We talk a lot about plastic surgery procedures for women, but plastic surgery is not solely a woman’s market. Procedures, such as liposuction and facelifts, are popular procedures for the male population. In addition to the previous two procedures, men also visit a plastic surgeon for a very personal reason. Gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is the presence of excess breast tissue on a man. It is a hormone imbalance where a male will produce too much estrogen and not enough testosterone.
Gynecomastia is a common problem among men of all ages. Beginning at birth, male babies will have swollen breasts due to the estrogen they absorbed from their mommies in utero. Within a few weeks, the estrogen levels decrease and the swelling subsides. Then they enter puberty and chaos begins again. Unfortunately, depending on the specific person, not all gynecomastia subsides during puberty like it does at birth. Extra weight, unhealthy eating, recreational habits, and the use of steroids can increase the symptoms of gynecomastia.
Older men, age 55 and older, go through hormone changes as well. This is the most common time frame for gynecomastia symptoms to become prevalent. Age causes the skin’s elasticity to weaken and men get the sagging skin plus the excess breast tissue, which leads to very noticeable breasts. Gynecomastia can be a very embarrassing condition for men of all ages. There are things you can try at home to lessen the symptoms, but for many, surgery is the only option.
*Important Note* The advice listed here is not to replace the advice of a doctor. You should consult with your doctor before trying any of the following tips*
Here are some things you can do at home to help with gynecomastia:
Find Ways to Help Hormone Imbalance
Natural substances, such as turmeric, can increase testosterone, which helps to counteract the production of estrogen. Turmeric can be purchased in powdered form and mixed with water or can be purchased as pills from your doctor. Another natural substance that helps with the production of testosterone is fish oil. Fish oil actually does double duty as it reduces estrogen while it increases testosterone. You can buy fish oil supplements over the counter or you can add fresh fish to your diet including salmon, tuna and mackerel.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
While being overweight does not cause gynecomastia, it can make symptoms worse. Eating healthy and exercising daily helps to keep your weight under control and the appearance of the gynecomastia may not be as noticeable if you are in good shape. Excess weight also stretches the skin, which can cause sagging.
Check Your Medications
Certain medications can cause gynecomastia. If you take any of the following drugs, contact your doctor or pharmacist to see if they are known to cause a hormone imbalance. Do not stop taking your medication without first consulting your doctor. Stopping drugs like antidepressants without help from your doctor can cause serious problems. Here is a list of medications you should have checked:
- Antidepressants and antipsychotics
- Cholesterol drugs
- Some hair-loss treatments
- Heartburn and ulcer medication
Avoid Certain Foods and Other Substances
The following foods should be avoided to help reduce the symptoms of gynecomastia:
- Apples and cherries
- Barley, oats, rice, and wheat
- Chickpeas, soybeans, yams and pumpkin
- Olive oil
- Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and cucumbers
Also avoid these substances that are known to make gynecomastia symptoms worse:
- Recreational drugs
Plastic Surgery To Remove Tissue
The home remedies we have discussed can help reduce the symptoms of gynecomastia, but they will not get rid of the problem all together. Surgery is the only way to fully rid yourself of the breast tissue. Gynecomastia surgery is like the breast reduction surgery performed for women. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove glandular tissue, fat and skin to give your chest a more contoured look. Your recovery will take a couple of weeks for complete healing of the wound and you should avoid chest exercises for about 6 weeks. Afterwards, you will be back to normal and looking better than ever!
Some men believe plastic surgery is just for women. Not true! Male plastic surgery procedures are common and they can help you look and feel good about yourself….just like your female counterparts! Don’t spend the rest of your life embarrassed to take your shirt off at the beach! Take back your life! If you are ready to take that important step, contact our office today to set up a consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons!
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