Man Boobs: Psychological Impact
Gynecomastia can significantly impair a male’s perception of himself and his psychological well-being. In a study by the Children’s Hospital in Boston, they found that some of the effects of gynecomastia are restlessness, isolation, pain, tension and in some cases eating disorders. Especially in the ages between 12-21, boys have an issue with their social functioning, mental health, and self-esteem. What was really profound in this study is that no matter the severity of the gynecomastia, that the feelings were equal among boys who had smaller enlarged breasts. Boys in this age yearn to be a part of a community and peer acceptance is especially crucial during this time.
Man Boobs: Some Facts
- Gynecomastia is very common and usually affects up to 70 percent of boys.
- Gynecomastia is temporary and usually occurs between the ages of 13 to 18. However, in some cases, the condition can continue after 18 years of age. Therefore, the majority of males seeking treatment are between the ages of 18 to 50.
- Gynecomastia can be caused by a number of factors:
- Benign breast tumors that are usually present in one breast
- Certain medications such as anti-anxiety medication, amphetamines and anabolic steroids can enlarge breasts.
- Recreational drugs such as marijuana, heroin and alcohol
- Changes in Hormones during puberty
Man Boobs: Psychological & Physical Solutions
One of the best treatments for gynecomastia is surgery. There are a few different options. First, liposuction can be effective because it removes breast fat which is responsible for the swelling. This approach may work for some cases of gynecomastia. This method is preferable because there is an invisible scar because of the small incision line.
Another method is the combination of liposuction with a excision of the mammary tissue. This is usually done through a 1-cm incision in the armpit or the areola. A doctor will utilize an endoscope to excise the mammary tissue.
Whatever method is used, it’s important for a doctor to talk to the patient about the psychological aspects of gynecomastia because even when the surgery has been performed, there may be some residual psychological effects. In many cases, a surgeon will recommend a psychiatrist.
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