Explore This Treatment Program


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

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 Mass General for Children (MGfC)

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

World-Class Staff

Gideon P. Smith, MD, MPH, PhD, is Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, Dermatology, Director of Medical Dermatology, and Chair for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. He 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 35 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 harvardskinstudies@partners.org.