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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Skin Care

Pregnancy can affect your skin in many ways, not all of them desirable. But there are some things you can do to prevent, treat, or at least camouflage most of the changes you may be experiencing.

Stretch Marks

Most women emerge from pregnancy with a few stretch marks snaking across their belly, back and/or breasts. Heredity plays a big part in determining whether you will have stretch marks; if your mother had them, chances are that you will too. There are many lotions and creams that claim to prevent or treat stretch marks, but there is no proven treatment or prevention for them and these lotions are mostly good for relieving the itchiness caused by your stretching skin. If the itching is particularly bad, talk to your doctor; he or she can prescribe a soothing anti-itch cream that is safe to use during pregnancy. After delivery, stretch marks will start to fade to a silvery or white color until they are barely noticeable.


Your skin may become oily and break out during your pregnancy thanks to all those hormones raging through your body. On the other hand, some women experience improved skin and fewer breakouts during pregnancy - it just depends on your body and your skin type. If you do experience oiliness and breakouts, be sure to wash your face twice a day and moisturize with an oil-free lotion. Never go to bed with your makeup on, and keep your hands away from your face. And definitely do not pick, squeeze, scratch or pop your pimples; this will make them worse and can lead to scarring.


This is also known as melasma, or the "mask of pregnancy." It may appear as dark blotches or patches on your face and affects those with darker skin tones more often than lighter. Sun exposure can exacerbate chloasma, so be sure to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen. The darkening usually fades a few months after delivery, although subsequent pregnancies can intensify the coloring. Try using makeup to camouflage the patches.

Spider Veins

These are tiny broken blood vessels that usually appear on your face, neck, chest and upper arms. They are red, bluish or purple and are visible just below the skin's surface. They should disappear shortly after you deliver. Laser treatment can be used on those that remain.

Darker Pigmentation

You may notice that freckles, moles, your nipples, areolas, and genitalia become darker during pregnancy. Hormones are to blame for this change in skin pigmentation and it should subside after you deliver. However, if you notice moles or freckles that have changed shape, grown larger, or look suspicious, show it to your doctor just to be on the safe side.

Here are a few companies that have products to help soothe some of the discomforts of pregnancy:


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