How Gynecomastia affects Men and Boys

Gynecomastia Palo Alto CAGynecomastia is when there is too much estrogen or too little testosterone, resulting in overdevelopment of the male breast. Gynecomastia can be found in babies, teen boys, and older men.

The cause

  • Newborns: In newborns, gynecomastia is caused by the estrogen from the mother. Glandular tissue can swell and develop a breast bud, but they typically disappear by six months old.
  • Preteen boys: For boys in the preteen range, gynecomastia can be the result of a tumor that produces estrogen. During the puberty years, breast buds are common and can last up to two years.
  • Teen boys: For teenage boys, gynecomastia is caused by puberty and the accompanying hormonal fluctuations. During the early stages of puberty, many teen boys experience gynecomastia. But it typically recedes anywhere from six months to two years.
  • Adult males: In adult males, the cause of gynecomastia is quite different than other age groups. For this group, liver or lung cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, hormone problems, or an overactive thyroid can be the culprit. The use of alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine, or marijuana can also spur gynecomastia. Specific medications are known to contribute to the condition as well, including: steroids, chemotherapy drugs, antianxiety or antidepressant medications, and medicines used to treat ulcers, heart conditions, or epilepsy.

The symptoms

  • Enlarged breasts
  • Breasts feel rubbery or firm
  • A breast bud on one or both sides about the size of a nickel

The treatment

For newborns or teens who have gynecomastia, formal treatment is not needed. If the condition is caused by disease or medicine, cutting off the use of the drug will typically fix the problem. If there are low amounts of testosterone, a hormonal remedy may be prescribed. In certain cases, surgery is also an option.

Schedule a consultation

If you exhibit any of the symptoms associated with gynecomastia, schedule a consultation to see Dr. Orna Fisher today. Gynecomastia can be diagnosed through a physical exam and a discussion of your medical history. In most situations, tests are not needed. If you have any questions about gynecomastia or any of the other services we offer, call our office today at 650.600.7889‬.

Posted in: Male Breast Reduction

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