Foam therapy effective on hand and chest veins

January 8, 2015 by
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Foam therapy treatments are safe and effective for veins on the hands and chest, according to Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D., a leading expert on vein treatments. Patients also are satisfied with the treatments, according to studies Dr. Goldman conducted with other dermatologic surgeons.

Foam sclerotherapy involves mixing an injectable sclerosant solution with air or carbon dioxide so the resulting foam increases the drug’s surface area in the veins. This displaces the blood, causing eventual closure and disappearance of the veins.

Hand vein treatments

Prominent reticular veins on the hand – the dilated blue and green veins just beneath the skin’s surface – bother many of his patients, said Dr. Goldman said, 2013-14 president of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Though he has used foam sclerotherapy effectively on veins in the hand for years, “The treatment is not widely used yet and the literature in terms of side effects and treatment outcomes is somewhat lacking.”

He and Anne Marie Tremaine, M.D., and Daniel P. Friedmann, M.D., reported in August the results of a retrospective review for both effectiveness and safety of patients whose hands had been treated with foam therapy between 2003 and 2012.

Patients representing 30 of the 38 treated hands reported themselves “very satisfied” with the results, with only one expressing dissatisfaction. Eighty-one percent said they would definitely consider repeat treatments if necessary.

Adverse events following treatment were rare and mild, Dr. Goldman said.

“Based on our experience, foam sclerotherapy seems to be a safe and effective means for treating prominent reticular veins on the back of the hands,” he said. “Patients had excellent long-term satisfaction and experienced far less adverse events compared with sclerotherapy of leg veins.”

Chest Vein Treatments
Dr. Goldman – working with Dr. Friedmann and Andres Cruz, M.D. – similarly found foam sclerotherapy effective for treating blue and green surface veins appearing on the chest.

The three dermatologic surgeons followed up with 12 patients, all female, who had undergone a total of 16 procedures. “Patients reported substantial long-term efficacy and satisfaction scores, with few adverse events,” Dr. Goldman said. “Though we believe further studies are needed, initial indications are that foam sclerotherapy is a very viable treatment option.”

Dr. Goldman was among the first in the country to perform foam sclerotherapy and then teach others the procedure. He also has written extensively about the treatment.

Posted in Health & Beauty, Veins


ASDS is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of the skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons are also experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Visit ASDS at:

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