What is Teenage Gynecomastia?
Teenage gynecomastia is the development of male breasts in adolescent boys who are pre-pubescent or going through puberty. It can appear in boys as young as 10 years old, with a peak onset between 13-15 years of age. Gynecomastia in teenagers usually goes away by the late teen years.
The excess breast tissue growth seen during puberty is a result of hormonal changes in the body affecting both androgens and estrogens. Within a period of 6 months to 2 years teenage gynecomastia should go away without any intervention. If it carries over into adulthood, it is considered true gynecomastia, and will not go away without surgical treatment. If you are overweight and suspect you have gynecomastia, it could be what is called pseudo-gynecomastia or fatty gynecomastia. This type of male breast development consists of fatty tissue, which does respond well to proper diet and exercise.
If you are seeking answers on how to get rid of your gynecomastia, we caution you to not fall victim to the many marketing scams on the Internet and TV selling medication, potions and lotions, or other hocus-pocus treatments promising to get rid of your breasts. Nothing on the market today has been medically proven to permanently get rid of gynecomastia other than surgery.
The development of breast buds in teenagers is actually quite normal and reports show up to 64% of boys going through puberty will experience some form of gynecomastia. Breast tissue development is part of the growth and evolution of males. It can occur in three stages of life. The first during the neonatal period when babies can develop breast tissue. The second can happen during pre-puberty or puberty, and the third stage can take place between the age of 60-80. All three stages have hormonal changes, which is the main contributor to breast development.
If you are a teenager or parent of a teenager concerned with over-developed breasts, it is always advisable to consult with a medical doctor to ensure there are not underlying medical issues causing the gynecomastia. In very rare cases, breast cancer or other medical conditions have been detected. You may first want to visit your primary doctor who can then refer you to a specialist such as an Endocrinologist.
Do I Need Surgery?
The answer is subjective and really comes down to how gynecomastia is affecting your life. Some teens are not bothered enough by their gynecomastia to do anything about it, while others are completely devastated.
Ask yourself if having gynecomastia is negatively impacting your life. If you are visiting this site, it is probably fair to say you are frustrated enough with your condition to be researching options on the Internet.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you only wear clothing that will help mask your chest?
- Do you shy away from intimacy?
- Do you keep a shirt on at the pool, beach, during intimacy?
- Are you depressed, withdrawn?
- Do you have lack self-confidence because of your gyne?
- Do you avoid social settings?
A Message to Parents:
Adolescent gynecomastia can be one of the most devastating issues a boy faces during these already turbulent years. It isn't uncommon for teenage boys to hid their condition, even from their parents. It is important to look for signs that your son is being deeply affected by their condition and begin dialogue in a caring, nonjudgmental manner.
- Change in behavior
- Moody or depressed
- Style of clothing has changed to loose, baggy tops
- Becoming less interested in having a social life
- Avoids taking his shirt off around anyone
- Less interested in school, grades
- Doesn't want to participate in PE or sports