Teenage boys are already going through an awkward stage in their life and may be self-conscious about their developing bodies. This self-consciousness is heightened if they develop gynecomastia, a condition more common than people may expect.
Gynecomastia is a condition caused by excess breast tissue development in boys/men. it usually appears during the early teenage years (13-15) but can begin in boys as young as 10 years old. There are two types of gynecomastia: temporary and permanent. Temporary gynecomastia subsides on its own so treatment is a “wait and see” to see if the condition goes away on its own. Unfortunately, if the problem persists beyond two years, then it is almost always permanent.
At the onset of teenage gynecomastia, your doctor will want to wait at least a year to track breast development to see if it resolves on its own. If there is no improvement after about two years, then surgery may be recommended if it is negatively impacting the teenage’s life. Removal of the breast tissue is permanent. Puffy nipples is a common symptom among teenage gynecomastia and can be removed with a virtually unnoticeable incision. More severe gynecomastia will require a slightly larger surgery likely with both breast tissue and excess fat removal.
The main goal for treating gynecomastia is to prevent the emotional problems that can come from gynecomastia: decreased self-confidence, isolation, oversized clothes, and avoidance of the pool, gym, or other places where one’s shirt is taken off publicly.
It is important to talk about this condition and destigmatize the commonality of this often emotionally crippling condition. It is often believed the condition will go away on its own or with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Instead of an enlarged chest being contributed to a common medical condition, teenage boys are often ridiculed for being overweight or having “man boobs,” which can significantly impact their self-esteem. If your son has been avoiding outdoor activities, wears oversized clothes, or is being teased in school, these could be signs that they have gynecomastia.
If your son is struggling with gynecomastia, schedule a consultation with Dr. Cruise, one of five gynecomastia specialists in the country. Once you receive a diagnosis and treatment plan, your son is one step closer to regaining self-confidence and improving both your physical and emotional health.
Dr. Joseph Cruise is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 15 years of experience. Regarded as one of the top gynecomastia surgeons in the world, Dr. Cruise has gynecomastia-specific content that can be found at lagynecomastia.org. Dr. Cruise has dedicated his career to cosmetic surgery but has also had extensive training in General Surgery, Hand Surgery, and Microvascular Surgery. Dr. Joseph Cruise is also a member of the Rhinoplasty Society as well as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
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