The Medical Dermatology Program

Dermatology-General (Medical) Program

The Medical Dermatology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is a full-service dermatology practice that provides care for all skin, hair and nail conditions.

Call our Boston Office 617-726-2914

Visit Our Danvers Location

Clinical Trials at CURTIS


Massachusetts General Hospital's Medical Dermatology program offers comprehensive care for all of our patients' dermatologic needs.

What to Expect

Because our staff consists of both dermatology generalists and subspecialists, we often work together to develop the best treatment approach for each patient. This kind of collaboration, a benefit of a large program like ours, ensures all of our patients receive thorough attention from a number of skilled medical professionals.

At the patient's initial consultation, one of our staff dermatologists typically conducts a full skin examination. Mass General is a teaching institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, so a dermatology resident or fellow may also see the patient during any visit. Having this additional input often produces fresh perspectives on the patient's condition, enhancing our level of care.

Although routine appointments must be scheduled in advance, given the substantial demand for our services, urgent appointments can be accommodated. When appropriate, we refer patients to other world-class specialists throughout Mass General for further treatment.

A Program That Stands Apart

Special units dedicated to the management of melanoma and pigmented lesions, contact dermatitis (occupational dermatology) and light-induced disorders exist within our program. In addition, our program:

  • Includes staff with expertise ranging the full gamut of dermatology subspecialties, allowing us to address all of the patient's dermatologic needs
  • Hosts a full-service phototherapy unit with specialized equipment for treating even very rare skin conditions
  • Offers electronic medical records and electronic prescriptions, a measure that greatly improves patient safety and communication between caregivers
  • Accepts many different types of insurances—more than private clinics or practices
  • Offers pediatric dermatologic services in conjunction with MassGeneral Hospital for Children


Contact Information

Medical Dermatology
Massachusetts General Hospital
50 Staniford Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02114

About this Program

Our medical dermatology program also includes the following services and subspecialties:


A Commitment to Individualized Care

Founded in 1880, our program was the first of its kind in Massachusetts. As the public has become more educated about sun exposure and skin care in recent years, our patient population has grown exponentially. In response, our board-certified dermatologists continue to offer all of our patients the high level of individualized care that always has been a program mainstay.

We diagnose and treat hundreds of skin disorders, including:

  • Skin cancers
  • Seborrhea (dandruff)
  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Pigmentation disorders
  • Psoriasis
  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infections
  • Warts


A World-Class Staff

Gideon P. Smith, MD, MPH, PhD, Director of Medical Dermatology, Director of the Connective Tissue Diseases Clinic and Fellowship, and Associate Director of Clinical Research Unit for Trials in Skin,  has spoken both nationally and internationally. He is published in both the clinical dermatology and rheumatology journals, as well as in the leading basic science journals such as Science.  Currently, his research also includes the area of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety and he serves on several committees related to setting a national standard in this area.

The rest of our award-winning and internationally recognized experienced staff includes more than 30 board-certified dermatologists with clinical expertise covering a full range of dermatologic conditions.

Clinical Trial Opportunities

Maria Alora Palli, MD is the director of the Clinical Unit for Research Trials in Skin (CURTIS).This research unit conducts a wide range of studies into dermatology and offers cutting-edge therapy to patients looking for alternative or new approaches to care. We are currently researching areas such as acne, alopecia, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, hand dermatitis, psoriasis and warts.

Patients who participate in our clinical trials may benefit from new treatments and therapies. To learn about upcoming clinical trials, please call us or e-mail your telephone number and area of interest to

Contact Information

Medical Dermatology
Massachusetts General Hospital
50 Staniford Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02114

Conditions & Diseases

  • Acne

    Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The glands become clogged, leading to pimples and cysts.

  • 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.

  • Baldness (Alopecia)

    Baldness, also known as alopecia, is hair loss, or absence of hair.

  • Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome (Gorlin Syndrome)

    Basal cell nevus syndrome is caused by a tumor suppressor gene, called PTCH, located on chromosome 9. Mutations in this gene may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

  • Calluses and Corns

    Calluses are protective pads made up of the thickened upper layer of skin due to repeated rubbing of the area. Corns are small calluses that develop on the top of the toes due to pressure or rubbing against shoes or other toes.

  • Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)

    Candidiasis, sometimes called moniliasis or a yeast infection, is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and/or mucous membranes.

  • Cellulitis

    Cellulitis is a deep bacterial infection of the skin.

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)

    Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease, usually associated with childhood. The disease is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Transmission occurs from person-to-person by direct contact or through the air.

  • Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a physiological reaction that occurs after skin comes in contact with certain substances.

  • 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.

  • Dermatitis

    Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis actually refers to a number of skin conditions that inflame the skin.

  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis

    Dermatitis herpetiformis is an intensely pruritic (itchy) skin disease characterized by eruptions of clusters of small blisters or vesicles (small elevations of the skin containing fluid) and small bumps or papules (small, solid, elevations on the skin).

  • Dry Skin

    Dry skin is a very common skin condition, usually characterized by irritated skin and itchiness. Dry skin often worsens in the winter, when the air is cold and dry.

  • Erythema Multiforme

    Erythema multiforme is a skin disorder characterized by symmetrical, red, raised skin areas all over the body.

  • Erythema Nodosum

    Erythema nodosum is characterized by tender, red bumps, usually found on the shins. Quite often, erythema nodosum is not a separate disease, but, rather, a sign of some other disease, or of a sensitivity to a drug.

  • Fifth Disease

    Fifth disease is a viral illness that results in a viral exanthem. Exanthem is another name for a rash or skin eruption.

  • Folliculitis and Carbuncles

    Folliculitis is the inflammation of hair follicles due to an infection, injury, or irritation. Boils are pus-filled lesions that are painful and usually firm. Carbuncles are clusters of boils.

  • Fungal Infections of the Skin

    Skin fungi live in the dead, top layer of skin cells in moist areas of the body, such as between the toes, groin, and under the breasts. These fungal infections cause only a small amount of irritation.

  • Generalized Exfoliative Dermatitis

    Generalized exfoliative dermatitis is a severe inflammation of the entire skin surface due to a reaction to certain drugs, or as a result of complications from another skin condition.

  • Granuloma Annulare

    Granuloma annulare is a chronic skin condition characterized by small, raised bumps that form a ring with a normal or sunken center.

  • Hair Problems

    Hair problems may be due to cosmetic causes, such as excessive shampooing and blow-drying, or due to underlying diseases, such as thyroid problems.

  • Herpes Simplex Virus / Cold Sores

    Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth, caused by the herpes simplex virus. Some children and adults never experience any symptoms with the first attack; others have severe flu-like symptoms and ulcers in and around the mouth.

  • Impetigo

    Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin, caused by bacteria.

  • Ingrown Hairs

    An ingrown hair is a hair that curls and penetrates the skin with its tip, causing inflammation.

  • Keratosis Pilaris

    Keratosis pilaris is a common skin disorder characterized by small, pointed pimples.

  • Latex Allergy

    Some children and adults have an allergy or sensitivity to latex (rubber). Reactions can be seen when products made from latex come in contact with the person's skin, mucous membranes (like the mouth, genitals, bladder or rectum), or the bloodstream (during surgery).

  • Lyme Disease

    While most tick bites are harmless, several species can cause life-threatening diseases. Two of these well-known diseases are Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease.

  • Malaria

    Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted person-to-person by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. These mosquitoes are present in the tropics and subtropics in almost all countries.

  • Molluscum Contagiosum

    Molluscum contagiosum is a viral disease of the skin that causes small, pink or skin-colored bumps on the skin

  • Other Bacterial Skin Infections

    The following are other common bacterial skin infections: Erysipelas, Erythrasma, Impetigo, and Paronychia.

  • Other Benign Skin Growths

    As a person grows older and is exposed to sunlight, the skin changes. Most people have some skin marks, such as freckles and moles, which may multiply or darken over time.

  • Other Dermatitis Conditions

    The following are some of the other common dermatitis conditions: localized scratch dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.

  • Other Types of Skin Cancer: Kaposi's Sarcoma / Paget's Disease

    Kaposi's sarcoma is a skin cancer that starts in the skin's blood vessels. Kaposi's sarcoma comes in two forms: a slow-growing form, and a more aggressive, faster-spreading form.

  • Pilomatrixoma

    Pilomatrixoma is a slow-growing, hard mass found beneath the skin. It is most common on the face and neck, but is sometimes found elsewhere on the body.

  • Pityriasis Rosea

    Pityriasis rosea is a mild, but common, skin condition characterized by scaly, pink, inflamed skin, which can last from four to eight weeks and usually leaves no lasting marks.

  • Poison Ivy / Poison Oak

    There are three native American plants that collectively may be called poison ivy: poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

  • Prickly Heat

    Prickly heat is a skin rash caused by trapped sweat under the skin.

  • 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.

  • Rosacea

    Characterized by redness, pimples and broken blood vessels, rosacea is a common skin condition that usually only affects the face and eyes.

  • Scabies

    Scabies is an infestation of mites (tiny insects) characterized by small, red bumps and intense itching.

  • Sebaceous Cysts

    Sebaceous cysts are harmless, slow-growing bumps under the skin, often appearing on the scalp, face, ears, back, or groin area.

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis

    Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammation of the upper layers of skin, characterized by red, itchy skin that sheds scales.

  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

    Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a common viral infection of the nerves, which results in a painful rash of small blisters on an area of skin anywhere on the body.

  • Skin Cancer

    Skin cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the skin cells and accounts for more than 50 percent of all cancers.

  • Skin Pigment Disorders

    Skin color is determined by a pigment (melanin) made by specialized cells in the skin (melanocytes). Some disorders which affect skin color are: albinism, melasma, pigment loss after skin damage, and vitiligo.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Squamous cell skin cancer (sometimes referred to as non-melanoma carcinoma) may appear as nodules, or as red, scaly patches of skin.

  • Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome

    Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome is a response to a staphylococcal infection and is characterized by peeling skin.

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)

    Systemic lupus erythematosus, also known as SLE, or simply lupus, involves periodic episodes of inflammation of and damage to the joints, tendons, other connective tissues, and organs, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain, kidneys and skin.

  • Thrush or Candidiasis

    Candidiasis is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and mucous membranes. When the infection occurs in the mouth, it is called thrush.

  • Tinea Infections (Ringworm)

    Different fungi, depending on their location on the body, cause ringworm. Ringworm is characterized by ring-shaped, red, scaly patches with clearing centers.

  • Tinea Versicolor

    Different fungi, depending on their location on the body, cause ringworm. Ringworm is characterized by ring-shaped, red, scaly patches with clearing centers.

  • Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis

    Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by a blistering and peeling of the skin. This disorder can be caused by a drug reaction - frequently antibiotics or anticonvulsives.

  • Urticaria / Hives

    Urticaria, or hives, is a condition in which red, itchy, and swollen areas appear on the skin - usually as an allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medicines.

  • Warts

    Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by the papillomavirus.


  • Have a sun-safe summer - 5/18/2018, Mass General

    “Choosing the right sunscreen can help to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early signs of aging by the sun,” says Arianne “Shadi” Kourosh, MD, MPH, director of Community Health in the MGH Department of Dermatology.


Contact Us

Medical Dermatology

Massachusetts General Hospital

Suite 20050 Staniford Street Boston, MA 02114
  • Near Public Transit
  • Accessible
  • Phone: 617-726-2914
  • Fax: 617-726-7768

Dermatology Services In Danvers

Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
Department of Dermatology
104 Endicott Street, Suite 304
Boston, MA 01923

Phone:  978-882-6566

Free Parking at the Danvers Location

Directions to Mass General North Shore



Call our Boston Office 617-726-2914

Visit Our Danvers Location

Clinical Trials at CURTIS

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