On the surface, there might not seem to be much of a difference between a battery-powered or plug-in-powered microneedling device. The battery-powered device might even seem to have some advantages. However, on closer look, there are many drawbacks to Li-ion powered medical devices, especially those used around delicate areas of a patient like a face or a neck.
The most important factor, as with any medical procedure, is patient safety. With plug-in power, the device draws an electrical current from an external source. With a Li-ion battery, the device contains the power, but also the explosive potential. According to the LithiumSafe website, “While each product that carries Li-ion rechargeable batteries poses a hazard, the stakes are even higher for medical devices. Imagine a worst-case scenario in which a device gets overheard, explodes, and sets fire.”
Another question to ask is whether the device has the torque for optimal outcomes. One plug-in microneedling device can produce up to 12,000 RPMs of torque, while the leading battery-operated ones top out at between 6,700 to 7,000 RPMs of torque. With more torque, there is generally less potential for pressure against the skin because the practitioner is not tempted to push or press the microneedling device against the skin. Using a “gentle touch” with the tip against the face (as taught in the TRU Vertical microneedling technique) and not using any pressure, allows the microneedles to do their job without any unnecessary trauma to surrounding skin or soft tissue.
Durability is another key consideration when choosing between a direct power or battery-powered microneedling device. “For patients and healthcare providers, Li-ion batteries are difficult (if not impossible) to remove from medical devices,” the LithiumSafe website says. In this respect, a plug-in device might be the more durable option as it is not dependent on a battery that is difficult if not impossible to replace.
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