Teenage Man-Boobs: A Look at Gynecomastia in Teenagers
We all know that the path to male adulthood is laden with pubic hair and squeaky voices. This typical phase of human development is very important to young boys at it marks their transition to maturity. But just because it’s important, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. On top of having to deal with changes in the voice, the shaving, the acne and the growth spurts, young men also have to deal with Gynecomastia in Teenagers.
In simpler terms, this is known as the tendency for young males to develop “man-boobs”. Their chest area begins to fatten up and take the form of a more feminine countenance. Given the harshness of peer pressure and teasing, this development in the body is an unwelcome change for most teenagers.
As a part of human development, Gynecomastia takes place in three stages of the male life cycle. The first time is during infancy when a baby’s body begins to develop more muscle and tissue due to their increased metabolic rate. The second instance, and the focus of this article, takes place during puberty.
On top of the increased production of the sex hormone testosterone, males also develop a higher production rate of estrogen, the female counterpart of testosterone. Because of this increase in hormones, the body responds by developing a more “nourishing” chest for males.
Although this strange phenomenon does not happen to everyone, more than 50% of all males that go through puberty are subject to this development. This means that every young man has less than 50% chances of avoiding this change in their bodies.
Is It a Bad Thing?
Since Gynecomastia in teenagers is natural, it’s not bad. It can be considered as one of the myriad changes that a young male goes through before they reach maturity. This is not to be confused with notions about gender confusion. Just because a boy is going through Gynecomastia, there isn’t enough evidence to point to the conclusion that they are more likely to become gay.
On top of that, this change will soon disappear by the time they reach adulthood. Just like every other zit on a teen brought about by those “raging hormones”, those pseudo-breasts will flatten out and give way to muscles when the time is right.
The only factor that makes Gynecomastia a bad thing is the notion of public awareness. Not a lot of people are aware of the fact that boys can develop some cleavage during their early development. This gives grounds to bullying and teasing which could negatively affect the self-esteem of a young man who is merely going through some personal changes.
With proper guidance and education, young men will be able to accept this change and learn how to “roll with it.”
Any Special Precautions?
Just be sure to leave them alone. Squeezing those growths is not going to help the situation at all, it may make things worse by causing swelling and pain the chest area. The same thing goes for flattening them by wearing tight bands around the chest underneath regular clothing. The breasts will subside given the right time. A great way to go about this is to choose clothing items that are loose that do not define the shape of a boy’s figure. Support from parents and friends is also important in this stage so as not to promote a loss of confidence.
Despite the simplicity of this issue, it is strongly advised to avoid taking any kind of drugs for Gynecomastia. Taking medication for a natural process is only going to screw up the natural order of things in the body and may be more trouble than it’s worth.
Special emphasis is placed on avoiding hormone-manipulating substances. You cannot flatten out the estrogen-induced breast tissue by ingesting or producing more testosterone. Doing so will only create a hormonal imbalance that could lead to mood swings and acne.
Seeking the help of a doctor is a good way to gain more information on this phenomenon, but don’t expect to get any prescriptions for anything. The most you’ll be getting is some peace of mind from the knowledge that it will all come to pass at the right time.
When Should You Be Worried?
As mentioned earlier, the accumulated breast tissue will go away once adulthood is achieved. Should the breast tissue still be there and after 20, it could be caused by other medication that you’ve been taking. It could also come from obesity that developed during puberty.
If in case the breast tissue is still there after the age of 20, then it is time to start exercising. Your body may not be metabolizing fast enough to recognize the fact that the breast tissue needs to be replaced with muscle tissue and you might need to help your body get the bigger picture.
If the breast tissue is still there even with proper exercise and diet, then it would be best to seek the expertise of a doctor. These people would be in the best position to prescribe the next set of steps to take.
Will It Come Back?
When the breast tissue disappears during adulthood, it’s not going to stay away forever. There is a chance that it will come back when you hit 60 and above. This is known as adult Gynecomastia. This happens because males tend to produce smaller amounts of testosterone when they enter seniority, causing a resurgence of estrogens in their bodies.
If you experience Gynecomastia during your adult life, it can also be caused by other factors besides hormonal imbalances. Some possible culprits could be alcohol consumption, anti-ulcer medication, steroids and even weed. Be sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep that ideal figure.
But whether Gynecomastia in Teenagers is caused by hormones or other genetic conditions, the fact remains that boobs on a man are rather unsightly and may cause some issues when it comes to socializing with other people. Not to mention that a young man with breasts may find it difficult to find a girlfriend!