCA & PCI)
bulletEnviron Medical & Cosmetic ROLL-CIT
bulletBlush Tools
bullet30g diabetic needle
bulletSewing Needle??

The Coil Machine is exclusively used in tattooing and is used occasionally in permanent makeup.  We also do tattooing so we have a few machines ourselves.  Now, there two issues regarding the use of a tattoo machine.  The first is the machine itself and the second is needles. First, the machine will generate 100 to 150 strokes per second.  It's sole purpose was to implant pigment in the shortest amount of time.  It can be used effectively to some degree for scar treatments.  Some benefits are that it can cover a large area in a short amount of time and it's pretty effective on thinned skin. However, it's limitations include the depth of penetration (up to .5mm using shading needles) and ability to penetrate from multiple directions (to cross weave penetrations).  I mean you can approach from 4 directions but that creates too many penetrations. Second, the needles available are also designed for implanting pigment. Even Dr. Des Fernendes says using small clusters of shading needles can bruise and cause unnecessary damage.  This brings us to another problem, hyper-pigmentation.  That's where the skin turns darker than the surrounding area. An invasive (aggressive) machine procedure can promote this condition. To overcome this situation, I use specialized tattoo needles designed just for dry tattooing. The advantage is that new spacing of the needles minimize trauma and increase the effectiveness. Then I use a hand tool we also specifically designed for scarring and do a light application.  There are so many considerations associated with using a tattoo machine, but I couldn't do a lot of this work without one.  Well, actually I could, it just takes longer.

The Rotary Machine generates the same speeds but does not have a strong enough motor  for any serious scar work.  Furthermore, the needles are specifically designed for permanent makeup. Again, the cluster of needles are too close and not much to choose from.  Bet you never saw a tattoo artist laying pigment with a rotary. The Rotary has too many limitations. However, I'm sure there are plenty of technicians using them for needling.



The Environ ROLL-CIT was developed by Dr. Des Fernandez of South Africa.  Dr. Fernandez seems to be the pioneer in introducing the needling procedure to the public using a tattoo machine. He called it Percutanous Collagen Induction. He doesn't use machines anymore, too invasive. The ROLL-CIT is a pretty cool tool. Covers a large area so it's not so great for small spots. There are two available. One is the Environ Cosmetic ROLL-CIT, and is available from select approved vendors. This one only penetrates the "horny" layer of the epidermis allowing the channeling of vital nutrients into the skin. Not as invasive as the machine.  The real tool is the Environ Medical ROLL-CIT and is only available to doctors and other authorized practitioners that have completed specialized training. This one penetrates Very deep, up to 3 mm (see picture of tool).  The epidermis is only .2 to .5mm thick so this really address deep problems. You actually might get knocked out for this one, or you should.  Naturally, the Environ Medical ROLL-CIT procedure has to be performed in a sterile room.  To maximum the benefits of the procedures,  Environ has a great range of products for Pre and Post treatments that promote better healing and greater collagen production. Did I mention that the service can cost up to $1600.

Permanent Makeup Blush Tools are relatively new

 and there are a couple of systems available.  It's used to tap (tattoo) pigment into the cheek area. The needles are spaced wide apart.  It covers a large area and only penetrates at a 90 degree to the skin.  These tools are generally not available to the public.

30g Diabetic Needles have been used for pits and other small problems and some have considered this treatment a success.  This is usually self treatment.

Sewing Needle - Forget it!


Transitions  Method

We now use hand tools specifically designed for dry tattooing in all our services.  We can approach the area from different angles and as many times as needed. We don't break up the epidermis, just penetrate it.  The needles we use are extremely fine and don't leave scabbing. 


The Tool:

The tools are what sets us apart from all the other technicians. At one time we used the SofTap Hand Tools. We love the SofTap needles, however they also have their limitations. As with coil needles, the SofTap needles are designed to implant pigment.  The needle clusters are tight and if there is too much resistance during penetration, you can cause bruising and other damage. To overcome this dilemma we had to modified existing needles, that is until now.  We recently designed and now produce tattoo needles specifically for scars.  It was great that we are able to provide a valuable, affordable and effective service and it just got better.

The Appointment:

You will fill out a full intake.  We need to know of recent medications, allergies, treatments and general info.  We will consult with you, describing the procedure, explain aftercare, show you the tools (including the coil), and answer questions.  We will apply a topical analgesic cream (lidocaine) to numb the area.  When you are comfortable, we start the procedure.

The Approach:

We approach every scar in the same manner.  We approach it from all angles. The intention is to gently cross weave the penetrations in the scar without creating additional damage.  Most of the procedures, and especially on hypertrophic scars, are performed with our specialized hand tool. Occasionally we will use the tattoo machine.  Remember, this is not a medical procedure, it scar camouflage without pigment. 

The Results:

The most dramatic results are after the first treatment.  Follow up procedures do result in additional improvements.  Immediately after the treatment you will have redness and slight swelling.  Depending on the extent of the procedure, this will last from 3 days to 7 days but fading everyday.  You will not have any "blood scabbing" covering the treated area.  If you could see the details of the pictures, you can still see the skin details (hair, pores  and skin). You will have what is almost the equivalent of chapped lips over the area and it actually feels like a slight sunburn. It's not a bad idea to use an exfoliating face wash a week after the procedure. The top client was done with just the hand method and the bottom client with the coil and hand method. This is what tattooing looks like without pigment. Follow up treatments can be done after 30 days without jeopardizing the remodeling process from previous services.  However, the results at 30 days is not a real indication of the progress in remodeling.  Complete healing, including collagen strand development and vascular development can actually take between 3 and 6 months.  Even after collagen is laid down in healing, it takes a while for it to mature into a similar matrix of undamaged dermal tissue.  As a rule, after the first visit, wait 12 weeks to monitor the improvement. 


Update: We are excited to announce the development of needles specifically designed for dry tattooing of scars.  Our needles are designed to achieve the maximum tattoo depth without the resistance and related damage associated with conventional tattoo needles. Dry Tattoo Needles are available as Hand Tools and for the Coil.  Transitions Dry Tattoo Needles will only be available to Technicians trained by Transitions.


If you have more questions, you can contact us directly at 845-225-0400


Contact Information

Postal address
529 Route 52 Carmel, NY 10512


Send mail to Transitionspmc@aol.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 06/23/11