Gynecomastia is a condition that makes breast tissue swell in boys and men. It can happen when the balance of two hormones in your body is thrown off.
Although breasts don’t develop in men the way they do in women, all boys are born with a small amount of breast tissue.
Boys’ bodies mostly make a hormone called testosterone, which guides their sexual growth during puberty. But males also make some estrogen the hormone that steers sexual growth in girls.
When a boy is going through puberty, or when an older man’s body makes less testosterone, the balance of the two hormones changes.
Sometimes when that happens, a higher percentage of estrogen causes male breast tissue to swell. About half of adolescent boys and as many as two-thirds of men older than 50 will have this to some degree.
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No drugs have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of gynecomastia; however, medications that have been used to treat the condition include: Testosterone replacement has been effective in older men with low levels of testosterone, but it is not effective for men who have normal levels of the male hormone.
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Breast reduction surgery is an option for men with gynecomastia. It may also be used to tighten the breast area after significant weight loss that has caused the skin to sag.
However, surgery is not suitable for men who have large breasts simply from being overweight.
Everyone has both sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen. Males usually have higher levels of testosterone.
However, having higher-than-normal estrogen levels can cause the mammary glands to grow, resulting in a medical condition called gynecomastia. Breast and nipple swelling usually goes away once estrogen levels return to normal.
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You may be able to minimize puffiness by making changes to your diet and exercise routine. This can help reduce body fat and strengthen your chest.
If diet and exercise aren’t effective, surgery may be necessary to achieve your desired results.
You can reduce puffiness in your pectoral area by doing chest exercises. These exercises are specifically designed to tighten and tone your pectoral and chest muscles.
Popular options include:
You can use these exercises to create a custom workout plan. For maximum effect, one workout should include at least a handful of different chest exercises. You can also build up your chest muscles by doing a full-body exercise like rowing or swimming for at least 15 minutes. If you want to go this route, add a couple of rowing or swim sessions to your weekly rotation.
In some cases, puffy nipples are the result of too much estrogen and fat. You may be able to correct this by making a few dietary changes. Mindful eating may also help you get fit and stay in shape.
If you want to try a low-fat diet, you should:
If you think your hormone levels may be to blame, you should eat a diet rich in testosterone and low in estrogen.
Try adding these testosterone-rich foods to your diet:
You should also make an appointment with your doctor. Your hormone levels may be tied to an underlying condition. Your doctor may be able to recommend other therapies or prescribe medication to help regulate your hormones.
Herbal supplements may also help reduce puffy nipples. Some of them are thought to work by boosting testosterone levels.
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