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Blog. Male Breast Reduction and Acne

Some of our gynecomastia patients suffer double anguish over the look of their chest: man boobs and acne. One of the first orders of business in the consultation room is to talk through how to perform male breast reduction safely for these men and adolescents.

First, we reassure patients with acne that it is likely gynecomastia surgery can still be done. The key is to bring the condition under control – or at least quiet any active outbreaks – so male breast reduction can be performed without pustules and comedones present. Active acne can increase the possibility for post-surgical infection, one of the occasional complications of gynecomastia surgery.

We advise our gynecomastia patients to seek the advice of a dermatologist with extensive experience treating acne. The three of us – patient, dermatologist and plastic surgeon – can work together toward surgical readiness.

The Mayo Clinic’s website is a great place to learn more about acne. In general, acne treatment should follow a course of milder to more drastic options until an effective approach is found.

  • Topical treatment: A first line of defense for acne sufferers is usually an over-the-counter (OTC) topical cream containing an ingredient like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
  • Stronger creams: A physician can prescribe a cream or lotion containing an active ingredient derived from vitamin A, such as Retin-A. Sometimes these lotions work best in combination with a milder OTC product.
  • Oral treatment: For stubborn cases, a dermatologist may prescribe an oral antibiotic for a period of time, or a drug based on Isotretinoin. Oral options like these must be taken with care, as long-term use can be harmful. In the case of antibiotics, patients can eventually develop resistance to the drugs. Isotretinoin-based medication has the potential for serious side effects.
  • Cosmetic treatment: Laser and light therapies can help in keeping acne under control, as can light to moderate chemical peels. We suggest patients see a dermatologist who has these options available as possible secondary treatments.

The great thing about treating acne prior to gynecomastia surgery is that outbreaks need to be calm for just a period of time. Patient and dermatologist can put a multi-faceted, vigorous treatment plan in place just long enough for male breast reduction surgery, then revert to a gentler approach if needed.

If you’re dealing with moobs and acne, we’ll gladly work with you to schedule surgery with your acne management regimen in mind. Come in for a consultation and we can talk about what’s best for you. Use our short contact form here or call 561-367-9101.


Dr. Elliot William Jacobs is a board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeon who specializes in FTM top surgery, gynecomastia surgery, revision gynecomastia surgery and male breast reduction. He is a native of New York and has over 40 years of experience in his field. Dr. Jacobs is a highly respected and sought-after surgeon who is known for his skill, experience, and compassion. Whether you are interested in gynecomastia for the first time, or are looking to correct a gynecomastia you aren’t happy with, Dr. Jacobs can deliver amazing results.


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