Can only overweight men get man boobs? Is it a sign of breast cancer? Dr Ivan Puah of Amaris B. Clinic sets the record straight on four common myths, and separates fact from fiction.
Man boobs, or gynecomastia, can be a confidence killer. But it’s not the end of the world.
“Gynecomastia, or the development of man boobs and excess glandular tissues, can occur when there is a hormonal imbalance or low testosterone levels in men,” explains Dr Ivan Puah, founder and doctor of Amaris B. Clinic. “Being a naturally occurring hormone, testosterone is not only directly responsible for a man’s physical features but also his sex drive and mood.”
To help you learn more about gynecomastia – and finally say goodbye to your man boobs – Dr Ivan Puah separates fact from fiction so you get the answers and treatment you need.
MYTH #1: Only overweight men can get Gynecomastia
Fact: When there is hormonal imbalance, gynecomastia can strike males of all ages – from infants, adolescents and teens to those aged 50 and older. However, the tenderness and swelling usually recede in a few months to two years, so it’s still possible for some – such as babies and younger males – to forego treatment. “These symptoms are not uncommon during puberty. However, should they persist upon reaching adulthood, surgical intervention is the answer,” relates Dr Ivan Puah.
Other factors that can increase your chances of experiencing a hormonal change or imbalance, and thus gynecomastia, include medications or drugs, alcohol, ageing and other health conditions.
MYTH #2: Gynecomastia is a sign of breast cancer
Fact: There is a risk, but it is rare. If you do feel any lumps or abnormalities, it’s good to see your doctor for a check-up.
In most cases, gynecomastia will not pose long-term problems or complications. The effects are found to be more psychological due to the change in a man’s appearance.
MYTH #3: I just need to exercise more to get rid of my man boobs
Fact: If you’re only dealing with pseudogynecomastia or fat build-up on the chest, there are workouts designed to build muscle and promote loss of fat. A healthy diet and a regular exercise programme that includes cardio and interval training, bench presses and weightlifting may help.
But if you have gynecomastia or excess glandular tissues, these lifestyle changes will not guarantee you losing the man boobs. You may want to consider gynecomastia surgery.
MYTH #4: It’s hard to treat gynecomastia
Fact: “Gynecomastia is often treatable,” assures Dr Ivan Puah. Not only does gynecomastia surgery – one of the clinic’s signature treatments – work towards the permanent removal of excess glandular tissues, it also sculpts and defines the chest area with the promise of a short recovery time.
Add in the High Intensity Focus Ultrasound treatment to tighten sagging skin, and you’ll see even more visible improvements and a better-looking physique.