blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: 2017

May 31, 2017

Wrapping up PGY2

It's crazy to think, but June marks my last month as a first year dermatology resident - next month we move up in the ranks as second year residents and welcome a new incoming class of first years! 

A quick breakdown of residency in dermatology:
After graduating medical school:
PGY1 - Intern year, usually in general medicine, occasionally people choose a year of pediatrics or general surgery
PGY2 - first year dermatology 
PGY3- second year dermatology
PGY4 - third year dermatology

Depending on what you want to do, you can then do fellowship (although definitely not required), a few options include:
Mohs fellowship
Dermatopathology fellowship
Procedural fellowship 

Shirt  //  Scrub bottoms  //  Bag 

So next month I'll be a PGY3. This year has been absolutely incredible. The amount we've learned has been just unreal - as expected (and part of the reason I wanted to be at this program), the patient volume was huge, the population and pathology incredibly diverse - and my surgery skills are getting better and better! I've gotten consulted by the emergency room in the middle of the night to rule out Stevens Johnson Syndrome (and had to call the pathologist in to analyze my frozen), had to biopsy a 3 day old baby with likely Epidermolysis Bullosa, started treatment for just-diagnosed Leprosy (yup, we even have a Leprosy clinic), diagnosed way more skin cancers than I could ever count (same for scabies lol), cut out cancers and reconstructed faces, and starting to find my place in my passion which is taking care of skin of color. 

Dermatology programs all consist of the same types of stuff, but you'd be surprised how different they all are with regards to which year you do what, how much of a certain thing you actually do, etc. My program is very front-loaded (which I love), so our first year is considered harder than most by dermatology standards. We admit inpatients and cover the inpatient service as first years, cover all of the weekend call (which means seeing the inpatients and new consults for 4 different hospitals) and holiday calls, do a rotation in wound clinic (taking care of chronic ulcers), and spend most of our clinic time in our public hospital that serves those without health insurance.

Dress (love this ruffle version too!)  //  Flats (almost identical)  //  Bag  //  Bracelet

Next year (meaning next month lol) we get to do more specialized rotations - a rotation on dermatopathology, one in pediatrics, one in Mohs surgery, and more clinics with our specialty attendings - including Hair and Nails, Pigmented Lesions, and more. And no more weekend or holiday call! I'm done with that forever! 

Anyway, just sharing a little update since I can't believe we're already in June, and because so many of you always ask about how residency is set up - it really is program-dependent so I just share a bit of mine!

Shirt  //  Pants  //  Flats  //  White coat  //  Bag

May 28, 2017


Happy Memorial Day weekend all! Today I wanted to talk a bit about one of THE most important parts in your daily skin care - SUNSCREEN! And while most of us are good about putting on sunscreen before a day at the beach - it's important to remember that we should be wearing sunscreen everyday - not only for preventing skin cancers, but also premature aging. 

Check out the truck driver above- can you tell which side of his face got almost all of the sun and which was more protected from UV rays? It's not subtle! And especially if you're someone who suffers from dark spots (ie postinflammatory hyperpigmentation) or melasma - even a few minutes of sun exposure can keep those spots dark! So I tell all my patients, all my family, all my friends (that includes you) to wear sunscreen daily!

Here are a few favorites:

You knew this was coming - this has been my favorite daily sunscreen for years.

Most of my dermies love this one! The Cerave one above and the Avene one I mention below have also been fantastic for acne-prone skin - speaking from years of personal experience! I break out so easily whenever I try something new, but these 3 have been fantastic.

Sensitive skin:

Sheer coverage:
Just a tiny bit of color to even out skin and awesome protection!

Medium-full coverage:
Avene Complexion Correcting (love that it comes in more than just one shade - light, medium, and dark)
*This is pretty much the product I've been looking for forever and have been SO in love with it since trying it almost a month ago. Now instead of applying my Cerave and then applying my mineral makeup on top, now I just apply this on damp skin. It is thick but you can easily apply with a tiny bit of water to spread more easily. I love that it provides great coverage and a nice dewy finish. More importantly it's got titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and iron oxides (which help also block visible light - another contributor to dark spots).


Blue Lizard is my favorite natural line - I linked two of my favorites above!

For reapplying: 
*We know that we should be reapplying every 2 hours or so but that is so unrealistic. What I do like doing is applying something right before my commute home (the setting sun is glaring in my face all drive home) - and a brush-on sunscreen powder is PERFECT for just this!
This is another cheaper option!

A few other tips?
I personally prefer physical blockers (ingredients like zinc oxide) to chemical blockers, but both are great for their own reasons! Not everyone likes the white/grey cast the physical blockers can give off, but when paired with a tinted formulation, I've never found it to be a problem! If you are using one that has primarily chemical blockers, make sure to apply at least 15 minutes before heading out into the sun! So no putting on the sunscreen when you're already at the beach, do it before you get in the car on the way there!

Also, for those who are "allergic" to sunscreen (it is a thing) - it's almost always because of one of these 2 ingredients - oxybenzone and PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid). If you've had a reaction to sunscreen in the past, don't think it means you're allergic to all sunscreens - just check the labels for one of these ingredients and stay away from them! Physical blockers (zinc oxide and titanium doxide) are usually a safe bet!

And remember that babies 6 months or younger shouldn't really wear sunscreen. Keep them out of direct sunlight and under the shade (we recently got a Cool Cabana for beach trips and we love it)! If they must wear it, make sure to try a small area first (apply once in the same spot for 2 days in a row) to make sure they don't have any reaction to it (a safe idea to do with anyone really) and stick with physical blockers.

And finally - don't forget to apply to areas like your ears (I've cut off way too many skin cancers from ears)! And lips (actinic cheilitis is not cute)! Not everyone wants to put sunscreen on your lips, but now there are tons of products with spf inside (I love this lip gloss and lip balm).

And for those who struggle with dark spots, I love this Concealer that not only helps camouflage those spots, but most importantly provides even more sun protection to help those marks fade.

PS - Comment over on Instagram (under the photo I used in this post) to enter a little sunscreen giveaway!

PS - I linked up many of these options using Amazon since they just have pretty much everything, but Dermstore is another online shop I love using! For things that I KNOW I buy every month or two, I buy through them because they have such a great subscribe and save option for a lot of their products! They're having an awesome Memorial Day Sale and everything on the site is 20% off
Use code MDSALE20

Shop some of the Dermstore links below:

May 16, 2017

Skin Care for Babies!

Happy Tuesday all! Today I’m partnering up with iHerb to talk to you a bit about taking care of baby’s skin! As a dermatology resident we see pediatric patients every week - and the most common condition we see is eczema! And as a mama to 3 crazy girls with skin that ranges from just dry (Liv) to full on super-sensitive/eczema prone (Elli-belly) I know firsthand what it’s like to actually try and put some of the dermatologist knowledge to use!

So today I wanted to share a few tips for baby skin care and a couple of my favorite products. First - did you know that simply using a moisturizer every day in the first 6 months can reduce rates of eczema? My Harvard Med classmate and current dermatology resident in Chicago published an amazing study a few months ago on just this - and they found that daily use of a moisturizer reduced rates of atopic dermatitis (more commonly known as eczema).

They wanted to make a cost-effectiveness argument (since moisturizer isn’t currently covered by insurance), so they really hammered in on the cheapest moisturizer available - petroleum jelly. But I mention it in clinic and I always get a bit of pushback from parents who are worried about its safety. One of our other favorite moisturizers is Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Cream (another brand that was used in the study too)! This (along with the Aveeno Baby Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash) is what I use for Elli Belly and what keeps her skin happiest. This line is recommended by both pediatricians and dermatologists alike! 

The key is to take short baths in lukewarm (never hot) water (hot water dries out the skin too much) - in fact now that Elli is a bit older we do showers way more often - they’re easier, she seems to have more fun (we take the shower head off, turn down the pressure, and let her play with it like a sprinkler)! Remember that soap/body wash doesn’t have to lather to be effectively cleansing - I love the Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash, and it doesn’t lather much, which I actually like! The more a product lathers up the more potentially drying soap it has! Immediately after the shower, gently pat dry making sure the skin is still slightly damp - and that’s when you slather on the Eczema Therapy Cream. Elli is super into being independent now so the first thing I do is give her a nice quarter size amount of cream to do with as she pleases, and then she’s more than happy to let me rub her down lol! Before bed with her last diaper change I’ll also put a bit of cream on her - particularly around her elbows and knees. 

Liv and Ro don’t have nearly as sensitive skin as El, so with them I don’t use the Eczema Therapy line. Instead for Ro I’m currently using the Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort line (I love the gentle lavender/vanilla scent - more lavender than vanilla for those who haven’t smelled it but I LOVE lavender - I even keep a small roll-on essential oil in my bag and smell it throughout the day)! 

For Ro it is so much easier to do sink baths (I love our deep bathtub but it is a killer on my back to get her washed up)! I put a small amount of the Calming Comfort Bath in the sink and fill it with lukewarm water, then we get washed up, making sure to get in between all of her five million deep creases!! She’s a pudge that one! After we rinse making sure we get all of the soap off and then do the same - putting on the Calming Comfort Lotion to still slightly damp skin (but make sure to put on diaper first - more than once Ro has fallen asleep after her little bath and massage before I could even get PJs on)! And new mamas - don’t go crazy about having to give baby a bath every day - they really don’t need it! I give Ro a bath about every other day. 

All of my products I ordered through iHerb and it was a great experience - they’re a Google Trusted Store (and you can pay with PayPal as well) and I loved that they even offer 10 cent samples (I love samples)! Shipping was great too (and they ship to over 160 countries)! On top of that they provide customer support in 10 different languages. 

In collaboration with this post they’re offering 10% off Aveeno Baby products (ends June 30th)! 

PS - Make sure that if baby has dryness or a rash that doesn’t get better with emollients (ie creams/lotions like those mentioned in this post) you see a dermatologist! Anything with significant dryness/scaling/bright red bumps/vesicles/etc may need a doctor’s prescription for either steroid cream, antibiotic cream, or antifungal cream depending on what’s going on, so don’t hesitate to get them seen! All of what I mentioned in my post above is considered more maintenance care for sensitive skin, but if there are any active issues make sure to see a dermatologist for treatment!

May 15, 2017

Instagram Round Up!

Happy Monday all!! Today I'm linking up some of the looks you've seen over on my Instagram feed or my Instagram stories (for those who have asked about my snapchat, I almost never use it anymore and almost exclusively now post all of our behind-the-scenes/day-to-day stuff on Instagram stories)! 

These last two weeks have been a bit crazy with work, an amazing conference I went to in NYC, more work and side projects,  an incredible The Weeknd concert I went to with one of my dermatology attendings, and thankfully wrapped up with a relaxing Mother's Day!

Many of you asked about this necklace I posted wearing in clinic on my Instagram stories. Believe it or not I snagged it for just about $10!! I honestly wasn't too sure about what quality it would be at such an insanely cheap price, but I've already worn it about a dozen or so times (and even Liv and Elli have worn it since they love dressing up with my stuff) and it's still going strong! I love that it can dress up any outfit (seriously - I got away with looking dressed up this day even though I was wearing my comfiest tee shirt)! 

pink shirt  //  pants  //  necklace (on sale for $10 right now!!)  //  white coat  //  shoes  //  glasses  //  bracelet

Here's a selfie of me and two other dermies - and @drgoodfood! I had a blast meeting them in New York City and learning about issues relevant to skin of color!

wrap "coat"/cardigan  //  grey knot top (love this short sleeved option too!) //  pants  //  shoes

His and hers drinks - N has a cold brew with coconut milk and I've got a pink drink (a strawberry acai refresher with coconut milk)! Yum! 

bracelet  //  shoes  //  jean shorts  //  button down top (just ordered 2 more of these because they're my FAVORITE - SO soft, perfect to dress up at work or down like I did here, AND they're on clearance for $10)

Me and my girls (and daddy behind the camera)! Heading to the park! 

nursing friendly top (makes nursing while baby wearing so easy, same for pumping at work) //  baby wrap  //  shorts  //  shoes (in the plover grey color)  //  tricycle 

Stay tuned this week as I'll be doing some much-requested skin-care posts - including one on skin care for little ones, the best suncreens, and my daily skin routine! Xoxo!

May 2, 2017

Baby's First Foods

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Today I'm partnering with Stonyfield to talk a little bit about baby's first foods (which definitely includes yogurt, but I want to talk about other foods and some tips too)!

The first question I get? When is it ok to start introducing solids? And what should be first? Research has shown that parents are really confused about this - in a study conducted by ORC International and Stonyfield, at least one-third of parents admit to feeding confusion during baby’s first months, and over half feel overwhelmed by the varying opinions of early childhood nutrition. So you're note alone! It doesn't help that some pediatricians don't keep up to date with new data, so they continue sharing old, outdated information. With all of my babies I started right around 4 months with just simple rice cereal (I loved and still love this one, it's got probiotics and choline and tons of other nutrients, and is organic)! I'd mix a small amount with breastmilk and spoon-feed, gradually increasing the consistency as they got used to it. 

While I like to start first with spoon-feeding, I also love letting baby pick up foods and feed themselves from an early age. Soft, finger-friendly foods are the best (think cut up bananas, raspberries, avocado, etc)! I would introduce a new fruit or veggie and give it about 3 days before introducing something else to make sure I'd be able to identify any foods that baby may be allergic to.  So from 4-6 months my babies got just breastmilk, rice cereal, and soft fruits or veggies (either pureed or cut up). 

By 6 months I started introducing soft proteins like scrambled eggs and yogurt. Yogurt is Elli's absolute favorite (mine too, I pretty much always grab a cup of greek yogurt to eat on my drive into work every morning) - and Elli is taking after mama! But it really is such a great food - with a good mix of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates; the Stonyfield YoBaby yogurt is also a great source of probiotics - in fact Stonyfield YoBaby was selected as the number one pediatrician-recommended yogurt for babies 6 months to 2 years old!

So proud of herself using her spoon! 

Abandoned the spoon to get every last drop lol

To help protect your baby’s gut health, you want to ensure they’re getting enough probiotics. While naturally found in breast milk, probiotics are also found in yogurt - Stonyfield has added probiotic BB-12 to YoBaby (along with other live active cultures). BB-12 has been shown to have a digestive health benefit when consumed regularly by promoting beneficial gut bacteria and regular, soft stools. Stonyfield YoBaby is the only organic yogurt made especially for babies, and comes in lots of flavors (plain, vanilla, banana/mango, blueberry/apple and peach/pear)! 

Many parents don't introduce yogurt early because they think they aren't allowed to give dairy before age 1 - and while it is true that you shouldn't give a baby cow's milk before age 1, dairy itself is safe and yogurt and cheese are great first foods (and good sources of calcium and vitamin D). During the first year even while introducing new solids baby's first food is still breast milk, so don't feel like they need to be eating a certain amount of food or be on some strict schedule - I see it more as a way to get them introduced to new tastes and textures and a great nutritional supplement to breastmilk when using the right foods! Try to have fun with it! 

April 29, 2017

Mother's Day Plans

Happy weekend all! It's crazy to think that Monday is already May 1st - seriously, how are we already nearly half way through the year!?!? And that means that Mother's Day is only 2 weeks away!

Do you all have any plans for mother's day? We don't yet, but I'm hoping to just have a relaxing, low-stress day with N and the girls. I think what almost all mothers want for mothers day (and obviously I'm over-generalizing here - there are all types of moms who want all types of things) - but for moms like myself and others I know well, what moms want most of all is acknowledgement and appreciation

Being a mother is a thankless job. And it's not even a job - on a job you get breaks, weekends, vacation time, all things that are basically imaginary for moms. Many of us work tirelessly making sure bellies are fed and clothes are washed and messes are cleaned - and the work. never. stops. All of these things need to happen every. single. day. So it's understandable that no one says thank you every day - moms do so many things that go seemingly unnoticed on the daily that it's hard to always say thank you. We get that.  But a little acknowledgement goes so very far. 

So in this next week I pose to you this challenge if you're lucky enough to have your mom still in your life - pay attention to everything she does. Take note of the meals (even if they're store-bought or fast food), take note of the bills that get paid, take note of the clean clothes you have folded in your drawer, take note of the text message checking in to make sure you're ok, take note. And this mother's day maybe you can write a heartfelt card (or make a photobook, or something creative - I love this site and all of the beautiful gift ideas there) that lets her know that you see everything she does, and that you appreciate it. And then spend some time with her on Mother's Day! Like I said, I don't know what we'll be doing, but hopefully it's something fun with all of us!

I'm wearing my Sofft Somers II in this post - yes I loved my first pair so much I had to get a second! These are a little bit darker than my original blush Somers - I went with the Plover Grey color this time (although the Somers II also comes in the same blush I have for my original Somers)! I love that these are another easy neutral that go with anything (and are a tiny bit more forgiving than the blush when it comes to dirt and whatever other messes the girls through my way - like spilled bubbles the day we took these pics)!! 

Outfit details:
Dress (under $20! I also love this option with tiny pom poms, it comes in pink too!)
Cardigan (I'm so sad it's sold out now, but here is a very similar option!)

April 17, 2017

Just Winging It

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend (if you celebrate) - Nathan and I were both off for the weekend and had a great time with the girls (despite our ED scare given Ro's high fever - all is good now)! But I had to laugh so many times over the weekend at how much we just make up on the fly. You should have seen me Saturday night remembering I actually had to fill the eggs with all the stuff I had bought, or Nathan going out on his motorcycle Sunday morning because we forgot to buy actual baskets for them to put their collected eggs in during the Easter egg hunt, or me telling them "the Easter Bunny only dropped off baskets for now, he'll come back soon to hide eggs!" Nathan took the girls for a run while I hid eggs lol. And I thought back to all the times during my childhood that that likely happened and I never even noticed.

And then I thought about the one photo you all would see posted on Instagram and think to yourselves "how do they do everything? how do they run such a smooth production and have everything perfect?" I was hoping to capture some of the imperfections in my caption I shared on our Easter photo, but I also wanted to address that today too.

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I always get asked how we do it all/balance it all/etc. and while I've written about it many times, I think people still think I have some secret. Now obviously there are a ton of strategies (I talk about almost everything in my E-course), but I think the only "secret" is that I'm not afraid of life, and I have a partner that makes me feel like I can take on anything. No matter what happens, even if we fail (which we won't because failing just means you're giving up), we've got each other. Are we nervous before taking another step? Sure! Are we making up most of it as we go along? Damn right! Most things we jump into without quite knowing how they'll work out. But we do know that they will. And it's that faith that has taken us this far. 

Because the truth is every day I really am pretty much just winging it - most days I don't know what we're having for dinner, most days I still don't feel like the best mom ("I shouldn't have raised my voice at Liv") or the best doctor ("I should be studying more") but I've learned that I'll always have those feelings and I've made peace with it. I do what I can with what I have and have the confidence that THAT IS ENOUGH. So it is. 

I'm not endorsing just being irresponsible and doing things without any planning - I make a million plans and always have multiple back-ups never quite knowing how things will work out, but the point is some of us think the plan has to be set in stone before we can even take the first step. And this is where many people get held up. The plan will never be set in stone and the time will never be just right. Sometimes you just have to trust that it will all work out and go for it. 

And on the more practical side - we've got some help now. Most of you know my mother in law lives with us, a true blessing, but even that was never planned. When we had Liv we used a small home daycare situation initially and then a nanny and daycare - we had no family that could help consistently with childcare. My mother in law maybe saw Liv three times in her life by the time she was one and a half. But then she had an injury at work and couldn't live where she was living, and it was a win-win situation to have her move in with us and help with the girls! You see life just has a way of working itself out, and those who know that aren't afraid to keep taking steps even if they're not sure where they may lead. 

So go ahead, take the step. You'll get there, wherever your there may be. 

April 13, 2017

Instagram Roundup and a Giveaway!

Hi all! Linking up a few of the pieces I've featured recently on Instagram (and Instagram stories) as many of you ask where everything is from but don't use LiketoKnowIt (although if you haven't tried it yet, now that you can shop by screenshot it's SO easy)!

I'm also hosting an awesome giveaway with a few great small brands - check out the post on Instagram (this picture with me holding this gorgeous Charlotte and Asher bag that''s part of the giveaway) and enter there! The giveaway closes Friday!

Leather Bag (currently 50% OFF!! Only until Friday)  //  Top (only $10!)  //  Sweats  //  Sneakers (as mentioned every time I wear them, these are over a year old from Zara kids and no longer available, but check out this post on pink sneakers that has so many similar options to choose from at different price points)!

Dress (actually maternity and on sale for $29 - I find it still looks great even without the belly - here's a gorgeous non-maternity option)  //  White coat  //  Flats  

PS - A few of you asked about how I keep suede shoes like these ones clean - I actually LOVE these wipes from Aldo and am so sad I can't find them online (but I've bought them twice in store now and really hope they still are available). I did find these online and they sound very similar! 

Sweater (another one that I purchased in store at H&M and is not available online, here and here are similar options)  //  Shorts  //  Lace trimmed nursing bra  //  Mug  //  Pillow  //  Necklace 

Flats  //  Top (on sale for $10!)  //  Pants  //  Nail Polish

Pink Sneakers!

Hey y'all! I get asked ALL THE TIME about my dusty pink sneakers I wear on the regular and feel so bad because they were a steal from Zara last year - in the KIDS section! And sadly no longer available. But today I'm rounding up some awesome options for very similar looking pink sneakers at all different price points! I think the UGG ones and the Geox ones are the most similar to mine (as are the Tod's, in fact these might be the most similar in person, but the price is pretty outrageous, at least to me!), but I love them all! Hope you enjoy!

1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5  //  6  //  7

April 7, 2017

Quick getaway details!

Happy Friday all! We're nearing the end of our week-long vacation - our first as a family of FIVE! And as usual I don't want it to end!! Our escape was only a short 2 hour drive from Miami - perfect since the thought of traveling/flying with 3 girls (and Ro only being 7 weeks) was more than terrifying! We'll do it eventually but not now! I'll be posting a full review of our trip and details on our stay soon (for those who asked we're staying at the Club Med at Sandpiper Bay! It was our first time and we loved it! If you're interested in booking your first Club Med getaway you can mention my referral - Laura Scott GM number 17704394 for $100 off!)

Anyway, like I said, will do a full review soon but for now I wanted to quickly link up a few of the things you guys have been asking about over on Instagram! 

Top of the list of most frequently asked are the girls' float swimsuits! These things are awesome - Liv was completely independent in the pool wearing it (obviously still with constant supervision) and while Elli wasn't a huge fan of it (she hates all floaties lol) she at least wasn't able to rip it off and soon forgot she was wearing anything extra at all! Definitely well worth the money for us!

The other must have is sun screen (duh! dermatologist here!) - this is my favorite for babies, and this is my favorite for mama! I like this one because it's higher SPF than my usual daily SPF/moisturizer and TINTED - so it's the only thing I put on my face while on vacation - "makeup" doesn't get any simpler! For some reason the first time I tried it I broke out a tiny bit and was hesitant to try it again, but thanks to my derm co-residents I did and didn't have the same problem again! Love it!

Also photo'd above are my bikini top and bottom (I have the bandeau top but loving the halter option too!) and the matching bear hoodie coverups I got for Ro and Elli! Hope you all have a great weekend!

March 28, 2017

What's In My Bag

Hi all!! Today I wanted to do a fun post on what's in my bag! I'm actually just linking up everything here - check out my Instagram story for the full video that features my bag and what's inside!

This bag has really been fantastic and fits everything I need - including my pumping stuff and travel mug and snacks (which were missing from the video because I ate them all hahaha)!

Striped top   //   Pants   //   Flats   //   Bag

White coat   //   Sweater (from H&M but not online, this one is nearly identical, I like this one too)   //  Pants   //   Flats   //   Bag

Inside the bag:
Planner (almost identical, mine just doesn't have exposed rings)

March 21, 2017

Healthy Hair

Happy Tuesday!! Today I’m partnering with Nature’s Bounty to talk all about healthy hair (skin and nails apply too)! But I wanted to focus mostly on hair today. 

As a dermatology resident we not only see patients with skin disease, but also with hair and nail disorders as well! And you’d never imagine the amount of pathology there is out there! But the most common questions I get are always about keeping hair and nails healthy from people with no real “pathology” so to speak of (including mamas who are experiencing postpartum hair loss - which is completely normal/physiologic, and starts right around 3 months PP - I experienced it with all my girls and am ready for it to hit this time too)! Anyway, today I wanted to talk about keeping our hair as healthy as possible!  

I’ll do another post later on some products that can help from the outside in, but healthy hair, skin, and nails, all begin from the inside! And one of the biggest factors, whether we like to admit or not is stress! Stress and bad skin/hair/nails are 100% related! In fact one of the most common causes of hair loss (and breakouts) is STRESS! So finding ways to reduce stress is one of the best things we can do for ourselves (not just for hair, skin, and nails either, it most certainly has internal effects as well)! I know that's much easier said than done, but one way I try reducing stress is by remembering what actually matters in the grand scheme of things - check out this post for a few more tips.

Another thing that helps with healthy hair is blood flow! Many people love scalp massage (which serves three purposes - increasing blood flow to the scalp, breaking up any buildup on the scalp, and reducing stress) and it's one of my favorites. Exercise is another fantastic way to increase blood flow to the scalp, and also a great stress reducer! For both scalp massage and exercise, though, I’d make sure to be careful with oils (oil you may use for the scalp massage and the sweat/oil that we work up ourselves during exercise)! This extra oil can certainly contribute to breakouts, so make sure to wash your hair after your massage and wash your face after workouts (I prescribe clindamycin swabs for a lot of my patients to just keep in their gym bags, but non-prescription face wipes can also be really helpful - I've recommended these over the counter for my patients)! For the scalp I shampoo regularly with an anti-dandruff shampoo (and do a little scalp massage in the shower as well)! Having a clean scalp is also really important for health hair!

Whenever patients come in with hair loss we also want to make sure they’re not vitamin or nutrient deficient. Many are not, but they still want recommendations on supplements to take. Now - there IS NO SUPPLEMENT that's going to make your hair grow faster or give you perfect skin - it just doesn't work that way - there are so many factors in play. But it is certainly helpful to make sure you have all the right building blocks for healthy hair (and skin and nails)! And that certainly starts with a healthy diet - protein and fats are crucial - I try to include lean poultry and meats as well as fish like salmon, and other healthy fat filled foods like walnuts and flaxseed (super easy to add to a cup of greek yogurt and have a great snack)! As far as supplements, lately I’ve been recommending these Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies - one because I’ve tried them and love them (and I really feel best recommending products I actually have tried, I do the same with my sunscreen), and two because they have simple ingredients and not too much “extra.” They provide some of the vital vitamins we need to support beautiful hair, skin, and nails from the inside and out.* They essentially are just Biotin, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which support lustrous hair, vibrant skin and healthy nails.* And they're cute and pink and strawberry flavored, but not everyone cares about that part lol! The only thing I'd caution with these is that while they taste like candy, they aren't, so only take 2 so you don't go over the 2,500mcg biotin dose!* 

As always, anything on the blog is my opinion and not my professional medical advice, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you have concerns about your hair skin or nails! But if you just want to make sure you’ve got the right building blocks for healthy hair, skin, and nails, remember to cut out stress, exercise, and pick up a bottle of Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies in the beauty aisle at your local Walgreens!

PS - you can read more about my current skincare and makeup routine here, some of the other hair products I use for curly hair (me and Liv) here (I'd say the only update is that I've switched to an anti-dandruff shampoo like I mentioned above), and how I straighten my hair here (I've updated a few products like my dry shampoo but otherwise most of the routine is the same)! Thanks to Nature's Bounty for sponsoring this post and asking me to share some of my tips for healthy hair!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

March 17, 2017

Back to Work

Happy Friday! Checking in quickly during a busy week - I went back to work this Monday! 

Maternity leave during residency is a tricky thing (read my post on maternity leave in residency which describes how I made it work intern year - but everything is program and resident-dependent). For this leave we were able to work it out so that I could take 4 weeks - technically I could have done 6 weeks paid, but that would take all my sick time and vacation time. I think the most exhausting thing about the arrangement I set up during intern year was that I used all my vacation time for leave (and we all know being home with a newborn after just giving birth is no vacation, add in two other littles and it's a little crazy!) so there was no other "break" during the year. Taking the 4 weeks this time still allotted me two separate weeks of vacation which we used for our cruise in the fall, and will have another one coming up in April (N has off too)! And thankfully my hours even being back to work are much better than they were intern year, no in-house call or nights, etc. 

The transition hasn't been too bad - my co-residents have all been awesome and really supportive, and when I saw my program chair for the first time since coming back, his first words were "welcome home." And I love what I do, so hopping back into clinic and surgery was nice (although don't get me wrong, I would have preferred a full 3+ months at home and then come back to work just like any other new mama, this just isn't a real option for everyone - but I love this speech by Anne Hathaway, check out the article if you want a little extra reading today)!

On top of heading back to work I also had a presentation to give yesterday that's finally over (and went great - thanks so much for all of your good luck wishes)!! It was a last minute thing because someone else couldn't present so I agreed to, but it all worked out! But definitely added to the stress factor of coming back. Now that that's over I can finally get a little bit of my rare "free time" (basically when all the girls are finally asleep - I always feel guilty doing work if they're still awake!).

Anywho... I posted this pic on instagram yesterday and many of you had outfit questions so I'm linking everything up here! I'll be posting soon about everything I bring in my tote bag for work (can you believe it's only $40?!?) and pumping (although I did a huge pumping post here - I use the FREESTYLE pump for those who asked), etc. and hopefully working on a few other posts as well! Thanks for all your support guys!! 

White coat (I'd read the reviews on Medelita website, this coat is amazing, 3 of my co-residents have already ordered one after trying mine on!)  //  Sweater (from H&M but not online, this one is nearly identical, I like this one too)  //  Pants  //  Flats (one of my go-tos for work, they are so comfortable!)  //  Tote bag (Incredible. that's all I can say.)

In the scrubs picture I'm wearing my FIGS scrubs, white coat, and these sneakers.

Hope you all have a great weekend! And happy Match Day to all my fourth years!!!

March 8, 2017

Strong Women

Women are like tea bags. You never know how strong they are until you put them in hot water. 

Being strong is hard. But the more I put myself in situations (or am put in them without choice which still happens, albeit not as often as it did growing up) where I have to be strong, I come out even stronger every time. I find so much inspiration from other strong women - women who have the strength to speak out, women who have the strength to stay quiet to protect something else, women who have the strength to go after their dreams, women who have the strength to sacrifice their dreams, women who have strength to love who they want, women who have the strength to love even if it wasn't their choice - you see, we as women need to see and respect each other for where we are - we all make choices or take actions based on things someone else will never understand.

In a similar fashion we need to remind ourselves not to compare or compete with other women. There's enough room for us all to shine in our own ways, and we'll only get there faster by supporting each other. 

I hope I can raise my girls to be strong, and to find inspiration and camaraderie from other girls and women. And to not be afraid of a little hot water. 

In something that probably makes more sense than my sleep-deprived rambling, the folks over at Sofft reached out to me as they wanted to highlight me for International Women's Day (so humbled!) so here is a tiny bit of my interview with them. Make sure to hop over to their page to read the rest

Having three young daughters and a very demanding career, how do you balance it all?
I think the illusion of "balance" is an unfair one that so many women try to achieve, when the truth is that although we may have many roles, we're only playing one or two at any given time. Now - I may switch hats about 24 times a day - from mom to wife to doctor and then back to mom for a pumping break at work and then back to doctor, then to mom again, then to wife when the kids are asleep - I think that's a more realistic way to see the "balance," not expecting that at any given time we're actually playing all of those roles. With that said - it takes a village! When we had our first during medical school we had daycare and a nanny (a sweet college student was what we could afford at the time!) - now with three we actually have my mother-in-law who we moved in with us and take care of so that she can help out with the girls, and my oldest is in pre-school now. I also have a supportive work environment - once during clinic I had to bring the girls (even with childcare and backup childcare there are still emergencies!) and my nurses took turn watching the girls so I could see the last few patients! 

You are inarguably a huge inspiration for other young women. What’s your advice for those who need a little bit of motivation to keep reaching for their goals?
The biggest motivation always comes from within, so that is always my message to young women. You need to know why you want it, I mean really know, really believe it, and be able to pull those feelings up when times get hard - because they will! I also truly believe in the power of mentorship - having a mentor who can tell you "you'll get through this, I did" is also sometimes the little bit of reassurance you need to keep pushing. I didn't always personally have it but I searched online for people I could look up to even if they didn't know I existed!

Some of us have the tendency to steer towards negativity when life becomes overwhelming – what is your strategy for staying positive when things get a bit chaotic?
Life's way too short. I grew up with constant reminders of how precious life truly is and what problems are actually real problems - from having family members murdered, to not having money for medical care, to seeing classmates put in jail - things that truly put what my current problems are in major perspective. That perspective has always reminded me to count my blessings and be grateful for what I have, and not sweat the small stuff. I also allow myself that time to be negative - just because I say don't sweat it doesn't mean you shouldn't react to it or be this perfectly positive person all the time. No! Get angry, cry a little, have a minor panic attack, sure! But don't dwell on it - give yourself that outlet and then pick up the pieces and deal with it! Because life truly is too short. 

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Thanks to Sofft for helping inspire this post, and coffee, all the coffee. 


March 2, 2017

Quick Home Post!

Happy Thursday all! I wanted to do a quick post on some of my home pieces as it seems to be a commonly asked about topic nowadays! Hoping to do a true home post with nice photos at some point before I head back to work but until then here's some info below!

I get asked all the time about all the white in our house, especially with 3 little ones (and a husband, and a dog, who probably contribute more to the mess than the girls lol)! Slipcovers! The entire couch - seats, pillows - and our corner chair have covers that can all be zipped off and thrown into the washer and dryer at home. Toss in a little oxiclean and everything stays white! Of course it's not always that way, right now everything is starting to get a bit dingy which means this weekend I'll be washing everything! 

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