How is gynecomastia treated?

In most cases, especially in pubescent males and infants, gynecomastia resolves itself. In extreme cases, medical intervention, such as hormone therapy or even breast reduction surgery, may be required. In cases in which there is an underlying cause, such as steroid abuse, treatment of the underlying cause generally leads to resolution of gynecomastia.

What you can do to improve your gynecomastia

If gynecomastia is leading to discomfort, certain self-care measures may be helpful including:

  • Stopping recreational drug and bodybuilding supplement use
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication
  • Using a cold compress

What are the potential complications of gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia does not generally lead to complications. In rare cases, gynecomastia may be linked to breast cancer, although breast cancer and gynecomastia are separate conditions. In some people, especially pubescent males, complications of untreated gynecomastia can be serious. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of gynecomastia include:

  • Chronic pain/discomfort
  • Embarrassment
  • Skin ulcerations of the breast

References:

  1. Gynecomastia. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003165.htm.
  2. Gynecomastia. FamilyDoctor.org. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/men/general/080.html.
  3. Kahan S, Miller R, Smith EG (Eds.). In A Page Signs & Symptoms, 2d ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Williams, 2009.
  4. Braunstein GD. Clinical practice. Gynecomastia. N Engl J Med 2007; 357:1229.
INTRODUCTION

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia refers to a condition in which males develop swelling of breast tissue. It should not be confused with pseudogynecomastia, in which adipose (fat) tissue takes on the appearance of breasts. Gynecomastia is not uncommon, especially in pubescent males and male infants. Gynecomastia arises from changes in androgen and estrogen levels, which control the development of male and fema... Read more about gynecomastiaintroduction

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of gynecomastia?

The usual symptoms of gynecomastia include lumps under the nipple on either one or both sides of the torso, breast development, and tenderness of the breasts. In more serious cases, symptoms of gynecomastia include painful breasts, skin ulceration over the breast, or nipple discharge. Seek medical attention for any serious symptoms of gynecomastia, as these could be early indicators of breast c... Read more about gynecomastiasymptoms

CAUSES

What causes gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is caused by changes in the level of androgens (male hormones) in the body, as may occur during puberty. Fluctuations in androgen levels can occur for a variety of reasons.

Developmental causes of gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is common over the course of development, especially when hormone fluctuations occur, such as during:

  • Aging Read more about gynecomastiacauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Male Reproductive System