Good news on the dark spot front: we now have the technology to get rid of age spots as easily and effectively as Photoshopping them away. As the name implies, age spots are small areas of pigment that develop over time with frequent sun exposure. While they typically show up later in life, anyone can get age spots, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors.
If we’re lucky enough to live long enough to see them pop up on the face, hands, shoulders, or back—the places where we’re most exposed—we can now be rid of them with a treatment that freezes the internal mechanism that causes them to form.
What It Is
“Glacial Rx is an in-office treatment that uses cooling technology called cryomodulation to remove age spots and other kinds of excess pigment,” explains Saddle Brooke, NJ dermatologist Dr. Fredric Haberman. “It targets specific spots of excess pigment, lightening them and suppressing the production of new pigment for a more even skin tone.”
How It Works
According to Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias, the cold impairs the ability for the melancoytes, or the cells that create melanin, to deliver excess pigment. “The cryo component uses cold to cause mechanical injury and normalize melanin transfer, thereby causing resolution of pigmented lesions like seborrheic keratosis, lentigos, melasma, etc.”
A nice by product of the treatment is that it also helps to reduce redness by reducing inflammation. “This breaks the inflammatory cycle leading to a reduction in inflammation and redness in the skin yielding improvement in rosacea and vascular conditions,” notes Dr. Elias.
Who It’s Best For
Anyone bothered by age spots, sun-damaged skin or melasma can benefit, say the skin experts. “This technology is best understood on skin types I to III,” advises Dr. Haberman. “Patients may need more than one session to clear their skin of unwanted sunspots and splotches.” Results are permanent, but only if you continue to protect your skin from further damage. While it may normalize melanin production in spot-treated areas, it’s important to note you may still develop spots in other areas, particularly if you’re not diligent about avoiding sun damage.”
What It Feels Like
The treatment is pain-free and Dr. Elias says it’s given him a comfortable, focused option for treating hyperpigmentation. “Forever in dermatology, we’ve had low downtime facials and longer downtime lasers or IPL to improve the quality of skin,” he says. “GlacialRx gives a third option by combining the ease of a facial with the results of IPL fotofacials. It’s like a soothing, cooling spa facial due to its unique technology that mimics the cryotherapy ‘spraying’ of the past but with an upgrade. You have the benefits of cryotherapy, but it’s done painlessly and with ease.”