What is the treatment for gynecomastia?

Usually, no treatment is needed. Most cases of gynecomastia lessen with time. However, if a medical condition is causing gynecomastia, medications may need to be given. If a medication is the cause, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it or may prescribe a different medication. Your doctor may suggest seeing an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in treating hormone-related problems). Surgery is usually not recommended unless the gynecomastia is causing severe pain and tenderness or embarrassment.

Counseling may be recommended for boys and men who find it difficult to cope with this condition. Gynecomastia can be embarrassing and result in avoiding situations in which the chest is bare (changing clothes in the locker room, swimming, public showering). This can lead to not wanting to be around other people, anxiety, stress, and depression. Talking with a counselor can help.

Other conditions that have the same appearance of gynecomastia, but are not gynecomastia include:

Breast cancer. Men do get breast cancer, but it is uncommon. Usually breast cancer affects only one breast. The breast is not tender, feels firm-to-hard to the touch, and may contain a lump that feels like it is attached to the breast tissue. Also, lymph nodes in the breast area are enlarged. The skin on the breast area appears dimpled, and there may be leakage of liquid from the nipple.

Fatty breast tissue. This is seen in obese men. It is due to an increase in fat deposits in the breast. (Gynecomastia is a swelling of the glandular tissue of the breast; it is not fat deposits.).

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/10/2016.

References

  • American Academy of Family Physicians. Breast problems in men Accessed 6/10/2016.
  • Bembo SA. Carlson HE. Gynecomastia: its features, and when and how to treat it.Cleve Clin J Med 2004 Jun;71(6):511-7
  • Rahmani S, Turton P, Shaaban A, Dall B. Overview of gynecomastia in the modern era and the Leeds Gynaecomastia Investigation algorithm. Breast J 2011 May-Jun;17(3):246-55.
  • Gikas P, Mokbel K.Management of gynaecomastia: an update. Int J Clin Pract 2007 Jul;61(7):1209-15. Epub 2007 Mar 16.
  • Narula HS, Carlson HE. Gynecomastia. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics 2007;36(2):497-519.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy