What is gynecomastia? You might not recognize the condition by name, but when you hear its slang reference, you know what it is.
Commonly referred to as “man boobs”, Gynecomastia is the presence of enlarged breast tissue in males, resembling the aspect of a woman’s breast. Unfortunately, Gynecomastia can cause emotional stress and damage to social experiences. It is estimated that up to 60% of all males suffer from some form of gynecomastia.
The word gynecomastia comes from two distinct Greek terms, gyneco (woman, female) + mastia (breast tissue).
In gynecomastia, the enlarged breast is due to an increase in the glandular tissue of the breast and may also have an increase in the fat layer. When the enlarged male breasts are only caused by an over-abundance of fatty tissues, the condition is called pseudogynecomastia (false or fake), or lipomastia. The two conditions are distinct and need to be approached differently.
There are other terms used to describe this condition. These are helpful in recognizing gynecomastia for treatment.