Many men are embarrassed by the appearance of their breasts. Gynecomastia is a condition that causes breast tissue to grow in males, and it can be caused by many factors, such as puberty or certain medications. At eSSe Plastic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we offer different treatment methods for those who wish to correct this problem.
How Can Gynecomastia Be Treated?
Understand What It Is
Gynecomastia, typically known as “man boobs,” is a condition in which men have enlarged breasts. This can be caused by natural changes or problems with the endocrine system that lead to higher estrogen levels in males. Puberty is one common cause, but it is also common in older men due to lower testosterone levels.
Different Ways to Treat Gynecomastia
This condition often resolves over time without treatment. However, it can be treated with surgery, typically the best option for those who wish to correct their appearance. At eSSe Plastic Surgery, we offer surgical and non-surgical treatment options depending on the stage of your condition. Let’s discuss these treatment options in detail:
There are two types of surgery that can be used to treat this condition. Our plastic surgeon will recommend the most appropriate option based on your individual needs and medical history. They include:
This method is used for smaller areas of this condition. It involves using a thin tube with suction to remove excess fat and tissue and tighten the skin if necessary.
This procedure is used for larger areas of this condition. It involves removing the breast tissue via liposuction or cutting it out entirely. It can also involve lifting and reshaping the breasts if necessary to give them a more masculine appearance.
In addition to surgery, we can give you some medications if you wish to avoid invasive procedures. These include:
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs)
These drugs work by blocking some effects of estrogen while activating others, which stimulates hormones involved with male puberty. Tamoxifen citrate is one example of a SERM drug that has been used successfully to treat this condition.
Aromatase Inhibitors (AI)
These drugs block an enzyme called aromatase, which is responsible for estrogen production in the body. This lowers estrogen levels and reduces breast tissue growth. Examples of AIs include anastrozole and letrozole.
Can Man Boobs Go Away?
Yes, most cases of this condition go away by themselves without treatment in around 18 months or less. However, the treatments discussed above can help treat this condition effectively.
What Causes Gynecomastia?
Many factors can contribute to this condition, including:
The most common cause is hormone changes related to puberty. This condition often occurs during puberty or shortly after due to higher levels of estrogen at that age. It will usually resolve on its own after two years but may require treatment if it persists past then.
Obesity and Aging
Excess weight can cause higher levels of estrogen in the body, which leads to this medical problem. Man boobs are most common in older men who are obese or overweight because hormone production slows with age, leading to lower testosterone and raised estrogen levels.
Drugs and Medications
Certain medications are known to cause this condition. including:
- Anabolic steroids
- Cancer drugs
- Some antidepressants and antihistamines, for example, cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Heartburn medicines
Several health conditions can cause this problem. These include:
- Kidney failure
- Liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis C
- Tumors in the testicles, adrenal glands, brain, and other parts of the body
There are several symptoms that you should be aware of if you suspect that you have this condition. These include:
- Tenderness or sensitivity in your chest
- Enlarged breast tissue which can feel like small water bags under the nipple
- Nipples may become itchy, red, swollen, or bruised
- Discomfort due to tightness, pressure, or pulling sensations on the breast region
4 Stages of Gynecomastia
This condition can occur in different stages. Let’s discuss each stage and its treatment in detail:
This medical problem typically begins to develop at puberty. It causes the breast tissue to become enlarged and may be accompanied by pain, tenderness, or both. At this stage, patients can take certain medications such as SERMS to stop it from further developing into more severe stages.
This stage is characterized by firm, rubbery glandular tissue and enlarged nipples. It may cause the patient embarrassment and discomfort but does not usually interfere with daily activities. The best treatment for this stage is surgery, which involves removing excess glandular tissue through liposuction or surgical excision.
In this case, there will be the hardening of the breast area due to scarring as well as loss of nipple sensation and changes in texture, such as a wrinkled appearance. This can also affect self-esteem because one can’t hide the breasts easily. Patients are recommended to undergo surgery to remove the glandular tissue.
This is the most severe stage and can lead to severely enlarged breasts with a loss of nipple sensation, breast pain, and disfigurement. Surgery should be performed as soon as possible in this case because it cannot be corrected by any other method.
How Can You Prevent Man Boobs Naturally?
While there is no way to prevent this condition from occurring during puberty due to natural hormone changes, you can take proactive steps to avoid it later down the road:
Make Dietary Changes
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the best ways to avoid this condition. You should limit your consumption of dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream because they contain high levels of estrogen, which contribute to this condition if consumed in excess amounts.
In addition, you should increase your intake of foods that are rich in zinc, such as chicken breast or spinach, while decreasing coffee consumption since it can raise your blood caffeine level. Having high blood caffeine levels is known to affect reproductive hormones, including testosterone, leading to increased estrogen levels over time. You should also eat more fruits and vegetables while reducing salty food.
Make Lifestyle Changes
It would be best if you also made some lifestyle changes to prevent this condition from occurring, such as avoiding the use of drugs that are known to influence hormones or having an impact on your testosterone levels. Let’s discuss how you can make a better lifestyle change:
a) Avoid Use of Illegal Drugs
Some illegal drugs, such as marijuana or anabolic steroids, can directly affect hormones and lead to elevated estrogen levels.
b) Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption is another factor that affects your hormone balance. It can also cause water retention in cells within the breast tissues, leading to the development of this condition over time.
c) Avoid Exposure to Xenoestrogens
These are environmental pollutants found in pesticides and plastics and can cause hormonal imbalances. In addition, these pollutants have been found to disrupt the endocrine system, which may lead to disturbances in reproductive hormones over time, ultimately affecting your breast development.
d) Consider the Side Effects of Other Medications You’re Taking
Medications such as those containing estrogen or other drugs that mimic hormones can increase your risk of developing this problem.
e) Get Regular Exercise
It has been seen in studies on male athletes who regularly take part in intense sports that exercising can lower estrogen, increase testosterone, and decrease the risk of developing man boobs.
f) Get Enough Sleep Every Night
Not getting enough sleep or staying up late at night has been linked to increases in blood levels of estrogen. So, you should try to get around seven hours of sleep each night if possible for a healthy hormone balance overall.
h) Limit Processed Foods
Processed foods can influence your hormones and lead to elevated estrogen levels. So, try limiting processed food consumption as much as possible while focusing on eating healthy natural protein sources, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for a healthier lifestyle overall.
g) Quit Smoking
Those addicted to smoking are more likely to have higher estrogen levels within breast tissues, which can lead to this medical issue.
Look and Feel Your Best Today!
Gynecomastia is a common condition caused by a hormone imbalance in men that can be treated with medication, lifestyle changes, and surgical procedures. Visit us at eSSe Plastic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL, to learn more about your treatment options. We have a team of highly qualified, board-certified plastic surgeons that are here to help you feel your best!