The development of enlarged breasts in men, a condition known as gynecomastia, has become fairly common, affecting 40% to 60% of males.

Although gynecomastia presents no health risk, it can be a concern and embarrassment to those men and boys who look down to find larger breasts where a flatter, more masculine chest should be.

Signs you may have gynecomastia are not difficult to see; excess localized fat, increased glandular tissue development and sometimes, excess breast skin. Any of these can be present in either one or both breasts.

Gynecomastia is triggered by an imbalance of male and female hormones in a man’s body. When the amount of testosterone is significantly decreased in relation to estrogen, male breast development can be seen to occur. Many different conditions and situations can cause this hormonal upset, including the following:

Aging

A hormonal imbalance created by the aging process can cause a man’s breasts to grow larger.

Alcohol Abuse

The abuse of alcohol over the course of time can cause liver damage, which in its turn may create a hormonal imbalance resulting in gynecomastia.

Cancer Treatment

Some chemotherapy drugs can cause the hormonal imbalances that lead to male breast enlargement.

Prescription Drugs

Far more prescription drugs than you would imagine have been found to be at the root of what seemed to be inexplicable male breast development. Some of these are:

Amphetamines

Antidepressants

Antipsychotics

Blood Pressure Medications

Ulcer Medications

In many cases, simply stopping the offending drug is enough to reverse the condition. (Don’t just stop taking a prescription medication – talk to your doctor.)

Street Drugs

Amphetamines

Marijuana

Heroin

Methadone

Steroid Usage:

The use of anabolic steroids by bodybuilders can cause the development of male breasts. Once inside the body, these steroids can chemically change into estrogen, causing the growth of not only muscle tissue but breast tissue as well.

Obesity:

When a body increases in weight the fat gets stored in various areas, including the chest. Also, excess fat tends to increase the production of estrogen, when then causes the growth of more breast tissue.

Heredity:

Sometimes heredity can be the cause of male breast enlargement.

Puberty:

Some boys develop enlarged breasts due to the increased production of hormones that occur during puberty. Usually this situation resolves itself without outside influence.

Gynecomastia Surgery

An effective way of dealing with gynecomastia and one of the best ways to reduce enlarged male breasts is with surgery.

Male breast reduction surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic. Excess fat and breast tissue is removed in a minimally invasive approach through access at the border of the areola. In most cases, these access sites are barely detectable after surgery.

The result of the gynecomastia surgery will be a flatter, more masculine-looking chest and the increase in confidence that provides.