Paediatric Dermatology Program
The mandate of the Paediatric Dermatology Clinic is to provide consultations for paediatric skin conditions of concern to a physician or health-care professional where past treatment has proven unsuccessful, or where additional investigation is needed in order to provide treatment and/or diagnosis.
Thousands of visits per year
Currently, clinical work consists of over 8,000 visits a year with a minimum of two clinics running daily (from general to specialized) and a busy in-patient/emergency room consultation service.
The Dermatology Team is involved in multiple clinical research studies, focused on expanding the understanding of paediatric aspects of skin disorders and new therapies for both common and uncommon skin disorders.
Dermatology staff are involved in teaching at all levels (medical students, residents in Paediatrics and Dermatology and Paediatric Dermatology fellows). They also coordinate and participate in continuing medical education events (CME).
Our main areas of focus are Clinical, Education and Research. SickKids Dermatology provides tertiary and quaternary care for a large population of children with common and rare skin disorders for the province of Ontario and has a mandate to increase capacity by training the next generation of paediatric dermatologists.
- Skin lesions not yet diagnosed
- Vascular anomalies
- Pigmentation disorders
- Hair / Nail abnormalities
- Complicated Acne
- Autoimmune disorders
- Inflammatory skin disorders requiring systemic treatment
- Tumors/ Nodules
What we do
Our model of care prioritizes the following areas:
- Provide high level care for common and uncommon paediatric dermatologic conditions
- Provide interdisciplinary care for orphan/rare diseases
- Provide care of patients with vitiligo, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis by developing single-provider specialized clinics
- Provide laser treatment for vascular lesions
- Training of both Paediatric and Dermatology residents
- Weekly and quarterly half-day teaching sessions
- Combined, interdisciplinary, CME rounds (vascular tumors, dermato-pathology, rheumatology-dermatology rounds, genodermatoses rounds)
- Biennial Paediatric Dermatology Update
- Specialized Paediatric Dermatology fellowship program
- SickKids presence in local, national and international meetings
- Investigation of new therapeutic modalities for vascular tumours, epidermolysis bullosa, vitiligo, morphea and alopecia
- Outcome measure tools for hemangiomas and epidermolysis bullosa
- Collaboration in national and international research
Programs and services
Expand each section below to see details.
The aim of the clinic is to facilitate timely assessments of children with CALMs and prompt identification of patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) or other rare diagnoses. An increase in patients has led to this clinic expanding to 2-3 times per month. This clinic runs in conjunction with a Geneticist/Genetic Counsellor.
Learn more about CALMs on AboutKidsHealth.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is an uncommon lymphoproliferative skin disease increasingly diagnosed in the paediatric population. This condition poses several challenges due to the variable clinical spectrum and difficulties of making an early diagnosis as well as the lack of consensus regarding the ideal treatment.
The clinic focuses on providing a diagnosis and necessary work-up, controlling the signs and symptoms and slowing the spread of the disease in children and adolescents. This clinic occurs once a month. Access to Oncology service is available for children who require additional input.
EB contains a group of genetically inherited disorders where the skin is prone to blistering. There are three major types of EB; each type is very different in the way that it affects the skin:
- Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex
- Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa
- Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa
There is no specific treatment for EB and most therapeutic guidelines target prevention of trauma as the desired approach. In everyday life, complete avoidance of friction or trauma is impossible, so most patients experience different degrees of blistering and development of chronic wounds. As in other skin diseases, this condition can have a profound impact on the daily activities of affected patients. The limitations patients may have due to pain, itch, odour and time-consuming dressing changes are problems that affect their quality of life. The EB clinic at SickKids offers an interdisciplinary approach to management of this condition.
Tips for managing a patient with EB:
- Find a supportive medical team that both your child and your family can use as a support system.
- Seek counseling for effective footwear (to prevent blistering of the feet as much as possible)
- Buy soft and non-irritating clothing. Avoid clothing seams having contact with the skin whenever possible.
- Avoid warm/hot temperatures, they tend to induce blistering.
- Talk to your child’s physician about a plan for bandaging the blister sites, many bandages can cause more damage to the skin, it is very important to devise a plan that works with your child’s condition.
- Receive genetic counseling. Because EB is a genetically inherited disease, it is very important that both you and your child get advice on the genetics of this condition and what to expect in the future.
- Treat your child as normally as possible, allow them to become comfortable with setting their own boundaries. Encourage independence and growth.
Performing General Nursing Care for the infant with EB
Epidermolysis Bullosa – A handbook for EB patients and families (PDF).
Genodermatoses or genetic skin disorders can present as disturbances in the structure or function of the skin and are often associated with multi-organ involvement. Given their rarity and unusual presentations, genodermatoses frequently pose diagnostic and management challenges.
This clinic occurs once a month. This interdisciplinary clinic aims to provide improved care by assessing clinical findings, coordinating genetic testing, providing genetic counselling and managing complex disease all during one clinic encounter. We conduct pre- and post-clinic meetings to facilitate a unified approach to diagnosis and management of these conditions.
Morphea (localized scleroderma) is a rare condition with potential for significant functional and cosmetic limitations. To date, there is very little information on the best way to evaluate the disease activity and response to treatment as well as the best treatment modality for each disease subtype.
Together with Dr. Laxer a paediatric rheumatologist and Christine O’Brien, physiotherapy practitioner, the specialized morphea clinic is the only one of its kind in Canada, following over 450 patients with this rare condition. It is currently offered 1-2 times a month.
Learn more about Morphea on AboutKidsHealth.
This clinic runs out of the Hematology/Oncology clinic at SickKids. It was founded in 2018 due to increased skin side effects of new targeted therapies used for the treatment of tumors and other oncology diagnoses. The aims of the clinic are prevention, early diagnosis and management of these skin toxicities.
Patient and family resources
There are many online resources for families and patients seeking to understand dermatological conditions.
- You can learn more about Epidermolysis Bullosa on DEBRA Canada
- The Society for Pediatric Dermatology also has patient handouts for a variety of dermatologic topics
- Visit the Dermatology Hub on AboutKidsHealth
- Find a place in your house that has good lighting
- Have current medications/creams with you
- Have paper and pen with you
- Have your pharmacy’s number at hand
Tips for a successful virtual visit
Below you'll find lists of our key staff at SickKids Dermatology, including physician, nursing and social work staff.
Dr. Elena Pope: Section Head for Paediatric Dermatology, SickKids and Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto; Runs: General Paediatric Dermatology clinics and specialized clinics in Morphea, Vascular Tumors, Epidermolysis Bullosa, Genodermatoses, Cutaneous Lymphoma.
Dr. Irene Lara-Corrales: Paediatric Dermatology Fellowship Track Director, Staff Physician, SickKids, Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto; Runs: General Paediatric Dermatology clinics and specialized clinics in Epidermolysis Bullosa, Genodermatoses, Vascular tumors, Dermato-Oncology and CALMs screening.
Dr. Miriam Weinstein: Staff Physician, SickKids, Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto; Runs: General Paediatric Dermatology Clinics and specialized clinics in Atopic Dermatitis and laser treatments.
Dr. Rebecca Levy: Staff Physician, SickKids, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto; Runs: General Paediatric Dermatology clinics and specialized clinics in Dermato-Oncology and laser treatments.
Dr. Alexandra Pennal: Staff Physician, SickKids, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto; Runs: General Paediatric Dermatology clinics and specialized clinics in Atopic Dermatitis.
Dr. Cathryn Sibbald: Staff Physician, SickKids, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, University of Toronto; Runs: General Paediatric Dermatology clinics and specialized clinics in Morphea, Alopecia and Laser treatments.
- Michelle Lee, RN: RN Coordinator for EB, Morphea and CTCL Clinics
- Jackie Su, RN: RN Coordinator for VAST Clinic, Laser Clinic, CALMs and Genodermatoses
- Kirsti Johnson, RN: RN Coordinator for Atopic Dermatitis School Program, Laser Clinic
The Section of Dermatology is currently involved in several research studies from retrospective studies to randomized controlled, prospective studies.
The main areas of research focus are:
- Epidermolysis Bullosa: Intervention trials; Outcome measures
- Vascular tumors: Intervention trials
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: Prospective cohort studies
- Morphea (localized scleroderma): Outcome measures; Prospective studies
Are you interested in becoming a research volunteer?
Email our Education Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expand the sections below to learn more about each opportunity.
Electives are first come, first serve, therefore we encourage applicants to make their enquires as early as possible. When spots are available, elective students are accepted for one 4-week block. During the elective, the trainee will attend:
- General Dermatology Clinics
- Teaching Rounds, currently virtual, once per week
- Subspecialty clinics: Morphea, CTCL, Epidermolysis Bullosa, Genodermatosis, CALMs, Vascular Tumors, if applicable
- Pathology Rounds, once a month
- Quarterly Interesting Cases Rounds, if applicable
Please email our Education Coordinator at email@example.com for availability. Include your name, postgraduate year, current school and program, along with preferred dates.
Please note: this program is not accredited, but offers a comprehensive learning experience in partnership with the University of Toronto
The fellowship is offered to both Canadian and international trainees as well as dermatologists and paediatricians. The fellowship offers a comprehensive clinical experience by involving trainees in weekly general paediatric dermatology clinics, and subspecialty clinics such as but not limited to: Vascular Tumours, Morphea, Epidermolysis Bullosa, CALMs, Genodermatoses, as well as weekly rounds.
Fellows are also expected to be on in-hospital call, and frequency is dependent on number of fellows. In addition, fellows (whether dermatologists or paediatricians) are expected to undertake scholarly work as part of their training.
To learn more about the fellowships offered to paediatricians by the Division of Paediatric Medicine at SickKids, as well as funding requirements, please see the Fellowships section at SickKids Paediatric Medicine.
The deadline to apply is June 1, 2023.
For non-Canadian trainees who are citizens and sponsored by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or United Arab Emirates, please visit the University of Toronto Fellowship Training website.
Note: All applicants, including paediatrics and dermatology trained candidates, are required to secure institutional, government or grant funding. The fellowship program no longer offers internal funding.
For any inquiries regarding the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the Paediatric Dermatology Fellowship Application Form (PDF)
The Section of Pediatric Dermatology is currently not accepting Observers due to high volumes of Residents that rotate through our clinic.
Note: International candidates must first contact SickKids International if interested in completing an Observership at the Hospital for Sick Children.
SickKids Dermatology referrals can be made through EPIC, or faxed to the number below.
Phone for general inquires: 416-813-7384
Phone for new referrals: 416-813-7384 ext. 2
Fax for general inquires: 416-813-7055
Fax for new referrals: 416-813-7848
The clinic is located near the Shoppers Drug Mart and University Entrance.
SickKids Section of Dermatology
555 University Avenue
Main Floor, Clinic 7
Research Assistant contact
Hanna Fadzeyeva – Research Assistant