Gynecomastia, also known as “man boobs,” is an enlargement of the breast tissue in boys and men. It is occasionally spelt “gynaecomastia.” One breast may be affected or both.
Gynecomastia is a relatively common disorder that affects more than half of all males during puberty and often goes away as the boys get older. A third of older men will eventually develop it. However, gynecomastia can be remedied with medication or cosmetic surgery if it is making you feel a lot of embarrassment.
Gynecomastia is characterised by rubbery or hard breasts. The swelling expands from beneath the chin across the breast region. Occasionally, it might be quite tender. Gynecomastia can cause sagging breasts and stretching of the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple).
It is distinct from male breast enlargement induced by obesity. These are caused by increased breast fat.
In addition, it differs from male breast cancer, which typically affects only one side, is not always located in the nasopharynx, and feels hard or firm.
Generally speaking, gynecomastia is not life-threatening, although it may suggest an underlying medical concern – and many men find it unpleasant and difficult to deal with.
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