Four Myths about “Man Boobs”

For many men with gynecomastia (enlarged breasts), their quality of life is significantly affected. Their self-confidence takes a major hit and they can suffer from psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. Exercise and physical activity may be difficult with a large, heavy chest, and intimacy can be uncomfortable. Clothing may not fit properly. A simple outing to the beach, pool or gym can be fraught with stress and anxiety.

Although gynecomastia is quite common, there is a lot of misinformation floating around about the condition. Here, Dr. Bruce Barach clears up four of the most prominent myths about “man boobs.”

Only overweight men have large breasts.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Men of any size can grow large breasts, including men that are trim and toned in the rest of their body.

Drinking beer causes man boobs.

A few years ago, the media published reports claiming that drinking beer (especially “hoppier” beers like IPAs) led to the growth of man boobs. The thought was that the hops in beer cause an increase in estrogen, which leads to breast enlargement. However, this myth has been de-bunked. The more common causes of man boobs are hormones, genetic factors and the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Man boobs can be reduced through exercise.
Whether exercise can reduce the shape and size of the male breasts depends on the type of tissue; that is, whether it is fatty tissue, glandular tissue or both. Exercise is great for burning fat, but it doesn’t have any effect on glandular tissue. No amount of exercise can tighten loose, saggy breast skin, either.

There is nothing I can do to get rid of my man boobs.

This is patently untrue. Dr. Barach performs male breast reduction, an operation in which excess fatty tissue, glandular tissue and skin are reduced to give the chest a flatter and firmer appearance. Male breast reduction is generally very well tolerated by patients; and for many men, the results of the procedure are life changing.

Learn More about Gynecomastia Treatment

If you or the man in your life feels self-conscious of enlarged breasts, allow Dr. Barach to explain the procedure in greater detail during a consultation. To make an appointment with the doctor, please call (518) 346-3125 or send us an email.