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Man Boobs (Gynaecomastia)

What is Botox?

Botox, or botulinum toxin, is an injectable treatment that is primarily targeted to treat wrinkles, fine lines and creases on the face. It can also be used as a non-permanent facial contouring treatment to slim down your profile. Botox is more widely known as an effective anti-aging product for improving the appearance of your skin. Botox is able to treat signs of advanced aging as it promotes collagen production and skin elasticity. In Singapore, Botox is used to temporarily give patients a younger and tighter look.

What are Man Boobs?

Medically referred to as gynaecomastia, man boobs generally do not pose a serious health issue. However, it can become difficult to cope with when pain develops in the breasts. Importantly, too, some men may feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about their man boobs.

Gynaecomastia persists for some but naturally subsides for others. Where it persists, medication or surgery may help.

What are the common causes of Man Boob (Gynaecomastia) in Singapore?

  • Hormonal changes

Every human body produces the hormones testosterone and estrogen. These hormones control sex characteristics where the former controls male traits while the latter controls female traits, including the development of breasts. A male body would have higher testosterone levels, which prevents the breast tissue from enlarging. However, when testosterone levels are below or out of balance with estrogen levels, this results in the enlarging of breast tissues.

  • Medications

Certain medications can also cause gynaecomastia. These include and are not limited to:

  • Anti-androgens used to treat an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer, among other conditions
  • Androgens and anabolic steroids used to treat delayed puberty, hormone deficiencies, or muscle loss from another condition
  • Medications used to manage AIDS contain estrogen-like properties that can cause gynaecomastia

Other types of medications, including those used to manage ADHD, anxiety, and depression, heart medications, and stomach-emptying medications are known to be associated with gynaecomastia.

Besides prescribed medications, recreational drugs and substances linked to gynaecomastia include alcohol, marijuana, heroine, and anabolic steroids typically used to build muscles.

Medical conditions

Apart from medications, there are medical conditions that in themselves can cause gynaecomastia by tipping the male-female hormone balance.

Medical conditions such as tumours, including those involving the testes, adrenal glands, or pituitary gland, hyperthyroidism, liver cirrhosis and failure are known to cause gynaecomastia due to hormonal changes. Aging, too, is one potential cause of gynaecomastia.

Man Boobs Treatment in Singapore

Gynaecomastia can resolve naturally over time and without intervention. This is especially true in adolescents who experience gynaecomastia due to hormonal changes during puberty. During this period, your doctor may recommend periodic evaluations to monitor if the condition has improved. Gynaecomastia in adolescents typically subside without treatment in under two years.

However, if your gynaecomastia is a result of a medication you are taking, your doctor may recommend a substitute. Conversely, if your gynaecomastia is a result of an underlying condition yet to be addressed, you will need to seek treatment for that underlying condition.

You may also consider surgery if your condition is significant and bothersome, or initial treatment does not yield any results. The purpose of surgery is to remove breast fat or breast gland tissue – the latter is less invasive and involves a shorter recovery time.

Gynaecomastia surgeries in Singapore can cost anywhere between $6,500 to $13,000 and are usually not Medisave claimable. Nonetheless, some insurers do cover gynaecomastia surgeries so you should check in with your insurer.

Who is at risk?

Gynaecomastia is common in infants and during puberty.

Newborns experienced swollen breast tissues due to the effect of their mothers’ breast tissues while hormonal changes during puberty are relatively normal. In most cases, the swollen breast tissue will subside within two to three weeks after birth or within six months to two years from puberty.

In adults, enlarged breasts are more prevalent in men over 50. This is because as men age, their bodies produce less testosterone and may also have more body fat which, in turn, stimulates estrogen production and breast tissue growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is gynaecomastia diagnosed in Singapore?
A diagnosis of gynaecomastia requires an examination of your symptoms and a medical evaluation of your breast tissue, genitals and abdomen. As the enlargement or swelling of your breast tissues could be a result of other conditions, such as breast cancer, your doctor will want to determine that your condition is indeed gynaecomastia.

Your doctor may carry out one or a combination of the following tests:

Blood tests
CT and/or MRI scans
Testicular ultrasounds
Tissue biopsies
What are the symptoms of gynaecomastia?
Most cases of gynaecomastia present with no symptoms. If any, symptoms may include pain (particularly in adolescents), swollen breast tissues, breast tenderness, and nipple sensitivity.

See a doctor if you experience swelling, pain or tenderness, or nipple discharge.

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