COVID-19 Update. Learn More

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures patients MUST BOOK an appointment for their phototherapy treatment. Walk-in is NOT available.

Please contact us to schedule your phototherapy treatment as of June 1, 2020.

Patient MUST BRING with them to the appointment:

  • Cotton mask – some face mask may contain metal wiring which is prohibited for use during phototherapy
  • Goggles – patients must bring or purchase new goggles (we cannot provide a loaner)

Patients will be screened at the door please click here to learn more about our NEW patient policy & FAQs related to screening process.

 

Photothearpy UnitPhototherapy Clinic
Location: 3rd Floor, Suite 301
Hours of Operation:

  • Monday 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Tuesday CLOSED
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Saturday CLOSED

black birthmark on skin

More than half of patients can now survive a deadly skin cancer that was considered untreatable just a decade ago, say UK doctors.

Ten years ago only one-in-20 patients would live for five years after being diagnosed with late-stage melanoma. Most would die in months.

But drugs to harness the body’s immune system mean 52% now live for at least five years, a clinical trial shows.

Doctors said it was an extraordinary and rapid transformation in care.

How hard is melanoma to treat?

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and kills nearly 2,300 people each year.

If it is caught in the early stages then the chances of survival are good, but as the cancer becomes more aggressive and spreads throughout the body (known as metastatic cancer) then survival plummets.

“In the past, metastatic melanoma was regarded as untreatable,” said Prof James Larkin, a consultant at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “Oncologists considered melanoma different to other cancers, it couldn’t be treated once it had spread.”

People tended to live between six and nine months after diagnosis.

What did the trial show?

The trial investigated two immunotherapy drugs which are designed to enhance the immune system and let it attack cancer.

There were 945 patients in the trial, a third were given nivolumab, a third were given ipilimumab and a third were given both.

Doctors then looked at the five-year survival rate – the proportion of patients still alive after five years.

The results showed:

  • 26% were still alive on ipilimumab alone
  • 44% were still alive on nivolumab alone
  • and 52% were still alive when given both.

“It’s been an amazing surprise to see so much progress in such a short a period of time,” Prof Larkin told BBC News.

He said: “It’s been the most extraordinary transformation from a disease that was regarded, among all the cancers as the most difficult to treat, the most serious prognosis.

He said there is now “the possibility that 50% of people with stage four melanoma are alive five years after having immunotherapy treatment.”

The findings have been presented at a meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

What do patients say?

Pam Smith, 67, from Royal Tunbridge Wells, started on the trial in January 2014.

She was “devastated” when she was told her cancer was untreatable and says she “wouldn’t have stood a chance” without immunotherapy.

She had treatment once every two weeks for four months, but the drugs gave her such severe diarrhoea as a side-effect that she could no longer continue.

Her tumour halved in size after treatment and has not grown since. Pam now feels “brilliant”.

She told the BBC: “I might not have seen my grandchildren.

“It’s just over five years now since it happened and my youngest grandchild was six at the weekend.

“I wouldn’t have seem him grow up and the other grandchildren as well.”

Are these patients cured?

Saying cured is always difficult in cancer, but five-year-survival is a hugely significant milestone.

Some patients taking the drugs are in total remission with no sign of any abnormality on scans.

Others like Pam still have a tumour inside their bodies, but they are no longer growing.

Out of the patients that survived, three-quarters no longer need any form of cancer treatment.

How does immunotherapy work?

Immunotherapy is Nobel Prize-winning science that is making the untreatable treatable.

The field is one of the most exciting in cancer treatment.

The immune system constantly patrols our body, fighting off hostile invaders such as viruses.

It should attack cancers too – but cancers are a corrupted version of healthy tissue and can evolve ways of evading the immune system.

Ipilimumab and nivolumab both stop some cancers from hiding and allow the immune system to attack.

They interrupt the chemical signals that cancers use to put the brakes on the immune system.

Nivolumab blocks the off-switch on white blood cells called PD-1. Ipilimumab blocks a similar switch called CTLA-4.

It is described as taking the brakes off the immune system.

“By giving these drugs together you are effectively taking two brakes off the immune system rather than one so that the immune system is able to recognise tumours it wasn’t previously recognising and react to that and destroy them,” Prof Larkin said.

Are there side-effects?

Yes, the drugs are changing the way the immune system works inside the body and that can have consequences, such as fatigue, skin rashes and diarrhoea.

Some are severe enough that patients like Pam cannot complete a full course of treatment.

However, even a brief spell of immunotherapy had a lasting benefit on the immune system and on patients.

This is in stark contrast to other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy which stop working the moment the treatment stops.

Although this lasting changes means side-effects could continue to emerge as patients get older.

Are these drugs available?

Yes, earlier results from this trial led to these drugs being made available around the world – including on the UK’s National Health Service.

The decision to approve the drugs for melanoma was one of the fastest in NHS history.

And they are also being used in other cancers such as lung and kidney.

What do experts think?

Prof Charles Swanton, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said the progress in melanoma had been “incredibly fast”.

He said: “I’m inspired seeing the advancements being made in the development of immunotherapies, and their potential to transform the outlook for some patients, giving them time with friends and family they never thought they would have.

“And now work continues to make sure more people with different types of cancer can also benefit from these innovative treatments.”


Credit: James Gallagher, bbc.com

So beautiful. Close-up of girl with beauty mask on her face looking in mirror. Beautiful Woman Applying Natural Homemade Facial Mask at home. Spa and Skin care concept

In times of War or during the Depression there are only a few industries that thrived throughout history. Surprisingly, the beauty industry was one of them. In times of trouble, uncertainty or bouts of poverty, people could be found investing a small amount in something to make themselves feel better. Sure we can’t always buy a new house, a new car or vacation, but doing something to feel better about yourself, and in turn, actually help your skin in the process is an excellent alternative to sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves or just plain bored while the nation, the world, works it’s way through these terrible times. And the bonus is that you can look after yourself in the privacy of your own home. No social distancing worries here!!

Let’s start with a home mini facial, something that is mild enough to be done weekly, but really gets that skin hydrated and balanced. Choose a well-balanced cleanser to start. I suggest ZO Gentle Cleanser, SkinMedica Facial Cleanser or SkinCeuticals Soothing Cleanser, as they work for all skin types and all ages. Don’t forget to remove the cleanser with a clean baby washcloth for best results.

What I like to do next is apply a small amount of ZO Exfoliating polish, which doesn’t need to be manipulated on the skin, so isn’t annoying or abrasive. Then, I either steam my face with a facial steamer or hop in the shower backwards and allow the steam to work the polish into my skin. Also, the steam feels awesome and clears the sinuses. Bonus!!! After removing the polish, again with a baby washcloth, there are some options as to the next steps.

To keep it simple, I like to access my skin to see what it needs. I like to take a mask, such as ZO Sulphur Masque (my personal favourite) or the Hydrating B5 Masque from Skinceuticals and then I mix them with products that will customize the mask for what I truly need. For example: the sulphur mask with 1 pump soothing cleanser and a few drops of either Phyto Corrective Gel or H.A. Intensifier, mixed well, alters the mask from simply a detoxifying mask to a purifying mask that hydrates and calms the skin. I leave it on for about 20 minutes before removing and my skin is instantly revived.

To finish, I will use a serum that works with what I am feeling my skin needs that day and moisturizer. If I am applying the mask at night, I will use products to repair my skin and if I am applying the mask during the day, I will use products to protect my skin.

It is amazing how something so simple can really make you feel better. You will, in fact, be working towards a better quality skin. But, sometimes the mental state that is improved from these half hour facials is just as important in times like this.

While our clinic is closed right now for treatments, our online store is still going strong. You will find most of our products available for delivery right to your home. However, since you won’t find ZO at our online store, please call the clinic as we have a small crew there that will be able to fill your order for you.

I can’t wait to get back and see my patients and get to work making you all look and feel your very best again. But meanwhile, look after yourself, your skin, and your health.

 ~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre

For Rosacea Awareness Month, April 2020, we asked our dermatologists for their top lifestyle tips to limit rosacea flare-ups.

Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto dermatologist 

Pay attention to your skin and use a skin diary to determine which triggers flare your rosacea. Minimizing stress and triggers such as spicy foods can be helpful.

No picking or squeezing of pimples is key.

I think gentle skin care is important – this includes a mild cleanser (not soap) and moisturizing in the evenings, and a sunscreen in the mornings.

Having a dermatologist is worthwhile as there are many great treatments now available.

Being part of an educational support group like ARSC is also important to find out what’s new with your condition for prevention and treatment.

Read more tips and advice from top dermatologist in Canada visit: rosaceahelp.ca

black birthmark on skin

More than half of patients can now survive a deadly skin cancer that was considered untreatable just a decade ago, say UK doctors.

Ten years ago only one-in-20 patients would live for five years after being diagnosed with late-stage melanoma. Most would die in months.

But drugs to harness the body’s immune system mean 52% now live for at least five years, a clinical trial shows.

Doctors said it was an extraordinary and rapid transformation in care.

How hard is melanoma to treat?

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and kills nearly 2,300 people each year.

If it is caught in the early stages then the chances of survival are good, but as the cancer becomes more aggressive and spreads throughout the body (known as metastatic cancer) then survival plummets.

“In the past, metastatic melanoma was regarded as untreatable,” said Prof James Larkin, a consultant at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “Oncologists considered melanoma different to other cancers, it couldn’t be treated once it had spread.”

People tended to live between six and nine months after diagnosis.

What did the trial show?

The trial investigated two immunotherapy drugs which are designed to enhance the immune system and let it attack cancer.

There were 945 patients in the trial, a third were given nivolumab, a third were given ipilimumab and a third were given both.

Doctors then looked at the five-year survival rate – the proportion of patients still alive after five years.

The results showed:

  • 26% were still alive on ipilimumab alone
  • 44% were still alive on nivolumab alone
  • and 52% were still alive when given both.

“It’s been an amazing surprise to see so much progress in such a short a period of time,” Prof Larkin told BBC News.

He said: “It’s been the most extraordinary transformation from a disease that was regarded, among all the cancers as the most difficult to treat, the most serious prognosis.

He said there is now “the possibility that 50% of people with stage four melanoma are alive five years after having immunotherapy treatment.”

The findings have been presented at a meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

What do patients say?

Pam Smith, 67, from Royal Tunbridge Wells, started on the trial in January 2014.

She was “devastated” when she was told her cancer was untreatable and says she “wouldn’t have stood a chance” without immunotherapy.

She had treatment once every two weeks for four months, but the drugs gave her such severe diarrhoea as a side-effect that she could no longer continue.

Her tumour halved in size after treatment and has not grown since. Pam now feels “brilliant”.

She told the BBC: “I might not have seen my grandchildren.

“It’s just over five years now since it happened and my youngest grandchild was six at the weekend.

“I wouldn’t have seem him grow up and the other grandchildren as well.”

Are these patients cured?

Saying cured is always difficult in cancer, but five-year-survival is a hugely significant milestone.

Some patients taking the drugs are in total remission with no sign of any abnormality on scans.

Others like Pam still have a tumour inside their bodies, but they are no longer growing.

Out of the patients that survived, three-quarters no longer need any form of cancer treatment.

How does immunotherapy work?

Immunotherapy is Nobel Prize-winning science that is making the untreatable treatable.

The field is one of the most exciting in cancer treatment.

The immune system constantly patrols our body, fighting off hostile invaders such as viruses.

It should attack cancers too – but cancers are a corrupted version of healthy tissue and can evolve ways of evading the immune system.

Ipilimumab and nivolumab both stop some cancers from hiding and allow the immune system to attack.

They interrupt the chemical signals that cancers use to put the brakes on the immune system.

Nivolumab blocks the off-switch on white blood cells called PD-1. Ipilimumab blocks a similar switch called CTLA-4.

It is described as taking the brakes off the immune system.

“By giving these drugs together you are effectively taking two brakes off the immune system rather than one so that the immune system is able to recognise tumours it wasn’t previously recognising and react to that and destroy them,” Prof Larkin said.

Are there side-effects?

Yes, the drugs are changing the way the immune system works inside the body and that can have consequences, such as fatigue, skin rashes and diarrhoea.

Some are severe enough that patients like Pam cannot complete a full course of treatment.

However, even a brief spell of immunotherapy had a lasting benefit on the immune system and on patients.

This is in stark contrast to other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy which stop working the moment the treatment stops.

Although this lasting changes means side-effects could continue to emerge as patients get older.

Are these drugs available?

Yes, earlier results from this trial led to these drugs being made available around the world – including on the UK’s National Health Service.

The decision to approve the drugs for melanoma was one of the fastest in NHS history.

And they are also being used in other cancers such as lung and kidney.

What do experts think?

Prof Charles Swanton, chief clinician at Cancer Research UK, said the progress in melanoma had been “incredibly fast”.

He said: “I’m inspired seeing the advancements being made in the development of immunotherapies, and their potential to transform the outlook for some patients, giving them time with friends and family they never thought they would have.

“And now work continues to make sure more people with different types of cancer can also benefit from these innovative treatments.”


Credit: James Gallagher, bbc.com

Dear Patient,

Due to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as per the Canadian government’s advice to practice social distancing, Toronto Dermatology Centre will be implementing changes at the clinic. As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, our clinic will be closed for a few weeks but will reassess this fluid situation daily. For patients with upcoming appointments, we will be in touch with rescheduling options.
 
Effective immediately, our dermatologists are happy to provide phone consults for any skin issues & questions. To request for an e-consult please email us at econsult@torontodermatologycentre.com the following:
  • A photo of your OHIP (health card)
  • 3-4 pictures of the area of concern
  • Best contact phone number
  • For new patients & issues, please complete questionnaire (follow this link to download and complete)

For prescription refills please contact your pharmacy and they will fax the request to us and we will respond electronically.

We appreciate your patience and stay healthy.

Drs. Benjamin Barankin, Anatoli Freiman, Robert Backstein, Maxwell Sauder, Jennifer Upitis, Daniel Sauder, Valerie Yanofsky, and Norman Wasel


Last Update: March 17, 2020

Dear Patient,

Due to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as per the Canadian government’s advice to practice social distancing, Toronto Dermatology Centre will be implementing changes at the clinic. These changes are being put in place to help reduce the spread of this virus and ultimately to protect patients and staff at the clinic.

As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, our clinic will be closed for a few weeks but will reassess this fluid situation daily. For patients with upcoming appointments, we will be in touch with rescheduling options. In the meantime we will be offering telemedicine. For inquiry please email us at info@torontodermatologycentre.com.

We appreciate your patience and stay healthy.

 

Follow us online to keep up to date with us!

    

Woman wearing robe applying cream to area around her eyes

Winter seems so long and although I feel we are finally on the upside coming towards spring, I find myself dragging much more than I would during the nice weather months. No matter, whether I get a full night’s sleep (not often anymore, I am afraid) or 5-6 hours of interrupted sleep, my skin, my hair and my body show visible signs of fatigue. I know as the days start to get longer and the sun is shining a little brighter some of these symptoms will subside, but for now what are my options?

We tend to think big. In other words to improve the skin we think in terms only of lasers or more aggressive treatments. Well, I absolutely agree that this is the time of year to clear up lingering concerns such as sun damage, sun spots & freckles, broken vessels, fine lines and wrinkles and scars. I believe this is a great time to begin laser hair removal to alleviate the constant shaving (and razor bumps!!) that can be so annoying. But there are several modalities that can help us achieve our goals. In-clinic procedures really are the only way to truly achieve the end results for some concerns but that doesn’t mean we should be neglecting what we need to be doing at home.

“Any effective way to topically treat aging skin must include a multi-modal approach that combines symbiotic ingredients to ameliorate cutaneous damage” said dermatologist Dr. Sameer Bashey recently. I would go one step further and say that this analogy applies to acne, scarring, pigment and just about any other skin deviation that a patient is dealing with.

Clinical studies have proven over and over again the difference between using medical grade products vs store bought products on the skin. Multiple studies done by ZO Medical, including the latest study, a 12 week case series on their Wrinkle + Texture Repair product with active Retinol show short and long term results, and bragging rights, that simply cannot be challenged by over the counter products. And it isn’t just the specialty products that make a difference to the skin in a way drugstore brands cannot. Using an alkaline based cleanser on the skin and expecting your products to penetrate is like asking yourself to magically walk through a locked door.  Products need to work synergistically, and preferably from the same line in order to optimize the degree of change needed in the skin’s dermis, and ultimately, the surface of the skin.

My boyfriend’s teenage daughter used the GSR kit from ZO, which is their starter kit, for 2 days and noticed her acne disappearing quickly. She is thrilled with her results, and of course thinks I am superwoman for getting her on the system. It is easy to use and the backbone for all conditions from acne to pigment to rosacea and on and on.

People are so easily inclined to believe everything they read on the Internet, especially if it saves them time or money. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation, probably more than there are truths out there. Medical grade home care has documented medical studies that prove their worth and how they can be effective for improving in–clinic treatments when used both before and after treatments. Quality over quantity. Similarly with food; garbage food is unhealthy and makes us sluggish and is damaging to the aging process. Medical-grade home care keeps us looking alert, aids the health of the skin and even corrects damage. Used in conjunction with services at a qualified and respected clinic like Toronto Dermatology Centre, you are giving your skin, no matter the concerns you may have, the fundamentals needed to reverse and correct imperfections.

We can’t speed up the days till Spring gets here when days get longer and warmer, but we can slow down the clock when it comes to aging and the health of your skin. Don’t make excuses! Get on board with the ZO GSR (Getting Skin Ready) kit and have our medical esthetician customize it for your individual concerns with Daily Power Defense, Wrinkle + Texture Repair or whatever is appropriate.  Beat the winter blahs and have gorgeous skin year-round.

~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre