Recent and Current Projects

With the exciting advances that are continuously being made in dermatology, there is increasing need to understand the multiple components of dermatologic disease to maximize benefit to patients.  The Vashi Lab’s continued mission is to apply the highest standards of care and rigorous evaluation to questions in dermatology.  We combine clinical expertise with analytical approaches to understand the skin and dermatologic disease in order to improve patient outcomes while advancing healthcare delivery.

Dr. Vashi’s research interests include a wide variety of topics related to both medical and cosmetic dermatology.  A few of her recent projects are described below.


Societal obsession with beauty is deeply engrained in our past, with the appreciation of human aesthetics dating back to early Greek civilization.  Both personal preferences and cultural standards influence our ideas on beauty, and there is substantial agreement as to what constitutes human beauty within a society at any given point in time. In the study below, Dr. Vashi examined how our societal perceptions of beauty have changed over the past 27 years using People Magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful lists from 1990 and 2017.

Maymone MBC, Neamah HH, Secemsky EA, Kundu RV, Saade D, Vashi NA. The Most Beautiful People: Evolving Standards of Beauty. JAMA Dermatol. Published online October 11, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.3693

Dr. Vashi had over 100 media exposures including but not limited to NBC News, NewsWeek, MSN News, USNews, Yahoo News, GoodHousekeeping, ABC News, Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and Chicago Tribune in reference to this study.  With an international presence, it had translation and media exposures in over 20 different countries and languages.  In addition, it was rated the #2 “Most Talked About Article of 2017” by JAMA Dermatology.

See  NBC News’ discussion of the findings of Dr. Vashi’s study in the article “What Makes Someone ‘Most Beautiful’ Is Changing, Study Says.”

Sun Protection

Hyperpigmentation, a common issue seen by dermatologists, can worsen when exposed to the sun. The study below explores the different ways that patients with hyperpigmentation protect themselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

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;76(5):841–846.e2.

In April 2017, Yahoo! News published the article “How Hyperpigmentation Patients Shield Themselves from the Sun” describing Dr. Neelam Vashi’s findings.


Melasma is a common disorder of hyperpigmentation that can worsen when exposed to the sun and is often difficult to treat. Thus, it is important to know the extent of disease to provide proper patient counseling and treatment guidance. Dr. Neelam Vashi researched different techniques as aids for diagnosing disease extent.

Wirya SA, Maymone MBC, Widjajahakim R, Vashi NA. Subclinical melasma: Determining disease extent. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;77(2):e41-e42.

Dr. Neelam Vashi was interviewed on this subject by WCVB-TV, Channel 5.


Aging of the skin is clinically described by wrinkles, sunspots, uneven skin color, and sagging skin; however, these signs vary across ethnicity. This article looks at how variations in cutaneous aging are related to differences in skin structure and function.

Vashi NA, Maymone M, Kundu RV. Aging differences in ethnic skin. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016;9(1):31-38.

Dr. Neelam Vashi appeared in the article “Outsmart Aging. Your ethnicity plays a major role in how your skin matures. Face down our challenge with a personalized plan. featured in Dr. Oz’s The Good Life magazine.