Is breast enlargement in boys always abnormal?

Enlargement of the mammary glands due to increased breast tissue in men is called gynecomastia. It can occur during childhood, puberty, or age 60 or older. This may just be a normal change. Men can also experience gynecomastia due to hormonal changes, or as a side effect of medications. It can happen to one or both breasts. Most cases of gynecomastia do not require treatment. However, for cosmetic reasons, this condition can affect some children.

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1. What are big breasts in boys?

Male breast enlargement is also known as gynecomastia. It is most common during early puberty. In addition, it can be seen in the elderly. Boys may feel their breasts are tender and there is a small area of ​​tissue below the nipple. Usually this change is not noticeable. But sometimes the breasts can get bigger and start to look like breasts in girls.

Although breasts don't develop in men like women do, all boys are born with a small amount of breast tissue inside their bodies.

2. Cause

2.1 Imbalance of hormones

The male body has both the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. These are the two main hormones that help determine the sex of a child. In boys, testosterone is usually more dominant than estrogen. This hormone helps guide a child's sexual development as they reach puberty. But boys also make some estrogen, but not enough to promote breast tissue growth as in girls.

As boys go through puberty or as they age make less testosterone, the balance of these two hormones changes. This means more estrogen is being produced than usual. This can cause male breasts to grow. About half of teenage boys and two-thirds of men over 50 will have this condition. But the severity will vary from person to person.

>> You can find out more information in the article “ Low Testosterone in Men and What to Know? "

2.2 Obesity

Being overweight (or obese) is a common cause of gynecomastia. Because being overweight can increase estrogen levels, which causes breast tissue to grow. If you are obese, you also have more fat cells that can enlarge breast tissue. For some people, losing weight or exercising more can help. But this does not always improve the condition.

2.3 Newborn baby boy

Enlarged breasts can appear in newborn boys. Because estrogen can be transferred from the mother to the baby through the placenta and still in the baby's body. However, this situation is only temporary. After that, most will disappear a few weeks after the baby is born.

2.4 Other causes

Other rare causes of gynecomastia include:

  • Side effects of certain medications, such as those for stomach problems, heart problems, seizures, or depression
  • Addictive substances such as marijuana
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Kidney failure or liver disease
  • Klinefelter syndrome (a rare genetic disorder)
  • Testicular tumor or infection

Tell your Doctor about any medications or supplements your son is taking during his visit to the hospital.

Is breast enlargement in boys always abnormal?

Certain medications can cause breast enlargement.

3. Symptoms of breast enlargement

The first sign of gynecomastia may be a mass of fatty tissue under the nipple. Sometimes breast tissue can be tender, painful, or cause a baby to feel tightness in the breast.

This can make you worry if you are an older man that you may have breast cancer. This disease occurs in a small number of men. Enlarged breasts are not necessarily a sign of cancer. But your doctor can run some tests to rule it out.

Breast enlargement can occur unevenly. It can affect one or both breasts. One breast may be larger or equal to the other breast.

4. How to diagnose breast enlargement in children?

If the doctor suspects that your baby has gynecomastia, he or she will likely do a physical exam to make sure there are no hard masses, drainage, or skin problems. They can be signs of cancer.

In addition, your doctor will also likely ask you some questions about your medical history, including:

  • Has your child ever had kidney or liver problems?
  • What medication is the child taking or has in the past?

Your doctor will examine your child and check for other conditions that could be the reason for breast growth. In some cases, your child may have blood or urine tests to check hormone levels. In addition, a mammogram, ultrasound of the breast, or a biopsy may be needed to look for signs of cancer.

Is breast enlargement in boys always abnormal?

Blood tests may be recommended for the child.

5. Do big breasts need treatment?

In most cases, the child does not need treatment. The pain usually only lasts for a few months and then goes away. Breasts are usually small and suitable for age. This condition rarely lasts more than 2 years . Also, they rarely change to the point of embarrassing your son with his appearance.

If your baby's breasts are growing too large (greater than 5 cm in diameter), treatment options may need to be considered. These include changes to medications that have these side effects, hormone therapy, or surgery. Take your baby to see a doctor if you are concerned about the growth of breast tissue. Doctors can discuss treatment options with you. 

Initially, medication to regulate the hormones in the child's body can be applied most. If the condition persists for a long time and doesn't respond to other treatments or is causing you a lot of difficulty or pain, your doctor may refer you to a plastic surgeon for a consultation. discuss the possibility of surgery.

6. How can you take care of the child?

First of all, choosing an outfit is something to pay attention to. Loose clothes will help your child feel more comfortable than tight shirts or jeans.

Take your child to the hospital if:

  • Has your child recently had swelling, pain, or enlargement in one or both breasts?
  • There is an abnormal discharge or blood coming from the nipple
  • Sores on the skin or breast
  • Feel a breast lump that feels hard or firm

Is breast enlargement in boys always abnormal?

If the breast is red or swollen, you need to take the child to the doctor immediately

If your son has developed breasts but hasn't reached puberty yet, see your doctor. Depending on the degree of breast swelling, the disease progression of each child will be different. Therefore, you should ask your child's doctor about the following information to monitor your child more closely:

  • How long will it take your child to recover from this condition?
  • What symptoms should you watch for and what to do if your child gets them?

Some studies show that breast enlargement can cause anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or eating disorders. Especially in boys going through puberty. Your doctor may refer you to a mental health professional to help with any issues that arise.

You should take your baby to the doctor if your baby's breasts are painfully swollen or if there is an obvious lump. Sometimes, the tumor may need to be removed. Breast enlargement in young children is not usually associated with breast cancer, but seeing your doctor is necessary if you are concerned about breast swelling. Make sure you know when you should bring your child back for a checkup. 


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