Neelam Vashi, MD

Dr. Neelam Vashi

Associate Professor of Dermatology

Boston University School of Medicine

Founder and Director, Center for Ethnic Skin

Director, Cosmetic and Laser Center




To Schedule a General Dermatology Appointment: 617-638-7420
To Schedule a Cosmetic Dermatology Appointment: 617-414-2676

Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center

725 Albany Street, Suite 8B, Boston, MA 02118
Fax: 617-638-7289

Administrative Office:

Boston University School of Medicine, Dept of Dermatology

609 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617-358-9711
Fax: 617-358-9709



2001-2004 BA Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
2004-2008 MD Northwestern University, Feinberg’s School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
2008-2009 Internship Internal Medicine, McGaw Medical Center- Northwestern University, Feinberg’s School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
2009-2012 Residency Dermatology, New York University Medical Center, Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York, NY

Clinical Specialties and Research Interests

  • Ethnic Skin
  • Cosmetic Dermatology

For additional information on Dr. Vashi’s Research Program, please click here


Dr. Neelam A. Vashi is the Director of the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center, Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Ethnic Skin, and an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine.  Dr. Vashi received her medical degree from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine where she was inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.  Dr. Vashi completed her dermatology residency at New York University (NYU) in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, one of the country’s top academic dermatology centers.


Dr. Vashi is a recognized leader in medical and cosmetic dermatology.  She is widely published in the peer-reviewed literature, author of several book chapters, and is a frequent lecturer at both national and international dermatology meetings.  She has published two textbooks, Beauty and Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Clinician’s Guide and Dermatoanthropology of Ethnic Skin and Hair, both available on She is a key opinion leader and has been featured extensively in the media, including Oprah Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Prevention, Reader’s Digest, Dr. Oz The Good Life Magazine, Yahoo, CNN, Forbes, CNBC, NewsWeek, Good Housekeeping, Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, MSN, Washington Post, US News and World Report, Fortune, ABC, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times, Women’s Health, Web Talk Radio, Doctor Radio, BBC World, Morning Dose, FOX25, Mornings with Maria (FOX), Inside Edition, and WCVB-ABC affiliated Television. Most recently, she was featured on the cover of The Dermatologist.  She has received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Presidential Citation Award from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Vashi’s research interests include a wide variety of topics related to cosmetics, ethnic skin, quality of life, laser technology, media, hyperpigmentation, sun protection, and health literacy. Her research interests, creativity, and innovation have led to publications in the most premier academic journals and have garnered much attention from the community at large.  In 2017, she had the #2 article in JAMA Dermatology (PMID: 29049443).  In 2018, she had the #1 article in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery (PMID: 30073294).  She treats a broad range of medical and cosmetic skin conditions, and has particular expertise in cosmetic surgery and skin of color.  In addition, as part of the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Vashi teaches dermatology to BU residents, international trainees, and medical students. She has received the Teacher of the Year Award twice by both the international trainees and resident physicians.

As one of the only few in the United States, Boston University’s Center for Ethnic Skin uniquely specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin and hair conditions unique to men and women from ethnic backgrounds. This center is led by Dr. Vashi who is specially trained to care for the cosmetic and medical issues unique to individuals with skin of color. She offers a comprehensive and personalized care plan that is individually designed for each patient’s color, tone, and texture of skin and hair.

Dr. Vashi’s research interests include a wide variety of topics related to cosmetics and ethnic skin. She currently has many active projects including topics of skin hyperpigmentation, chemical peels, health literacy, and sun protection. She is also the Director of the International Training Program in Cosmetic Medicine  in which she trains fellows from around the world. Dr. Vashi’s international fellows have published with her in journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD), JAMA Dermatology, Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, textbooks, and have presented at national conferences.




  1. Vashi NA. Beauty and Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Clinician’s Guide (first edition). New York: Springer Science + Business Media LLC, ISBN 978-3319178660, September, 2015.
    • Currently available on
  2. Vashi NA, Maibach H. Dermatoanthropology of Ethnic Skin and Hair. New York: Springer Science + Business Media LLC. In press.

Original, Peer Reviewed Articles:

  1. Liu JW, Sun P, Yan Q, Paller AS, Gerami P, Ho N, Vashi N, Le Poole IC and Wang XQ. De-N-acetyl GM3 promotes melanoma cell migration and invasion through urokinase plasminogen activator receptor signaling-dependent MMP-2 activation. Cancer Res. 2009;69(22):8662-9.
  2. Vashi NA, Latkowski J. The current state of dermatology training: a national survey of graduating dermatology residents. J Amer Acad Dermatol. 2012;67(6):1384-1386.
  3. Vashi NA, Latkowski JM. The ethics of the medical-pharmaceutical relationship. Clinics in Dermatology. 2012;30(2):188-191.
  4. Larocca CA, Kundu RV, Vashi NA. Physiologic pigmentation: Molecular mechanisms and clinical diversity. Pigment Int. 2014;1(2):44-51.
  5. Vashi NA, Maymone M, Kundu RV. Aging differences in ethnic skin. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(1):31-38.  
  6. Kouba DJ, LoPiccolo M, Alam M, Bordeaux JS, Cohen B, Hanke CW, Jellinek N, Maibach HI, Tanner JW, Vashi N, Gross KG, Adamson T, Begolka WS, Moyano JV. Guidelines for use of local anesthesia in office-based dermatologic surgery. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016;74(6):1201-19.
  7. Vashi NA. Obsession with perfection: body dysmorphia. Clin Dermatol. 2016;34(6):788-791.
  8. Vashi NA, Wirya S, Inyang M, Kundu RV. Facial hyperpigmentation in skin of color: special considerations and treatment. 2016 Dec 9 [Epub ahead of print]
  9. Maymone M, Neamah HH, Wirya SA, Patzelt NM, Zancanaro PQ, Vashi NA. Sun protective behaviors in patients with cutaneous hyperpigmentation: A cross-sectional study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Feb 15 [Epub ahead of print]
  10. Wirya SA, Maymone MBC, Widjajahakim R, Vashi NA. Subclinical melasma: Determining disease extent. Accepted to J Am Acad Dermatol
  11. Maymone MBC, Neamah HH, Wirya SA, Patzelt NM, Secemsky EA, Zancanaro PQ, Vashi NA. Influence of Background and Room Illumination in Color Identification of Skin Lesions: A Cross-Sectional Study. Accepted to JAMA Dermatol

Invited Peer-reviewed Review articles:

  1. Vashi NA, Kundu RV. Facial hyperpigmentation: causes and treatment. Br J Dermatol. 2013;169 Suppl 3:41-56.
  2. Vashi NA. Cosmetic interventions for dyschromia: chemical peels. The Aestheticians Journal. 2014:30-32.
  3. Vashi NA, Kundu RV. Approach to the patient with cutaneous hyperpigmentation. In UpToDate, Basow, DS (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2014.
  4. Vashi NA. Cosmetic interventions for dyschromia: lasers. The Aestheticians Journal. 2014;4(5):16-20.

Editorials and Commentaries:

  1. Vashi N. Gold, silver, and bronze: In tribute to Olivia. Quoted in: Harris ED Jr. An epiphany – requisite for all physicians. Editorial. The Pharos. Summer 2007;70(3):1.
  2. Vashi N. Life. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2007;147(5):303.
  3. Vashi N. Little secrets in my pockets. American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Journal. 2007;22(2):22.
  4. Vashi N. Heroes. The Major C.W. Offutt Award’s Caring for America’s Heroes: A medical student experience. 2008;6:28-31.

Textbook Chapters:

  1. Latkowski J, Vashi N. Mycosis Fungoides Variants. In Hall JC and Hall BJ, eds. Cutaneous Lymphoma Diagnosis and Treatment: PMPH-USA. May, 2012.
  2. Reddy S, Vashi NA. Vitiligo. In P. B. Love, R. V. Kundu (Eds.), Clinical Cases in Skin of Color: Adnexal, Inflammation, Infections, and Pigmentary Disorders (first edition). London: Springer, ISBN 978-3-319-22391-9, November, 2015.
  3. Chang Y, Vashi NA. Pityriasis Alba. In P. B. Love, R. V. Kundu (Eds.), Clinical Cases in Skin of Color: Adnexal, Inflammation, Infections, and Pigmentary Disorders (first edition). London: Springer, ISBN 978-3-319-22391-9, November, 2015.
  4. Maymone M, Vashi NA. Progressive Macular Hypomelanosis. In P. B. Love, R. V. Kundu (Eds.), Clinical Cases in Skin of Color: Adnexal, Inflammation, Infections, and Pigmentary Disorders (first edition). London: Springer, ISBN 978-3-319-22391-9, November, 2015.
  5. Kundu RV, Vashi NA. Dermatology in Geriatrics. In S.C. Taylor, A. P. Kelly, H.W. Lim, A.M. Anido Serrano (Ed.), Dermatology for Skin of Color (second edition). New York: The McGraw-Hill Education/Medical, ISBN 978-0071805520, January, 2016.
  6. Vashi NA, Kundu RV. Dermatologic Disease in Skin of Color. In R. Baliga (Ed.), American Board of Internal Medicine Boards (Review Book): Dermatology Section. In press.
  7. Hahn S, Vashi NA. The Role of Stress in Body Dysmorphic Disorder. In K. Franca, M. Jafferany (Eds.), Skin Disorders and Stress: Basic and Clinical Aspects (first edition). New York: Springer Science + Business Media LLC. In press.
  8. Reddy S, Vashi NA. The Pathophysiology of hyperpigmentation. In D. Rigopoulos, A.C. Katoulis (Eds.), Hyperpigmentation. CRC Press. In press.

In N. A. Vashi (Ed.), Beauty and Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Clinician’s Guide (first edition). New York: Springer Science + Business Media LLC, ISBN 978-3319178660, September, 2015.

  1. Vashi NA. Historical Importance of Beauty.
  2. Vashi NA. Objective Aspects of Beauty.
  3. Vashi NA. Evolutionary Basis of Attraction.
  4. Vashi NA, Quay E. Subjective Aspects of Beauty.
  5. Damstetter EM, Vashi NA. Body Image and Body Image Dissatisfaction.
  6. Hahn S, Vashi NA. Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Historical Aspects.
  7. Franca K, Jafferany M, Vashi NA. Diagnosis of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
  8. Weiffenbach A, Kundu RV. Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Etiology and Pathophysiology.
  9. Reddy KK, Besen J. Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Epidemiology and Specific Cohorts.
  10. Levin Y, Graber EM. Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Effects of Aesthetic Treatments and Implications for the Dermatologist and Cosmetic Surgeon.
  11. Champlain A, Laumann A. Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Screening Patients and Associated Algorithms.
  12. McAndrew R, Sorenson E, Koo J. Therapeutic Interventions for Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
  13. Thiele JS, Hamalian G. Prognosis and the Effect of Body Dysmorphic Disorder on Life.
  14. Vashi NA, Maymone M. Approach and Resources.

In N. A. Vashi, H. Maibach (Eds.), Dermatoanthropology of Ethnic Skin and Hair. New York: Springer Science + Business Media LLC. In press.

  1. Jablonski NG. The Anthropology of Skin Colors: An Examination of the Evolution of Skin Pigmentation and the Concepts of Race and Skin of Color.
  2. Ogunleye T, Taylor SC. The Impact of Skin and Hair Disease in Ethnic Skin.
  3. Berardesca E, Maria M, Cameli N. Biophysical Properties of Ethnic Skin.
  4. Wiznia LE, Elbuluk N. Differences in Skin Structure and Function in Ethnic Populations.
  5. Ansari UA, Le ST, Harvey VM. Photosensitivity and Photoreactivity of Ethnic Skin.
  6. Rigopoulos D, Tiligada E. Stratum Corneum Lipids and Water-Holding Capacity.
  7. Higham C, Vashi NA. Physiologic Pigmentation.
  8. Maymone M, Larson AR. Mucosal Lesions in Skin of Color.
  9. Lawson CN, Callender VD. Acne and Rosacea.
  10. Love PB. Inflammatory Disorders
  11. Patterson S. Tinea Versicolor and Tinea Capitis.
  12. Singh B, Walter S, Callaghan D, Paek J, Lam C. Autoimmune and Connective Tissue Disease in Skin of Color
  13. Malviya N, Pandya A. Disorders of Hyperpigmentation.
  14. Patel TJ, Rodney IJ, Halder RM. Disorders of Hypopigmentation and Depigmentation.
  15. Thareja S, Kundu RV. Keloids and Hypertrophic Scarring.
  16. Al-Haseni A, Sahni D. Skin Cancer.
  17. Suaiti LH, Damji YA, Lee MS. Pediatric Dermatology.
  18. Dadzie OE, Lasisi T, Jablonski NG. The Anthropology of Human Scalp Hair.
  19. Chang YC, Goldberg LJ. Alopecias and Disorders of the Hair Follicle.
  20. Alexis AF, Kaufman BP. Adnexal Disorders.
  21. Reddy KK. Skin Aging in Individuals with Skin of Color.
  22. Reddy S, Zancanaro P, Vashi NA. Cosmetic Concerns and Approaches.
  23. Cheng J, Vashi NA. Management of Hyperpigmentation.
  24. Cheng J, Vashi NA. Chemical Peels.
  25. Cheng J, Vashi NA. Lasers.
  26. Tull R, Feldman S. Cultural Considerations.

Case Reports:

  1. Vashi N, Reddy P, Wayne DB and Sabin B. Bat-associated leptospirosis. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2010;25(2):162-4.
  2. Vashi N, Mandal R. Giant multi-loculated apocrine hidrocystomas. Dermatol Online J. 2010;16(11):16.
  3. Vashi N, Souza A, Cohen N, Franklin B and Cohen DE. Allergic contact dermatitis to methylphenidate. Contact Dermatitis. 2011;65(3):183-5.
  4. Vashi N, Newlove T, Chu J, Patel R, Stein J. Graham-Little-Piccardi-Lassueur syndrome. Dermatol Online J. 2011;17(10):30.
  5. Vashi N, Chu J, Patel R. Acquired plate-like osteoma cutis. Dermatol Online J. Oct 2011;17(10):1.
  6. Vashi N, Hunt R, Fischer M, Meehan S, Pomeranz MK. Angiofibromas in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1. Dermatol Online J. 2012;18(12):20.
  7. Chowdary S, Mahalingam M, Vashi NA. Reading between the layers: early histopathological findings in exogenous ochronosis. Am J Dermatopathol. 2014; 36(12):989-91.
  8. Al-Haseni AG, Maymone MBC, Ho JD, Bhawan J, Vashi NA. Generalized dyschromia and erythematous papules. Accepted to Am J Dermatopathol.