Home » Your Health » Men's Health News » 6 Causes and Treatments for Gynecomastia or ‘Man Boobs’

6 Causes and Treatments for Gynecomastia or ‘Man Boobs’


While “man boobs” (or the medical term gynecomastia) is often thought of as a result of an unhealthy diet, it’s actually a sign of a medical condition that can be quite embarrassing for many men.

The condition involves the growth of breast tissue on male chests, and often has an underlying health cause that can vary from case to case. Let’s examine six causes and treatments of this sometimes physically (and mentally) painful problem…

1. Hormonal Imbalances are a Factor

The Mayo Clinic explains the appearance of breasts on men can be caused by an upset in the testosterone/estrogen balance. While estrogen is often thought of as a female-only hormone, it also plays a role in men.

These hormonal imbalances can happen in newborns (from the mother’s estrogen) and boys going through puberty, although older men can often end up with the problem as well. The condition can be painful, but the clinic says it can often go away on its own.

shutterstock_288581330

2. It’s Traced to Drug Abuse

WebMD downplays the condition as “normal” in many boys and men (70-percent of boys develop gynecomastia during puberty), but it does say that certain lifestyles can increase the risk of it.

The drugs that can cause the condition range from prescription anti-anxiety and depression medications to street drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, according to the source. Alcohol can also be a culprit, it adds.

beer 2

3. It Could Be Male Breast Cancer

Although breast cancer is another disease associated largely with women, it can occur in men too (although on a much less frequent basis). Breast cancer is obviously a serious disease on its own, but it also can cause cases of gynecomastia, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The post also notes that only 1-percent of gynecomastia cases are traced to male breast cancer. It can often be tricky for medical professionals to tell the difference between hormonal breast development and those caused by cancer. Bottom line: get checked out.

shutterstock_224672689

4. Ibuprofen During Puberty Helps

WebMD notes that while gynecomastia in adolescents experiencing puberty usually doesn’t need any drastic treatments, your teen can use ibuprofen (Advil) to control the swelling and pain.

The source also mentions ice packs as a drug-free alternative to pills. However, it notes that it usually takes 2 to 3-years from developing gynecomastia for the chest to return to normal in post-pubescent teens.

shutterstock_390373792

5. Ask about Certain Prescriptions

While some drugs can cause the problem, others can actually treat it, according to Healthline.com. The online health resource mentions raloxifene (Evista) and tamoxifen (Soltamox) as two breast cancer medications that have “off-label” uses to reduce male breasts.

The site notes that off-label drug treatments are often safe, but shouldn’t be taken for granted (as there could be side effects). Your doctor will obviously need to determine the suitability of taking these medications for this alternate purpose.

shutterstock_303141497

6. Liposuction is Still an Option

Healthline.com also explains that if you have tried other treatments and failed (or don’t want to wait it out), you can turn to surgical options. This includes liposuction, which involves a surgeon making a small incision and literally sucking out fat.

This treatment doesn’t affect the breast tissue itself, adds the site. You may opt to go a corrective or cosmetic route when choosing the surgical option, depending on what you’d like the final result to look like. Also, liposuction doesn’t necessarily mean you’re overweight, as it targets particular areas.

 

shutterstock_300379505

ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • Drawing Out 6 Health Risks of Tattoos
    A well-drawn and tasteful tattoo can be a thing of beauty, and can hold special meaning for people.
    Men's Health News
  • 7 Most Common Causes of Brain Injury
    Brain injuries can happen at any age, and they present a variety of short-term or long-term symptoms depending on the patient.
    Men's Health News
  • 7 Recent Breakthroughs in the Fight Against Prostate Cancer
    Thanks to the emergence of the "Movember" campaign, awareness of prostate cancer—including how to identify and treat it—has been growing.
    Men's Health News
  • Infographic: Prostate Health
    About one in seven American males are diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, early diagnosis is the key.
    Men's Health News
  • 6 Must-Know Health Facts about Testicular Cancer
    We often hear that prostate cancer is the big killer among males, but testicular cancer is actually the leading cancer in men aged 15 to 35, according to the Testicular Cancer...
    Men's Health News
  • 8 Healthy Father's Day Activities for Dad and Me
    Dad is often the guy you sit down to watch a big game with, or have a couple of beverages with while firing up some goodies on the barbecue.
    Men's Health News
  • 10 Tips for a Healthy Stress-Free Holiday
    For some, the holiday season is all about joy, giving to others, family, and good food. For others, it can be a stressful, torturous venture into the depths of family dysfunction,...
    Men's Health News
  • 10 Healthy Benefits of Pet Therapy
    The magical bond between humans and animals has existed for millennia. Animals have played an integral part in our history as a source of food, clothing and survival.
    Men's Health News
  • Vitamin C and Colds: Does it Really Help?
    It just so happens that with fall just around the corner that cold season is coming. So let me ask you an important question—what do you reach for at the first sign of a sore...
    Men's Health News
  • 10 Exercise Prescriptions for Mental Health
    Although Hippocrates suggested that walking is man’s best medicine, exercise has morphed into a popular tool for those looking to sculpt, firm, and create a body that is more in...
    Men's Health News
  • 8 Simple Routines to Improve your Health
    Establishing a simple daily routine of healthy habits can have beneficial effects on your health, happiness and overall wellbeing.
    Men's Health News
  • 8 Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
    Everyone has periods of feeling anxious in their lives. This could be due to starting school, a new job, getting married or visiting the dentist.
    Men's Health News
  • 8 Common Myths About Breast Cancer
    Breast cancer is a very real threat to American women and others around the world. According to the American Cancer Society, it is actually the most common cancer in the U.S.
    Men's Health News
  • 7 Uses for Coconut Oil in the Kitchen
    There’s no denying that coconut oil has become one of the hottest new household items. It can be used to make homemade lotion bars that smooth out dry, wrinkled skin; to produce...
    Men's Health News
  • The 12 Least Worst Junk Foods
    From time to time it strikes, sometimes with warning signs, but often out of nowhere. It’s a craving for junk food, and it can be powerful.
    Men's Health News