Gynecomastia is a common case among young men and teenagers. For those with this condition, the size of the male breasts increases and becomes abnormally large, making the chest appear unattractive.

It is normal for breast size to increase for women with puberty; however, male breasts are normally underdeveloped and unpronounced. So what is it exactly that causes this anomaly?

There are numerous factors that can lead to gynecomastia in men. The exact cause varies from person to person depending on their body’s resistance and immunity, along with other variables.

Natural Hormonal Changes

The most common cause of gynecomastia is natural changes in the hormonal structure of the male body. When the testosterone levels in a man drop, the body starts to react differently. Muscle mass in men is dependent on the level of these hormones in the body. Since the male body also produces estrogen, sometimes there is a shift in the production of these hormones.

Gynecomastia happens in babies due to their mothers’ estrogen. It can also happen during puberty; in these cases, it typically subsides within a few months. One in four men above the age of 59 suffers from gynecomastia.

Health Conditions

Health conditions that meddle with usual testosterone creation, for example Klinefelter’s disorder or pituitary deficiency, can be related to gynecomastia.

Along with this, several other health factors can cause the condition. Aging, complications from hyperthyroidism, tumors, malnutrition/overnutrition, and kidney illnesses can potentially cause enlarged breasts in men.

Medications and Drugs

Sometimes, medicines can cause gynecomastia. Medications used to treat prostate cancer contain anti-androgen, which can cause a decrease in the testosterone levels in men. Consumption of steroids is also a cause.

Medications used to treat HIV/AIDS, depression, anxiety, gastritis, heart conditions, and ulcers contain androgen-depleting chemicals, which can displace body’s hormone levels. Antibiotics also have an adverse effect on the body chemistry.

Herbal medicines are linked with the condition. Plant oils, lavender oil, and shampoos and soaps can also cause gynecomastia.

Additionally, alcohol and street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methadone are culprit factors leading to gynecomastia.

Risk Factors

There are a number of risk factors for gynecomastia. It is mostly linked with adolescence and old age, as the body goes through a tremendous shift in hormone levels during these times.

Other factors include use of anabolic steroids, making gynecomastia very common among athletes who use them to augment their athletic endurance and stamina. Certain conditions, including liver and kidney illness, thyroid sickness, hormonally dynamic tumors, and Klinefelter’s disorder also increase the likelihood of gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia usually passes on its own within a few months or years. This condition is said to have very rare physical complications; its main effect is on a person’s emotional, psychological, and physiological well-being.

You can consult your doctor if you want to check for complications like cancer, breast abscesses, or fatty breast tissues that can be corrected with liposuction. A doctor will conduct a mammography and take skin samples to test.

Learning About Male Breast Reduction

During a consultation at our office, you can learn about what may be causing your gynecomastia and explore solutions like male breast reduction. Skilled double-board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Park will be happy to answer your questions regarding this condition, so get in contact today.