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4 Signs You May have Gynecomastia

One in four men between the ages of 50 and 69 suffer from gynecomastia, a condition associated with enlargement of the breast tissue in men.

Although gynecomastia is more common in older adults, more and more teenagers are now opting for plastic surgery to reshape the breast tissue due to the condition. Gynecomastia can present itself during puberty due to hormonal imbalances, a diet rich in phytoestrogens, or exposure to hormone disruptors from the environment. 

Gynecomastia isn’t harmful by itself, but it can signal that you may be suffering from a condition that’s impacting your hormonal health.

To help you determine whether your breast tissue is normal or enlarged, we asked Dr. Richard M. Levin, board-certified plastic surgeon at Lancaster Plastic Surgery in Lancaster, PA, to explain the four main symptoms of gynecomastia. 

1. Enlargement of the breast 

With gynecomastia, you may notice an enlargement in one or both breasts. The enlargement can be uniform, or it can be localized next to the nipple. Breasts that are enlarged by gynecomastia don’t respond to diet and exercise. 

2. Swollen breast tissue 

Often, men with gynecomastia find lumps in their breasts. However, a lump in the breast isn’t necessarily a sign of breast cancer. Breast cancer in males is very rare, and cancerous masses in the breast are usually accompanied by other signs such as skin dimpling and nipple retraction.

3. Breast tenderness 

Some men may feel tenderness when touching their breast, or they may feel tenderness in specific locations such as next to the nipple. If your breasts feel heavy and tender, seek medical help as soon as possible.

4. Nipple discharge

Like women, men are born with milk ducts. However, under the influence of hormones, these ducts shrink. If you have higher levels of estrogen in your body, remaining milk ducts may cause a discharge. Nipple discharge can also be a sign of infection or inflammation.

Why gynecomastia is worth treating 

Gynecomastia is a big confidence killer for boys and men alike. However, it can also be a warning sign of poor health. 

The enlargement of the breast can be caused by hormonal imbalances, certain chronic conditions, medications, and even dandruff shampoos that contain Ketoconazole. Environmental toxins and estrogen mimickers found in shower gels and creams can also cause hormonal imbalances. 

If you’re worried about the appearance of your breasts, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our plastic surgeon can remove the excess breast tissue to help you achieve a sculpted, toned chest.

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