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Khosrow Momtaz Phototherapy Center

The Khosrow Momtaz Phototherapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital has been at the forefront of ultraviolet radiation therapy for chronic skin conditions for more than 30 years.

For centuries, doctors have prescribed sun exposure as a treatment for many skin disorders. At the Khosrow Momtaz Phototherapy Center, our ultraviolet light therapies offer a safer alternative to sun exposure and use a variety of fluorescent light bulbs that are far more effective.

Each year, our center delivers more than 13,000 treatments for chronic skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema and lymphoma. Our staff is always available to answer patient questions and address their needs.

During the first visit, we discuss the history, occupation, exposures and any pertinent information that might affect the patient's ability to begin light therapy. In addition, we try to address any issues that might arise and determine whether phototherapy is the best treatment course. If it is, our nurse spends the patient's second visit going over all of our safety precautions.

In most cases, patients receive treatment three times a week for up to three to five months. Because flexible scheduling is the key to successful treatment for many, we offer both scheduled and walk-in appointments.

Safety Is a Priority

Patients begin their treatment by spending as little as 15 to 25 seconds in the light box, an upright booth lined with bulbs. Dosage is gradually increased, typically by about 20 percent per visit. Depending on the treatment, time in the box could end up being anywhere from four to 20 minutes.

Our treatments are tailored to each patient. A darker-skinned patient or a patient with a more extensive disease might need a higher dose than one who has had little sun exposure.

We urge patients to wear the same undergarments for each session to lessen the chance of strip burns and to cover any body parts that are not to be exposed.

Treatment, Not a Cure

Many of our patients have already tried topical treatments and other means of care. Although we can help any patient who is willing to put in the time, phototherapy is considered a management treatment, not a cure. We expect to eradicate at least 75 percent of a patient's skin disorder before tapering off the treatment.

Our goal at the center is to improve our patients' skin, thereby improving their lives. Many patients are referred to us after trying topical creams and treatments that have not worked. We offer a quick, whole-body alternative that is often very successful.

Contact Us
Khosrow Momtaz Phototherapy Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
50 Staniford Street, Suite 230
Boston, MA 02114
617-643-2688

Founded in 1974, our center was the first of its kind in the United States and remains one of the largest in the country. We deliver more than 13,000 outpatient ultraviolet radiation treatments each year for more than 30 skin disorders, including:

 

  • Psoriasis
  • Pruritus (itching)
  • Atopic eczema
  • Prurigo nodularis (picker's bumps disease)
  • Lymphoma
  • Actinic keratosis (preskin cancers)
  • Vitiligo (loss of skin color)
  • Polymorphic light eruption ("sun poisoning")
  • Under the direction of Charles Taylor, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with over two decades of phototherapy experience, our center provides ultraviolet light therapies as well as counseling and education about our treatments.

    Offering More Options in Phototherapy Technology

    Our center was the first ultraviolet light facility in the United States to introduce narrowband UVB phototherapy, which delivers the substantial benefits of the sun's rays contained safely in an artificial light box.

    We were also the first to offer psoralen ultraviolet A (PUVA), a treatment using the UVA tanning rays of the sun. One hour prior to treatment, patients take a medication called psoralen in order to better absorb these rays.

    Today, we are one of only four centers in the Western Hemisphere to offer both ultraviolet A1 (UVA1) and PUVA bath treatments, in which patients take a psoralen bath rather than a pill. Bath treatments are particularly effective for those sensitive to the side effects of the drug form. Both of these therapies are proven effective in treating more severe cases of psoriasis that might not respond to other treatments.

    Our center delivers all types of phototherapy, including

  • Broadband and narrowband UVB phototherapy for 
        total body
  • Directed high-dose-targeted UVA and UVB
        phototherapy
  • Directed narrowband phototherapy for hands
        and feet
  • Photodynamic therapy with blue light and ALA
  • Broadband UVA phototherapy
  • Oral PUVA photochemotherapy for total body
  • Combination broadband or narrowband
        UVA and UVB phototherapy
  • Soak PUVA photochemotherapy for hands and
        feet
  • Combination narrowband UVB with PUVA
       photochemotherapy
  • Bath PUVA photochemotherapy for total body,
        including standard and polyethylene sheet
        variants
  • Directed local or total body UVA1 phototherapy
  •  

    Testing Services for Allergic Reactions

    Our center also provides broadband UVA, UVB and visible light testing along with photopatch testing services. These services try to pinpoint whether the cause of a patient's allergic reactions to certain creams, lotions or sunscreens is a chemical reaction that comes from the sun interacting with the product or the product alone.

    Contact Us
    Khosrow Momtaz Phototherapy Center
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    50 Staniford Street, Suite 230
    Boston, MA 02114
    617-643-2688

    Actinic Keratosis

    Actinic keratosis, also known as a solar keratosis, is a scaly or crusty bump that arises on the skin surface.

    Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

    Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema, is a hereditary and chronic skin disorder that causes a person’s skin to itch, turn red and flake. It mostly affects infants or very young children.

    Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

    Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a disease caused when T-lymphocytes become malignant and affect the skin. T-lymphocytes are the infection-fighting white blood cells in the lymph system that kill harmful bacteria in the body, among other things.

    Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflamed, red, raised areas that often develop as silvery scales on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.

    Psoriatic Arthritis

    Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis associated with psoriasis. The disease is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in symptoms, characterized by joint inflammation.

    Scleroderma

    Scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects the joints, skin, and internal organs.

    Challenge Your Psoriasis

    You may be eligible to participate in a research study of an investigational medication

    Khosrow Momtaz Phototherapy Center

    Massachusetts General Hospital
    50 Staniford Street
    Suite 230
    Boston, MA 02114

    Phone: 617-643-2688
    Fax: 617-726-9133

    Public Transportation Access: yes
    Disabled Access: yes

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