The human body is made up of cells that continuously undergo the normal process of proliferation and necrosis (death of cells). This process can be influenced by certain factors such as dietary choices, lifestyle or medications. A condition is commonly known as “man boobs” is a result of this kind of external influence.
Scientifically, this term “man boobs” is called “pseudogynecomastia” which is presented in the male population. However, the proper understanding of this disorder requires adequate differentiation from a very similarly close term “gynecomastia” as both are different based on their underlying causes as well as the anatomy.
Pseudogynecomastia is characterized by the deposition of fat tissues (adipose tissues) at the breast area of male especially around and beneath the nipples, giving this area a feminine appearance.
Meanwhile, gynecomastia is characterized by the development of new tissues (in flesh and skin) at the breast area in males resulting from the administration of anabolic steroids or other related medications. It can also result from certain poor lifestyle or dietary choices.
Before undergoing the treatment it is highly recommended that the proper radiological investigations involving; ultrasound scanning, mammography, computed tomography (CT)scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), must be carried out to differentiate this disease from gynecomastia. Both diseases may appear similar in their manifestations but the underlying causes and anatomy differ a lot acquiring the specified different treatments for both of the conditions.
A well-defined checklist has been developed and recommended by the professionals for the evaluation of this disease. This list may involve the following signs and symptoms;
Asymmetrical Growth: It is a very common symptom of pseudogynecomastia in which the growth of both breasts may seem asymmetrical or irregular (one breast may look bigger than the other one). It can be evaluated by having a keen front and side look at the mirror of the body structure specifically of the breast area.
Weight Gain: The increased weight specifically in the area of stomach and chest may pose an alarming sign for the occurrence of pseudogynecomastia.
Strange Feeling:While pressing the breast cells with the help of fingers may give an odd and abnormal feeling of firmness and rubbery mass which could be another important sign of pseudogynecomastia.
Overall Health:Some other common conditions can be taken into consideration for the investigation of pseudogynecomastia involving; frequent mood swings, reduced or completely vanished sexual feelings and frequent depressive episodes.
There are many underlying causes for this disease and the most common may include the following;
Low metabolism resulting in abnormal deposition of adipose tissues (fats):Abnormal eating habits can lead to decreased metabolism rate resulting in the deposition of fats. The accumulation of fats triggers the over-production of an enzyme named aromatase which is considered to be responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. This conversion leads to the accumulation of estrogen in the male body and may give rise to feminine features including the enlargement of breasts by the increased deposition of fats in this area.
Increased level of Estrogen: The deposition of adipose tissues ultimately leads to the increased estrogen level in the male body resulting in the adoption of feminine features including pseudogynecomastia.
Decreased level of Testosterone: The deposition of adipose tissues ultimately leads to the decreased testosterone level in the male body resulting in the adoption of feminine features including pseudogynecomastia.
These above stated three causes are considered to be interconnected with one another resulting in the enhancement of each other in some ways.
A surgical procedure is suggested in cases where other treatment options do not work well. It also depends upon the severity of the condition and the clinical manifestations among patients. Most commonly two techniques are suggested for the management of this disease including;
Liposuction: This technique involves the removal of fat deposited tissues under and around the nipple area of the male breast by the application of a fine incision by a qualified surgeon. It takes approximately 1-3 hours to complete this surgery and after that, no hospital stay is required, the patient can go home after the process is done.This procedure has high chances of recurrences of breast enlargement without any defined reason.
Skin tightening: This technique is also called excision therapy which is highly recommended along with liposuction which restricts the recurrences of the disease. It involves the tightening of the skin at the stomach and breast areas in males and assures the lean structure after the swelling of the surgical technique is gone.
In this case, the most recommended and effective treatment option is weight loss by exercises. But there are only some specified exercises mainly targeting the pectoral muscles that appear to be helpful in this regard.
The most commonly suggested exercises may include;
- Standing low cable fly
- Barbell bench press
- Barbell incline bench press
- Dumbbell bench press
- Dumbbell pullover
- Machine decline press
The full-body workout