Can Gynecomastia Get Worse Over Time?

Gynecomastia is a condition that affects many men and can worsen over time if left untreated. Learn more about how it progresses and what treatments are available.

Can Gynecomastia Get Worse Over Time?

Gynecomastia is a condition that affects many men, and it can worsen over time if left untreated. When gynecomastia isn't corrected, the appearance of male breasts generally worsens with age. Weight gain can cause the breasts to grow larger, and the skin's elasticity will decrease, leading to sagging. The condition usually progresses through several phases before it disappears.The first phase is an inflammatory one, during which most men experience some breast tenderness.

After about six to twelve months, the swelling decreases and leaves only scar tissue. In most cases, no treatment is necessary. Gynecomastia is common during puberty, and it usually resolves on its own without treatment. This can take anywhere from six months to two or three years.

It's also worth noting that approximately half of male babies have gynecomastia due to their mother's estrogen still circulating through them. Most of the breast tissue will disappear within a few weeks as the baby's internal organs begin to produce their own hormones.If gynecomastia is very severe, there are medications that can help reduce breast size. Surgery may also be an option for those whose gynecomastia persists beyond puberty. Male breast enlargement usually goes away over time or with changes in medications.

Some men become self-conscious about their appearance, which can lead to depression and anxiety. However, these issues should improve once gynecomastia is treated.Having gynecomastia may slightly increase the risk of male breast cancer due to the change in the ratio of estrogen to testosterone in the body. Pseudogynecomastia is an enlargement of the tissue under the nipple in the chest wall due to fat accumulation and should not be confused with gynecomastia. Other causes of lumps in male breasts include fatty tumors, cysts, or a buildup of blood.In some cases, gynecomastia will go away once you end puberty and your hormone levels return to normal.

Even though it's only a temporary change for most teens, some men with gynecomastia may feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their appearance. If you have gynecomastia and it really bothers you or it has lasted longer than about two years, talk to your healthcare provider about possible treatments.The hormonal changes that cause gynecomastia are usually only a natural part of the aging process, but certain medications and underlying health conditions can also be factors. Some medications used for ulcers, heart conditions, benign prostate problems, and prostate cancer can cause gynecomastia. In recent years, more and more men have expressed their problems with gynecomastia and why they chose (or not) to have their breasts surgically removed.

In most cases, gynecomastia resolves on its own with minimal treatment and with little risk of long-term complications.

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