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What Causes Gynecomastia, and Can I Avoid It?

Posted May 24, 2022 in Gynecomastia Surgery

3 Minute Read:

Gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts) is a common condition that many boys and men struggle with. 

This condition is usually associated with hormonal imbalances, which is why many boys going through puberty suffer from gynecomastia, and why it may correct itself (after the body balances the hormones naturally). However, gynecomastia is not relegated solely to pubescent boys, and in many situations the gynecomastia does not go away on its own. 

In fact, it’s reported that 24 to 65 percent of men between the ages of 50 and 80 suffer from gynecomastia

Plastic surgeon drawing surgical marks on a shirtless man with gynecomastia

While gynecomastia is not a condition that poses any health risks, having “man boobs” is something that causes many men to feel self-conscious and embarrassed. 

To better understand gynecomastia as a condition, it is important to look into the causes of it and how it can be avoided and, ultimately, corrected.

Why Do I Have Gynecomastia?

As mentioned above, most men who suffer from gynecomastia do so because of a hormonal imbalance in the body. This imbalance occurs when the body makes less testosterone compared to its production of estrogen. 

This tends to happen during puberty, though other factors can contribute to gynecomastia, including:

Medication Use

Certain medications can cause hormonal imbalances in the body, which can lead to gynecomastia. Some of these medications include: 

  • Anti-androgens
  • ADHD and anti-anxiety medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Chemotherapy
  • Heart medications
  • Hair growth medications
  • Others

If these medications are causing enlarged breasts in men, then a different form of the medication, a different dosage, and/or stopping the medication completely may clear up the gynecomastia. 

However, you should not make any changes to your medication without first consulting your physician.

Drug Use

Illegal drugs and alcohol usage is known to cause hormonal imbalances in your body. Anything from marijuana and alcohol to methadone and heroin can cause gynecomastia in your body, which means that stopping your use of these drugs may clear up your condition.

Steroid Use

One of the common side effects of anabolic steroids is gynecomastia. This is because these steroids actively target and change the hormones in your body. 

Stopping your use of steroids can cause your body to level out its hormones and sometimes clear up your gynecomastia naturally. 

With medication, drug and steroid-induced gynecomastia often does not go away and the only option to remove the gynecomastia is through surgery.

How Can I Treat My Gynecomastia?

While gynecomastia can sometimes be remedied naturally by the body regulating its production of testosterone and estrogen, the body does not always do so. 

If the condition persists, the only way to fix it is through surgical correction. Gynecomastia surgery is a trusted and safe procedure that gets rid of enlarged male breasts. 

Gynecomastia surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia so that you will not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. 

Illustration showing before and after gynecomastia surgery.

After the anesthesia is administered, Dr. Lo may use liposuction surgery to remove any stubborn pockets of fat in the treatment area. Then, Dr. Lo will remove the excess breast tissue as well as correct puffy nipples and correct the areolar size to give you a natural appearance. Though rare, some patients may require skin removal. 

Once your surgery is complete, you will have a more masculine chest, which will help you feel confident and comfortable with your appearance.

Do You Have Any Questions About Gynecomastia and How to Correct It in Philadelphia and New Jersey?

If you want to learn more about gynecomastia and how to correct it, please call us at (215) 829-6900 or fill out our online form here. We look forward to helping you look as good as you feel!

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Philadelphia Cosmetic Surgery

301 South 8th Street, Suite 3H,
Philadelphia PA 19106

New Jersey Cosmetic Surgery

990 Route 73 North
Marlton, NJ 08053

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