© Bacho Foto - Fotolia.com

© Bacho Foto – Fotolia.com

Gynecomastia is a medical condition in which men develop excess breast tissue. While not physically dangerous, it can have a serious psychological impact, and can cause problems with self-esteem and confidence.

While gynecomastia affects up to half of all men in the United States at some point during their lives, most men don’t know much about the problem itself. There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation out there, so let’s take a look at some myths about man boobs.

MYTH: Gynecomastia is purely genetic

While there can be a genetic component to gynecomastia, any man can be affected by the condition. Gynecomastia can be triggered by factors such as age, marijuana and other recreational drugs, performance-enhancing steroids, and prescription medications. Anything that triggers a rise in estrogen can cause gynecomastia.

MYTH: Man boobs are just fat

Both male and female breasts are made up of a combination of fat and breast gland tissue. Gynecomastia involves an overabundance of breast gland tissue as well as fat. Pseudogynecomastia, which is simply excess fat in the chest caused by obesity, can be resolved with exercise. True gynecomastia, however, requires surgery.

MYTH: You can get rid of man boobs with exercise

Unfortunately, gynecomastia cannot be resolved with exercise. While losing weight can reduce fat in the chest, true gynecomastia involves the overdevelopment of solid breast gland tissue (as well as fat), as discussed above.

This glandular tissue cannot be eliminated through exercise. Working out the chest won’t get rid of man boobs, either. In fact, building up the pectoral muscles could even make gynecomastia more prominent, particularly in bodybuilders.

MYTH: Gynecomastia is a symptom of male breast cancer

Male breast cancer is very rare, but many men with gynecomastia worry their breast development is a symptom of cancer. Luckily, the two conditions are usually unrelated, and gynecomastia does not usually pose any physical danger. A physical exam by your primary physician is recommended if you suspect gynecomastia or if you notice discharge from either nipple.

MYTH: Pills and creams can be used to treat gynecomastia

Pill and cream manufacturers try to capitalize on misinformation by convincing the masses to use their supplements and topical treatments to cure gynecomastia. This is simply untrue, as gynecomastia surgery is required to remove excess breast tissue. As of now, surgery is the only effective and permanent gynecomastia treatment.

Talk to an Expert

If you’re ready to get rid of your man boobs, then it’s time to seek out a specialist who has the experience and knowledge to properly perform gynecomastia surgery. Though gynecomastia is a common problem among American men, there are very few surgeons that specialize in this procedure.

Our New York gynecomastia specialists are experts in male breast reduction surgery, offering permanent, discreet results. For more information, contact our Long Island and NYC centers to schedule your free, private consultation.