Adolescent boys reach puberty around the age of 12. During this stage, some observe the enlargement of the tissues in the chest. While a slight degree of growth is normal and can be expected during puberty, in some cases, the breast tissues grow uncontrollably even during middle and old age. This results in the development of full-fledged breasts. In these cases, the issue is known as gynecomastia.

Understanding Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a condition that can occur at any point in a man’s life, including in infancy or during puberty. It occurs due to a hormonal imbalance in the body.

As an adolescent boy reaches puberty, the type and quantity of hormones produced in his body change, resulting in enlargement of the glandular muscles around his breast. In gynecomastia, the patient’s body secretes more estrogen and less testosterone, which results in the development of female-like breasts.

This condition is different from pseudogynecomastia and lipomastia, which result in fat storage in and around the male breasts due to obesity.


• Enlarged male breast tissues
• Rubbery nipples
• Tenderness and swelling of the breasts
• Nipple discharge and pain
• Enlargement of the lymph nodes

Top Seven Reasons Why Gynecomastia Occurs in Men

This condition can occur at any time in a man’s life. Some of the reasons for the condition include the following:

Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal imbalances during birth can put male infants at risk for developing the issue, but the tissue enlargement typically subsides within a month. This can occur again during puberty and also at an old age, when the hormonal production in the body is altered.

Drug Consumption or Use of Medication: Usage of drugs like marijuana, steroids, heroin, methadone, and amphetamines can make a person susceptible to this condition. Ingestion of medication for anxiety, depression, cancer, ulcers, and cardiovascular disease can also lead to this issue.

Age-Related Disorders: Chronic renal failure, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism have been associated with gynecomastia. Sudden fluctuations in blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders may also increase the likelihood of developing gynecomastia. In older men, age may trigger benign or cancerous growths that result in this disorder.

Poor Diet: Diet is one of the rare reasons for gynecomastia. Smoking and consumption of oily and fried foods may increase the likelihood of gynecomastia.

Genetics: Sometimes, men are genetically predisposed towards developing gynecomastia. In these cases, men are more likely to show signs of gynecomastia at a very early age.

HIV: In some cases, HIV-positive patients have been observed with gynecomastia. The weak immune system in HIV patients and the hypogonadism that occurs as a consequence of HIV makes them more vulnerable to this condition.

Diseases in the Reproductive Organs: One of the most common signs of gynecomastia is abnormal growth in the testes, which can occur due to hormonal imbalance.

Suitable Treatments

Medication: Physician-prescribed medication can help relieve the pain, tenderness, and swelling and can aid in the reduction of enlarged male breasts.

Diet and Exercise: Having a healthy diet combined with plenty of exercise can help make men stronger. Over time, as their lifestyle becomes healthier, the enlargement subsides.

Plastic Surgery: Surgical resection of the enlarged tissues, nodes, and glands can help address the problem quickly. This procedure is known as male breast reduction.

Find Out More During a Consultation

A consultation with a skilled medical professional can help you decide whether you have gynecomastia and what you can do about it. Contact Anson, Edwards & Higgins Plastic Surgery Associates for your consultation.