The Glow Blog by Dr.V

Keep that glow! Do's & Don'ts for Acne in Pregnancy

I have had several people ask me, "What can I use during pregnancy? I am breaking out!!" 

First off, congratulations!! Your body goes through innumerable changes during pregnancy to prepare for bringing a new life into the world. Your hormones change - and consequently pregnancy acne is all too common. Many of the traditional acne medications (most antibiotics & topicals, and some hormonal medications) are contraindicated and should be avoided. Often, patients are told - come back after you have your baby, and we can treat you!

I know that is frustrating to hear. 

It's important to understand the FDA nomenclature: Category A & B are okay, C, D & X should be avoided. 

Category A: Controlled studies show no risk or find no evidence of harm. Think of these as SAFE for pregnant women in studies.

Category B: Animal studies show no risks, but there are no studies in pregnant women. Still thought to be safe. 

Category C: Animal studies  showed a risk, but this has not been shown in humans! AKA --> use with caution during pregnancy if benefits outweigh risks 

Category D: Avoid!!! Human studies show a potential risk  (but medications can be used, if life threatening).


There's also, Category N - These are drugs that have not been classified by the FDA.

Here's what to AVOID:

  1. Tetracycline antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline)
  2. All retinoids (retinol, tretinoin) - these are pregnancy category X!

** Note: 1-2% Benzoyl peroxide to spot treat can be okay to use. I wouldn't use it all day, every day.**

Here's what is SAFE: 

  1. Topical azelaic acid ** more to come on this! 
  2. Certain antibiotics (if necessary): penicillins, cephalosporins, azithromycin
  3. Topical clindamycin & erythromycin can be used. Keep in mind we don't love using them alone, due to risk of resistance!
  4. Oral probiotics! Yes - it has been shown to help decrease inflammatory acne! 
  5. Masks! Clay or Mud masks
  6. Spot treat with lemon (I personally love turmeric!).
    Cold chamomile or green tea bags are amazing to decrease inflammation quickly!
  7. Vitamin C serum, niacinamide, antioxidants -->  CE Ferulic acid by Skinceuticals or Phloretin CF

Unstudied products: Category N

  1. Charcoal washes
  2. Tea tree oil - use sparingly in the 3rd trimester! (Due to reports of decreasing contraction strength.)

Here's what can be used in limited areas / duration:

  1. Benzoyl peroxide containing topicals - pregnancy C 
  2. Salicylic acid topicals 
  3. Tea tree oil
  4. Glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) 

**Note these should be used in small amounts!**

Other Key Reminders! - Dietary suggestions: 

  1. Limiting sugar intake & processed foods should always be considered! 
  2. For some: dairy is pro-inflammatory.
  3. Eat the rainbow -- blueberries, walnuts, green veggies, etc!
  4. Healthy fats are so crucial
  5. Make sure you're on your prenatal multivitamin!

- Stay hydrated as well!!
- Rest, sleep, meditate!
- Mindful exercise & movement!

Share this with your family and friends if this was helpful! Tag me on Facebook or Instagram!


Let's get glowing!

With Love, 
Dr. V

Hi friends! DETOX 101

I absolutely LOVE learning. I'm always reading new articles, listening to NEW podcasts, and really trying things out! Life's an experiment, and you only GROW with challenge!!

I wanted to share a little bit about ONE of the many things I'm currently learning. As you know, I'm on a mission to empower YOU to heal from within. I want to educate & inspire YOU to take charge of your health! 

Right now, I'm diving BACK into Detoxification, as I'm going to a conference next weekend! Now, I've already learned this 3 times in the past 10 years (in undergrad, med school and again in residency), but now my focus is a little different, as I am viewing it through a different lens! 

I'm SUUUUPER excited!!! I have SO MUCH AMAZINGNESS TO SHARE, and I'm starting with THIS little tidbit!

DEFINITELY Stay tuned over the next few weeks!!!



There is SO much talk about the benefits of DETOXING. This word is SO UBIQUITOUS! What IS detoxification anyways? Do you know WHAT is actually happening in the body. Now, I'm about to get a little nerdish on ya, but stay with me! It'll only be a brief me :)

There are 3 phases to detoxification 

PHASE 1: Metabolism through Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes in the liver:

This is all about oxidative activation. It's a fancy word the factory that ACTIVATES toxins that need to be broken down in the body, making them more REACTIVE. This activation changes them into LIPOPHILIC molecules (or molecules that mix well or attract oils). Detox can't properly occur with this IMPORTANT activation step. NOW, there are SEVERAL CYP enzymes, majority are in the liver. Medications, such as steroids, alcohol, & many foods (grapefruit) we eat are metabolized through different enzymes. It's also important to know that bacteria & heavy metals can also inhibit our phase 1 detox CYP enzymes. It's also SUPER important for Hemoglobin, which distributes oxygen throughout the body.

Phase 2: Conjugation:

So once we ACTIVATE toxins, its time to CONJUGATE, or add on extra groups to make them more water-soluble.  There are 3 important enzymes (molecules that accelerate or catalyze important cellular reactions in the body) to know:

  1. Superoxide Dismutase (requires copper, zinc, and manganese) is also important in gathering ROS and creating hydrogen peroxide. 
  2. Glutathione (GSH) peroxidases (require selenium) - this enzyme takes 2 hydrogen peroxides produced above and combines them with Glutathione to create 2 water molecules. Now WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GLUTATHIONE?!? Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide molecule that is KEY in conjugating toxins, which prepares them to be pumped out. Now I will dive into later on this month and why its AWESOME --> you'll LOVE it! TRUST ME! But to give you a little preface, GSH is made of 3 amino acids (glutamine, cysteine, and glycine). It is SERIOUSLY the MOST important, and UNDERSTATED ANTIOXIDANT in the body.  It basically primes molecules and prepares them to be pumped out! Without glutathione, our body's ability to quench these toxins, which would otherwise generate HARMFUL reactive oxygen species in our body, is significantly IMPAIRED. 
  3. Glutathione (GSH) reductase -  GSH reductase is essential to regenerate glutathione in the body. As you can see above, glutathione peroxidases use up two glutathione molecules. To restore our glutathione levels, GSH Reductase  (which requires magnesium & up to 10% of our total body glucose) is ABSOLUTELY necessary. As you can see detoxification is an EXPENSIVE energy-dependent process! 

Phase 3: ENERGY pumps! 

Energy PUMPS in the liver are CRUCIAL to pump those activated and primed toxins (produced in Phase 2), OUT of the body! This is HIGHLY energy dependent (requiring B vitamins, Magnesium, manganese, iron, coQ10).

Don't you see why it's so important to take a multivitamin?!

Now what about INFLAMMATION!?!? How does inflammation in the liver or intestines compromise detoxification?!

Intestinal inflammation (which occurs through stress, consuming a standard American diet, smoking, and other toxins) DECREASES the activity of our phase 3 pumps, which in turn, backs up the toxins in phase 2 in the liver, and eventually increases oxidative stress on our body! (Think of a car crash in the middle of a busy intersection!) That's why I'm ALL about that GUT health.

Here's how you can optimize your GI Tract!

  1. Prebiotics (fiber, rice bran fiber, inulin, psyllium)
  2. Probiotics (fermented foods, kombucha, probiotic tablet).  
  3. Digestive Enzymes
  4. Saccharomyces boulardii (stimulates the production of the ONTLY anti-inflammatory antibody secretory IgA)
  5. Use Curcumin & Quercetin to DIRECTLY ameliorate inflammation. 

Here's a little shoutout to VITAMIN C!  Its an amazing antioxidant and important in detox!

Vitamin C Tips!!

  1. Smoking decreases our vitamin C by 40%
  2. SUGAR is even worse! It decreases it by 50%!
  3. Vitamin C (along with vitamin E) inhibits glutathione (GSH) depletion. 

Here are some ways to increase GSH levels:

  • Magnesium (500mg-800mg)
  • NAC (N-acetylcysteine)
  • Whey protein (need at least 25-45g daily)
  • Fiber (rice bran fiber, psyllium)
  • MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) => so important for phase 2!
  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • Glutathione supplementation:
  • IV glutathione, nebulizer glutathione, glutathione nasal spray, liposomal glutathione)
  • Acupuncture, massage, energy/clearing work!!

Sending all of you FLURRIES of Love, LIGHT, and Absolute AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT ENERGY!

With LOVE,
Dr. V! 

Share this with anyone you think would love it! Tag me on Facebook or Instagram!


Let's get glowing!
With Love, Dr. V

January 08, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Hi friends! Here's a 5 min quick snack for...sustained energy

YAY! Today's RADIATE & GLOW tip is a quick <5 min snack (or meal depending on the quantity) for Sustained Energy! These are perfect Pre or Post Workout, or anytime you want a quick healthy snack! 

I tend to follow a 70-80% raw, (100%) plant-based lifestyle, as I personally have noticed more SUSTAINED energy! Now, I'm a firm believer that you can follow any lifestyle, but I want to show you quick and EASY ways to incorporate more healthy choices!

To each, their own!!!

Watch the video to learn more!!

Here's my Kale Almond Butter Fruit Boat!!

You'll need the following

  1. Greens --> Collard or Kale work great, but feel free to experiment! My absolute FAVORITE snack is Red Cabbage + Nut Butter!
  2. Nut Butter --> Almond, Peanut, Sunflower Seed, Walnut, Cashew...the List goes ON & ON!
  3. Sliced Coconut
  4. Sliced Fruit of your Choice! Bananas, pears, apples. Even sliced thin carrots are Awesome!


  1. Lay down 2-4 thin leaves (try red cabbage...the CRUNCH is amazing!)
  2. Apply a thin layer of your nut butter
  3. Add a few slices of coconut
  4. Add a few slices of fruit

If you'd prefer it sweet, add more fruit or honey! I personally LOVE cinnamon, so I add a dash!


Sending all of you BEAMS of love, light, warmth, and ENERGYYYY!

With love,
Dr. V

Watch below!

Share this with anyone you think would love it! Tag me on Facebook or Instagram with your fav recipe!


Let's get glowing!
With Love, Dr. V

I want to serve you better...& I'd LOVE your input!

Please help me serve you better by filling out this

QUICK 10 Question Dermatology Survey! Your feedback is invaluable to me!



The more responses I receive, the better I can serve you! Service is what it's all about, right?


PLEASE share this with your family and friends! Tag me on Facebook or Instagram!


Let's get glowing!
With Love, Dr. V

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.