Gynecomastia Treatment for Teens: Everything You Need to Know

14-year-old boy with teen gynecomastia more pronounced on the right than left. The gynecomastia causes a ballooning of the nipple area and a feminine shape of the chest. The asymmetry is common. After surgical treatment, a normal masculine chest is restored, scars easily hidden in the areolar tissue.

How Common is Teen Gynecomastia?

  • 4% of all teen boys will have some “male breasts” between age 10 and 19. This is called pubertal gynecomastia.
  • 13-14 are the peak years of developing male breasts or nipple ballooning.
  • 10% of boys age 17 will have persistent gynecomastia that will not go away without gynecomastia surgery.
14-year-old boy with nipple puffiness or ballooning caused by stimulated breast tissue. One year later (age 15) after male breast reduction surgery to get rid of gynecomastia, the scar hidden just below the nipple.
17 yr old boy with a muscular chest and abnormal nipple projection due to persistent teen 17-year-old boy with a muscular chest and abnormal nipple projection due to persistent teen gynecomastia. Scars are easily hidden in the axilla or in the darker areolar skin. After one year, athletic masculine chest shape restored without visible scars.

If I have Teen Gynecomastia, Does That Mean My Hormones are Abnormal?

No. Hormones are almost always normal with teen gynecomastia.

Though very rare in adolescent boys, if hormonal changes are abnormally producing an absolute or relative excess of female hormone (pathological gynecomastia), then a search must be made for some abnormality in the body. This search would include an abnormality or tumor of the adrenal gland or testicles or a genetic condition like Klinefelter syndrome.

Taking gym supplements or anabolic steroids can abnormally stimulate the body, creating male breast tissue growth. In the image below, a boy was given gym supplements to “build muscle”. Even after stopping the supplements, the teen gynecomastia did not resolve. After surgical treatment, his chest returned to a normal shape.

114-year-old boy who took “gym supplements” to build muscle developed teen gynecomastia from stimulation of the breast tissue under the nipple. After surgical treatment, his chest shape is restored.

What Causes Breast Tissue Growth in Teens?

During mid-puberty when pubic hair and testicles are enlarging, there is thought to be a transient flux in hormones. At some point, female hormones are more present than male hormones and the normally small breast tissue develops under the nipple, causing breast growth and gynecomastia.

By late puberty (age 17) with a surge in male hormones, usually the breast development regresses. However, for unknown reasons, about 10% of boys age 17 will have persistent gynecomastia in one or both breasts that will not go away without surgical intervention.

In a study that followed boys with gynecomastia and boys of the same age who did not have gynecomastia, over a three-year period: no abnormal hormone levels were found to explain the gynecomastia. There was no difference in hormone levels between groups.

When Should a Teen get Male Breast Reduction Surgery?

How is a young boy whose body is changing each year to explain to peers that the fullness of his chest (gynecomastia) is a normal part of puberty? Imagine being a young athlete, in the locker room or at the gym, wanting to change to work out, but feeling severely uncomfortable being seen without a shirt due to mild to severe gynecomastia.

While we know that gynecomastia that shows up early in the teen years may regress, there is still a significant psychological and emotional burden when you develop breast tissue outside your control. The taunting and teasing can be very traumatizing.

Over the last 25 years, having treated a large number of boys with gynecomastia, Dr. Ditesheim recognizes the decision to have surgery is largely decided by the boy himself. By the time a young boy sees a plastic surgeon with his parents, he has struggled long enough and wants to treat his gynecomastia.

19-year-old boy with teen gynecomastia before and one year after surgical treatment with excision of glandular tissue. Working out or building chest muscle after gynecomastia treatment reveals an athletic male chest shape.
19 yr old boy with teen gynecomastia treated with Aquashape (water-jet) Liposuction. 19-year-old boy with teen gynecomastia treated with Aquashape (water-jet) Liposuction. The only scar is in the axilla (under the arm). Using liposuction, the fatty breast tissue was removed to restore a masculine chest. The nipple (areola) area shrinks resulting in a smaller, darker nipple area.

Gynecomastia Surgery in Charlotte, North Carolina

Dr. Ditesheim and his exceptional staff at Ditesheim Cosmetic Surgery are ready to help you take the first step in your liposuction treatment. Dr. Ditesheim welcomes gynecomastia consultations for the Charlotte, North Carolina area. In your initial consultation with Dr. Ditesheim, he will talk with you, review your medical history, examine you and discuss if male breast reduction surgery is a safe medical treatment for you to consider.

When it persists into the late teen years between 16-18, gynecomastia is likely to be persistent and not regress on its own. Fortunately, Dr. Ditesheim knows how to get rid of gynecomastia for teens with minimal scarring. Schedule your consultation by calling our office or contacting us online today.

Reference:

• Lemaine V, Cayci C, Simmons PS, Petty P. Gynecomastia in adolescent males. Semin Plast Surg. 2013 Feb;27(1):56-61. doi:

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