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Adolescent Male Breast

Is it normal?

More than half of boys passing through puberty will experience a swelling of their breasts.

  • It may be on one side or both
  • It may be a little painful when you press on it
  • It’s size is usually between one and five centimeters around your nipple
  • Most times (90%) will reduce after one to three years as you grow older

You don’t need to worry if you are going through puberty.


Is it because you are fat?

  • Some fat people may also appear to have breasts
  • It is actually fat accumulating on their chest
  • It can be difficult to say if the swelling is due to fat or breast tissue. Breast tissue feels more firms
  • If it is due mainly to breast tissue it is called gynaecomastia

Are there other reasons for gynaecomastia?

Yes there are, but they are all VERY RARE.

  • Some medicines may cause it:
    • Estrogens (female hormones) found in creams or tablets
    • Medicines for depression or heart disease
    • Steroids
  • It is associated with:
    • Klinefelter’s Syndrome
    • Serious liver disease
    • Tumours

Should you see your doctor?

You should see your family doctor if:

  • You develop gynaecomastia before puberty. (Before 9 years of age)
  • You notice any fluid (watery, milky or bloody) from your nipples
  • It remains as you grow older, after 16 years of age
  • You feel very worried or embarrassed

Is there treatment?

Most times no treatment is needed. Your doctor:

  • Will ask you more questions. Inform him if you are taking any medicines, dadah or creams
  • Will examine you
  • May order some tests to make sure you don’t have any rare illnesses
  • May suggest some medicines if it is painful

In some men the condition remains. It may affect their daily life because of embarrassment or teasing. Removal of the breasts through surgery is possible. This is done by a plastic surgeon / general surgeon.


Last Reviewed : 27 April 2012
Content Writer : Dr. Kauthaman a/l Mahendran
Reviewwer : Dr. Salmah bt. Nordin
: Dr. Norizzati Bukhary bt. Ismail Bukhary