Male Breasts: Effects & Treatment for Teens
Studies show significant psychological benefit from early treatment of male breasts in adolescents.
Nothing is more traumatic for a guy than looking in the mirror and seeing breasts. This is true at any age but particularly for boys in their teens. Overwhelming feelings of embarrassment cause boys with male breasts to hide or exclude themselves from social settings or athletic activities.
Internet searches or even pediatrician visits can be frustrating with misinformation. Parents are told to wait until their son gets older as “he will outgrow” the problem. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The breasts don’t go away without help.
Parents may be the last to know.
Because boys expect changes to their bodies during puberty, what is normal and what is not can be very confusing. By the time most parents become aware, their son has usually been trying to deal with the issue on his own for some time. It is very common to try creative methods to hide the embarrassment: wearing tight undershirts, extra t-shirts, loose fitting shirts.
Eventually, potential embarrassing situations are avoided entirely. Boys will avoid sports that require exposing the chest like swimming or basketball. Changing in a locker room, going to the beach or pool is ferociously avoided. Self-confidence and body image is compromised at a critical time in normal psychological development.
“My nipples stick out.”
Many boys, particularly boys who are thin, muscular or athletic, have male breasts where the nipples protrude or “stick out.” There is only a thin layer of fat between the skin and the muscle. When the usually small amount of breast tissue under the nipple gets stimulated during puberty, too much nipple projection can appear breast-like.
Some drugs, possibly marijuana and definitely anabolic steroids (supplements) can abnormally stimulate breast tissue. Because the muscle is under the breast tissue, working out to bulk up the chest only makes the breast problem worse.
For other boys, the breast appears round or even hanging. Whatever the presentation, boys do not have to live with breasts. With plastic surgery, the
chest is returned to a normal shape and scars are hidden either in the armpit or around the nipple.
Surgery can be life changing.
This is the story, told in his own words, of a 16 year old boy with male breasts. He had been a competitive swimmer since age 7. Because of his male breasts, he stopped swimming at age 12. He had plastic surgery at age 16 and 8 days after treatment for his male breasts, he was swimming again.
“I have been swimming since I was seven years old. I loved going to the lake and being out at the pool with friends. When I turned 12, I noticed that my nipples started to cone out (project). At the time, I did not think much of it because I was a little chunky. When I turned 14, I lost weight. I went from 175 to 149 pounds, but noticed nothing had changed. I avoided going to the lake and pool parties. I even avoided joining the AAU basketball team for fear of having to take off my shirt in practice. I basically avoided going anywhere I would have to take off my shirt. I had to deal with this for the next two years.
“(When I turned 16), I did some research on the internet and found out that there are other guys bothered by the same problem. I shared my concerns with my mom and showed her the information I had found. Fortunately, my mom listened and made a call to Dr. Ditesheim who assured me that he could fix my nipples and get me back in the pool.
“I was so relieved to know that there was something that could be done about my nipples and that I could enjoy the freedom of hanging out with my friends at Carowinds, the pool or on the beach without any concerns of taking off my shirt.”
If you would like to learn more about the treatment options and results that can be achieved, call our office or visit our website’s pages, Male Breast Reduction Procedure or our Male Breast Reduction Results page and click the link “male age 13-22” to see examples.