Man boobs, male breasts, moobs – by any other name they are certainly not wanted.
Former Friends star Matthew Perry was photographed on holiday in Mexico recently with moobs on show, taking the spotlight off female celebrities for a change strutting their stuff au natural.
Global surveys indicate that gynaecomastia – an over-development of the male chest area; either the result of an excess of glandular breast tissue or an accumulation of fatty tissue in the chest or a combination of both and it can appear female breast-like in appearance – is on the rise.
Generally, there are two reasons why a guy may have moobs.
The first is basically a medical condition resulting from a hormonal imbalance or elevated levels of oestrogen and lowered levels of testosterone.
This causes small painful lumps to form under the nipple. Sometimes this condition occurs in young males going through puberty. In this case the issue will usually go away on it’s own.
But if a grown man has “gyno” he will likely have to take some sort of action (likely surgical) to addresss his “moobs”.
The second reason for moobs is excess fat stored in the chest. This can also be caused by excess systemic oestrogen, but others factors are bad diet and lack of exercise.
There are a lot more oestrogenic compounds in the environment these days that bodies have to deal with. This comes from hormones in foods, water, pesticides and plastics.
So that combined with eating a lot of refined foods will pack on the weight. And when you are gaining fat and have high oestrogen levels the chest in one area that gets hit.
“All men have a small degree of glandular breast tissue in the chest, but why it develops in some is not always clear,” says Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson.
“It can be the result of certain medications, such as just a single use of steroids in body builders, but is often caused by hormonal changes which is why the problem can develop at or just after puberty or later on in life.
“Men of all ages, from puberty and up, can be embarrassed by excess fatty tissue or gynaecomastia (the Greek word for women-like breasts), commonly referred to as “man boobs” or sometimes “moobs” and can affect just one or both breasts. “In fact an estimated 40–60 per cent of all men suffer from some level of gynaecomastia.
“Despite the high percentage of men with this condition, it is something that is rarely discussed especially amongst men who do everything in their power to mask their condition by not wearing tight shirts, avoiding the locker room or the beach or shying away from intimacy due to their extreme self-consciousness.
“There are many factors that can lead to the development of male breasts including genetics, being overweight and the use of certain medications such as anabolic steroids. Whatever the cause the distress that this condition can cause is very real.
“The problem with gynaecomastia, however, is that it doesn’t always respond to diet and exercise.”
HOW TO LOSE MAN BOOBS
Surgery is the answer, according to Dr Hodkinson.
“The actual procedure which is chosen will depend on each individual’s situation as assessed by me. I normally perform the procedure by removing the glandular tissue through a small incision underneath the areolar (nipple) in a half-moon shape and then complete the procedure by liposculpting around the breast and the pectoralis major muscle, defining the pectoralis major and giving the chest a more defined muscular and masculine appearance.
“In some very extreme cases, there may be the need to excise some excess skin as well.
“In less severe cases, if the glandular tissue is not affected and there is only excess fat, then I may be able to correct the condition with liposuction or ultrasonic liposuction alone.”
The scars, being around the nipple, are minimal and usually fade in two to three months.
Candidates for male breast reduction include physically healthy men who are looking to improve breasts that are more feminine than masculine in appearance. The best results are often achieved on those with firm, elastic skin.