What Are 'Man Boobs'? Know The Cause, Treatment and Tips To Avoid This Condition

Condition in which male breasts occur due to hormonal changes in the body is called Gynecomastia. Know what is the cause of it and treatment tips

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Apr 04, 2021 13:00 IST
What Are 'Man Boobs'? Know The Cause, Treatment and Tips To Avoid This Condition

Malaria & Dengue Day 2023: Fever Causes, Symptoms and Prevention Guide - Onlymyhealth

Body disorders can be very disturbing, not just in women but in men too. We live in a society where everyone wants to be in perfect shape and there are less people who accept people with some kind of disorders or conditions. And imagine men with a heavy chest, almost resembling or having a slight shape of a breast or boob? Out of shame or difficulty in actually understanding the underlying condition, many people opt for surgical methods to correct that body disorder condition. Gynecomastia is one such condition, commonly known as man boobs. This condition can be very embarrassing and stressful for people as other judge them in no time.  

What is Gynecomastia? 

It is a condition where the breast tissues swell in boys and men. Let us know from expert Dr. R.K Sinha (Endocrinologist) from Max Hospital, Pune. Dr. Sinha exclaims that this condition can happen due to hormonal changes in the body. Breast tissues are present in both males and females but testosterone lowers down the orientation of breast tissues in men which steers during puberty. When boys go through puberty; there can be hormonal imbalance in testosterone level which can give small breast appearance. These are normally termed as ‘man boobs’. If the breast enlarges then that condition is called “pseudogynecomastia”. 


Also Read: 10 Beard Problems Faced by Men and Their Remedies Explained By Dermatologist Priyadarshini Singh

What Causes ‘Man Boobs’? 

There can be a lot of situation which can lead to this condition. Gynecomastia is majorly caused by hormonal imbalance. So let us find out what can cause growth of male breasts- 

  • Injury or disease that affects the testicles. 
  • Since hormones from thyroid gland control the sexual development, hence thyroid problems can be a cause of Gynecomastia. 
  • Cancer too can be cause of this condition as it includes tumours in lungs, pituitary gland or adrenal glands. 
  • Obesity which can increase the oestrogen levels in the body. 
  • It can also be caused by illegal drugs like anabolic steroids, marijuana and heroin.  
  • Kidney failure 
  • Liver disease 

There are other factors too which can result to Gynecomastia or ‘man boobs’. It can happen from your mother’s body as well. During infants if the hormones of mother is still in boys body then also this Gynecomastia can happen. Apart from this there are some medications which can also cause ‘man boobs’. 


  • HIV Drugs can cause side-effects which can sometimes cause the condition of Gynecomastia. It is highly active antiretroviral therapy. 
  • Anti-anxiety drugs- medication can sometimes cause Gynecomastia. The drug responsible could be Valium. 
  • Heart medications such as asdigoxin and calcium channel blockers are also a cause of Gynecomastia. 
  • Anti-androgens which are given to treat prostate cancer can also cause this. 
  • Anabolic Steroids- Sometimes athletes in order to improve their performance use this drug. This drug has a side-effect which causes man-boobs. 
  • Ulcer Drugs can counter ulcers but can lead to Gynecomastia, such as cimetidine. 

Treatment of Gynecomastia 

In most of the cases this condition can be cured without a treatment slowly. You can visit an endocrinologist which can help treat problems related to hormones and their effect on the body. Treatment of man boobs depends on your age as well as how you want to treat it. In most cases no surgery is required but in some conditions where the condition is getting worse you may have to go for a surgery.  If Gynecomastia happens during puberty, it usually goes on its own; however this might take around 6 months to 3 years. If take the other way, then you have 2 options- 

  • Liposuction- which is removal of extra breast fat 
  • Mastectomy- which is removal of breast gland tissue 

Tips to Prevent Gynecomastia 

  • Do not use recreational drugs such as anabolic steroids, androgens, amphetamines, marijuana or heroin. 
  • Do not drink alcohol, or take it in minimal quantity. 
  • Ask your doctor about the medication, if any of your medication can cause Gynecomastia, you can ask for alternatives. 
  • Avoid sitting in poor postures and reduce the fat content from your diet. 
  • Exercises Which Can Help in Condition of Man Boobs- 
  • Walking and Running  
  • Rowing Machines 
  • Swimming 
  • Bench Press 
  • Push-ups 
  • Bent-Forward Cable Crossover 


Also Read: Here Are 6 Essential Screenings To Test Men's Health And Keep Them Healthy

Condition of ‘Man Boobs’ are called Gynecomastia. It is mainly caused by hormonal changes in the body and lowering of testosterone level. It can also be a side-effect of some medication or drug. It can be treated through surgery however it goes by its own after puberty in most cases.  

Read More Articles on Men’s Health