Gynecomastia (often referred to as "man boobs") is a condition that causes abnormal enlargement of male breast tissue.
Symptoms vary from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to larger sized breasts. One or both breasts may be affected, and the breast tissue can be painful or tender. If this is the case, it should be assessed by a doctor. Gynecomastia is not linked to breast cancer, however, if breasts are sore or painful, it should be checked out by a physician.
There are a number of causes:
An imbalance in oestrogen and testosterone levels can be the main reason for Gynaecomastia. Oestrogen can cause breast tissue to grow, while testosterone may inhibit breast growth. All men can produce a certain quantity of oestrogen, but more testosterone may be made, which can keep breast tissue from growing. If the equilibrium of hormonal levels in the body changes, this can cause a man’s breasts to grow.
Being excessively overweight (obese) can increase oestrogen levels, which can cause breast tissue to grow. However, breast tissue may not alwaysbe extra body fat, so exercise and diet may not improve this condition.
Newborn baby boys
Oestrogen can pass via the placenta from the mother to the baby. which can result in enlarged breast tissue. This can be perfectly normal, and breast tissue should resolve with time.
During adolescence, male hormone levels can fluctuate. If the testosterone level drops, the relative oestrogen increase can cause breast tissue growth. Gynecomastia at puberty can usually resolve as boys age, and their hormone levels can become more stable. Many male teenagers may have some degree of breast enlargement.
As men age, less testosterone may be produced. Older men can also tend to be fatter, and this may result in an increase in oestrogen production. These changes can lead to an excess of breast tissue growth.
In rare cases, gynecomastia can be due to:
- side effects of medicine –such as anti-ulcer drugs or cardiac medication
- a health abnormality –such as liver disease or renal failure
- drinking too much alcohol
- illicit drug use –such as anabolic steroids or cannabis
- Klinefelter’s syndrome (a rare genetic disorder)
- lumps or infection in the testicles
If you’re worried about the excessive growth of breast tissue you should see your doctor. If your physician thinks that treatment is required, there may be two options for gynecomastia:
- surgery to remove the excess fat and breast tissue
- medication to adjust a hormone imbalance
Surgical options can depend on the degree of Gynecomastia present. If there is an excessive amount of skin and fat, then surgery with relatively significant scarring may be required.
For lesser amounts of breast and fatty tissue, laser liposuction can be performed which can melt fat and effectively tightens skin, helping to limit scarring. If breast tissue is present under the nipple, then an incision can be made at the skin nipple interface to remove breast tissue, possibly leaving a hardly noticeable scar.
For an accurate assessment of what options are available for your particular Gynecomastia problem, please contact the rooms at 011 304 7888 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos courtesy of ASPS