In 2016, the Oxford Dictionary officially included the word “moobs” to its ranks. This reflects that the incidences of man breasts (mobs) or gynecomastia are on the rise. Gynecomastia is a medical condition where fat gets accumulated under the breast tissue of males leading to swollen breasts or breasts like that of a woman. Is this normal? Let’s find out.
Why are some boys/men prone to gynecomastia?
An average male is at the risk of having gynecomastia during infancy, puberty and during the age range of 50 to 70 years. The reason being hormonal changes – either testosterone (male sexual hormone) levels go down or estrogen (female sexual hormone) levels go beyond the normal range. During babyhood and teenage, these hormonal fluctuations are natural and the levels get back to normal within 6 months to 2 years. If not, then the breasts might need medical attention.
Apart from aging and normal growth processes, here are the other reasons and causes of gynecomastia:
- Testicular injury or disease that reduces testosterone.
- Thyroid disorders can alter the levels of testosterone and estrogen because thyroid regulates the sex hormones in the body.
- Cancer of the pituitary or adrenal glands can distort the testosterone levels, as under normal conditions the pituitary prompts the testicles to produce testosterone while the exterior portion of the adrenal adds to the testosterone count.
- Obesity shrinks the levels of a protein called SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) that is crucial for circulating testosterone.
- Consuming illicit drugs and hallucinogens can drastically hamper the hormonal balance.
- Kidney and liver diseases. An unhealthy kidney can’t help in the production of testosterone, while an unhealthy liver may lose its capacity to keep the estrogen levels in check.
- Alcohol consumption has a double impact. While the ethanol in alcohol impairs the testosterone-estrogen balance, the phytoestrogens in alcohol, increase the estrogen levels.
- The side-effects of certain medications like those meant for cancer, ulcer, anti-anxiety, etc.
What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?
- Lumpy or fatty effect under the nipples that give the breasts an enlarged look.
- Even or uneven bulge in both or either of the breasts.
- Firm and rubbery feel in either of the breasts
- Sensitivity or tenderness in either of the breasts (consult the doctor immediately in this case)
What are the treatments for gynecomastia?
To treat the root cause of gynecomastia the following can be helpful:
- Testosterone replacement if gynecomastia is due to low testosterone levels.
- Substituting the medications that caused the hormonal imbalance. This should be done by your doctor.
To reduce the breast enlargement the following surgical methods can be fruitful if required:
- Gynecomastia surgery: it’s a cosmetic surgery in which liposuction is performed on the breast to suck out the excess fat under the breast tissue so that they lose their swollen look.
- Mastectomy: a plastic surgery in which the breast gland or tissues itself are removed.
These are out-patient surgeries and will lead to limited scarring. Depending on your case, the cost of a gynecomastia surgery can range from 50,000 to 80,000 INR.
Although gynecomastia is mostly not dangerous or fatal and a condition that goes away with time, it can lead to psychological disturbances like lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, stress, embarrassment, etc. In rare cases, gynecomastia may be a sign of breast cancer in men. That is why it’s always better to get gynecomastia checked and corrected by a doctor. To get in touch with the best cosmetologists and experienced plastic surgeons, book an appointment at Apollo Cosmetic Clinics.