It’s natural for men to worry if their breasts seem to become enlarged or swollen. They’ll turn to the Internet to search their symptoms, and land on articles on gynecomastia: a condition caused by excessive tissue growth.
However, this isn’t the only cause. In some cases, it’s caused by excess chest fat. Let’s look at gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia, and what you can do in either situation.
What is Gynecomastia?
As discussed in Amaris B’s comprehensive article on enlarged male breast or gynecomastia, the nipples on a normal male chest are small and flat, and you can see the pectoralis muscle move whenever you flex the area. However, men with gynecomastia will have more rounded breasts, and the nipples seem swollen or puffy. Your breast will also feel tender and may feel more uncomfortable with each passing day.
Gynecomastia is caused by hormonal imbalance. All men produce some amount of estrogen, but when you produce more than the “normal” amount, that may lead to the development of excess breast tissues. This affects 1 out of 2 teen boys, and 2 out of 3 men above 50 years old, when hormone levels are affected by sexual development, thyroid problems, or as a side effect of some medications.
There are 4 grades in gynecomastia classification, with the mildest being just a local swelling around the nipple area, and the most severe showing a pronounced rounded appearance similar to a female breast.
What is Pseudogynecomastia?
Genetically, men tend to accumulate fat in the chest and abdomen area – your arms and legs may look slim, but you bulk up in your torso. When fat builds up behind and around the breast area, the chest appears puffy and swollen. This is clinically known as lipomastia, adipomastia, or pseudogynecomastia.
The more estrogen you have, the more your body tends to store fat. Interestingly, fat also causes your body to produce the aromatase enzyme, which can convert testosterone into estrogen and slow down your metabolism.
Unfortunately, a lower metabolism will also mean you burn less fat, and this triggers a vicious cycle where you store more and more fat on your chest area and worsen your hormonal imbalance.
Gynecomastia vs Pseudogynecomastia
Both conditions display similar physical traits an enlarged, chubby chest. The difference lies in what’s underneath. Gynecomastia is caused by overdevelopment of glandular tissues that comprise of fat tissues and glands, mostly as a result of hormonal imbalance and pseudo-gynecomastia is caused by excess fat accumulation. Only your doctor can confirm what you really have through a clinical assessment.
However, one clear sign that you have real true gynecomastia is you can feel a firm mound of glandular tissue around your areola area and painful to touch. For some, the nipple may even feel sensitive. But if it’s pseudogynecomastia, the entire breast is evenly enlarged.
Gynecomastia Surgery And Treatment
Both gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia won’t hurt your health, but it can affect your self-confidence and damage your pride. Men can become very self-conscious about their chest, and in severe cases, may be bullied or ridiculed by other people for having “man boobs.”
You may try to get rid of it through chest exercises or a low-estrogen diet, but that rarely works. If you have gynecomastia, no amount of exercising will get rid of that you could even be perfectly fit, and still have a pronounced chest.
The only clinically proven treatment to date for gynecomastia is gynecomastia surgery that involves the permanent removal of excess glandular and fatty tissues. What is important also when considering gynecomastia surgery, is the surgical experience and results achieved by the doctor. A well-trained and experienced doctor will be able to not only help you to get rid of unwanted tissues permanently but also to contour your chest, making it look defined and sculpted but also improve the appearance of the nipples.
If you have pseudogynecomastia, it may take months or even years of dedicated workouts to see results. The alternative option for some is to surgically remove the excess fat via means of VASER LIPO as the fatty tissues can sometimes be too stubborn and hard to be eradicated by chest presses, gym works and endless dieting.
Dr Ivan Puah, medical director of Amaris B. Clinic, is a VASER® certified physician and is accredited by the Ministry Of Health Singapore to perform liposuction. He has more than 20 years of clinical practice in medicine, of which, 14 years of clinical practice in aesthetic medicine performing surgical body sculpting treatments.
Dr Ivan Puah is privileged to be the only doctor in Singapore to have received training and mentorship by US gynecomastia doctor, Dr Miguel A. Delgado, in San Francisco.
Whether you are suffering from gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia, treatment options are available at Amaris B. Clinic. To find out more, call 6536 5211 or contact them at Amaris B. Clinic.