Khosrow Momtaz Phototherapy Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
50 Staniford Street, Suite 230
Boston, MA 02114
Near Public Transit
Explore This Center
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, vitiligo, and lymphoma. Our staff is always available to answer patient questions and address their needs.
During your first visit at our unit, you and your dermatologist will discuss:
- Your medical history
- Previous sun or ultraviolet (UV) exposures
- Any pertinent information that might affect your ability to begin light therapy
If it is determined that phototherapy is the best treatment course of treatment, during your second visit. our nurse will review all phototherapy safety precautions.
In most cases, patients receive treatment three times a week for up to three to five months.
Safety Is a Priority
You will begin your 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.
Treatments are tailored to your specific need. 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 you 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.
About This Program
Founded in 1974, our center was the first of its kind in the United States. We deliver more than 13,000 outpatient ultraviolet radiation treatments each year for more than 30 skin disorders, including:
- Atopic eczema
- Vitiligo (loss of skin color)
- Pruritus (itching)
- Prurigo nodularis (picker's bumps disease)
- Polymorphic light eruption ("sun poisoning")
Our dermatologists, who have over two decades of phototherapy experience, provide 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 a few centers in the Western Hemisphere to offer ultraviolet A1 (UVA1). UVA-1 phototherapy can be used in treating diseases of the skin in which hardening occurs such as morphea.
- Our center delivers all types of phototherapy, including:
- Total narrowband UVB phototherapy
- Directed narrowband phototherapy for hands and feet
- Oral PUVA photochemotherapy for total body
- Photodynamic therapy with blue light and ALA
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 skin reaction is to the sun itself or to the sunscreens being used in trying to protect oneself from the sun.