So Your Son Has Breasts: Dealing With The Tough Issue Of Male Breast Development
Male breast development is an often overlooked concern that may affect male children early in life and during the adolescent years. Although most instances are benign, male beasts can cause significant issues with self-esteem. There are ways to address your concerns and possibly treat the condition.
Address Any Weight Issues
Not all instances of male breast development are hormonal in nature. Pseudogynecomastia occurs when there is excess fat accumulation in the chest area, which can cause males to develop the appearance of breasts, but there is no true breast tissue. In some cases, this is associated with being significantly overweight. If your child is overweight, you may want to consider encouraging them to eat better and exercise. When addressing the issue of weight, do so in an appropriate way without making your child feel bad or insecure about their body. Many of the lifestyle changes can be done by the whole family. Regardless of the size of everyone in your family, each person can benefit from making better food choices and exercise.
Speak With The Pediatrician
No matter your child's weight, it is a good idea to speak with their pediatrician about your concerns. The pediatrician is better able to determine if breast development is gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia. Additional tests may be needed to check hormone levels and to rule out other causes, such as tumors. Imaging tests can give your pediatrician better insight into whether there is an accumulation of fat or breast tissue. If your child is unaware their development seems different than other males, it is unnecessary to bring this to their attention. Even if your child is diagnosed with gynecomastia, they may eventually outgrow the condition.
Ask For A Referral
For some boys, once they have reached their adolescent years, dealing with gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia may have effects on their self-esteem. They may avoid sports or gym class due to concerns that other boys may see their body. This may be the time to ask for a referral to a plastic surgeon for further evaluation. The surgeon may recommend removal of breast tissue or fat. It is important for both you and your child to realize surgery is not always a permanent fix. Since gynecomastia is related to an imbalance of hormones, it is possible for breast tissue to reform in the future. For pseudogynecomastia, future weight gain may result in accumulation of fat in the same area.
The development of breasts in male children can be an uncomfortable topic, but fortunately there are ways to address the concern. Working with a plastic surgeon may help your son regain his self-confidence. Contact a company like Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati to learn more.