How to Talk to Your Son about Gynecomastia
If your son is growing a case of man boobs, you’ll want to think about how to support him. As a practice highly experienced with gynecomastia, we have worked with many teens and parents over the past three decades. Here are some observations and suggestions that might help.
If Your Son Has Not Approached You
You may have thought your adolescent is looking a little “chesty” lately, even if he hasn’t mentioned it. Or, you may have observed other changes that are worrisome. Some kids will try to hide their man boobs, even from their parents. If you’ve noticed withdrawal from social activities, sudden weight gain, reluctance to attend school, avoidance of sports he used to enjoy, posture changes–these can also be signs that gynecomastia is present. It’s even more crucial that you step up to do your part for your son if this is happening.
Here’s what we advise:
1) Read up
It’s easy to find articles online to educate you about man boobs. The Mayo Clinic is a good source of basic information. You’ll discover that gynecomastia is relatively common, and most teens suffer for a few months or perhaps a year and a few months before the condition goes away on its own.
We also suggest you read our own observations about teen gynecomastia here. We discuss many of the nuances other sources don’t cover, such as how a pediatrician or endocrinologist may (or may not) be helpful. Most importantly, we cover the pain man boobs can cause youngsters. For independent views on this subtopic, here’s an article from Science Daily and one from the National Institutes of Health.
2) Talk to him
Knowing that your son may very well be suffering psychological trauma due to gynecomastia should help you get ready to broach the subject. We know this may not be easy! We have a couple of suggestions:
One great way to get started is to begin a conversation about how challenging–and sometimes funny–adolescence can be. This is especially effective if you can relate an experience from your teen years that you laugh about now. This gives you the chance to talk about the role hormones play in physical changes, and how they can come on too strong and cause voice fluctuations, extra oily skin, and man boobs.
Try having a conversation when you are side by side rather than staring each other in the face. A car ride is a good opportunity, or you could try taking a walk.
3) Visit a plastic surgeon experienced with teen gynecomastia
If your son’s case has persisted for several months or longer, we recommend visiting a plastic surgeon who has demonstrated experience treating teens. Whether or not you’re ready to think about male breast reduction for your son, a teen gynecomastia expert will be able to answer all your questions and offer a good measure of reassurance.
4) Learn about plastic surgery for gynecomastia
To cover all the bases, especially if your young man has had moobs for some time, consider finding out more about the personal side of surgery for teen gynecomastia. Assuming your son’s case does not resolve on its own, this could be just the solution he needs. Read about our patient John, and check out some of our before and after teen gynecomastia photos. This form of cosmetic surgery can truly be life-changing for guys at a formative time in their lives.
If Your Son Wants to Talk
When your teen wants to talk about his man boobs, you should celebrate! There’s much you can do to show your knowledge and support for what he’s experiencing, not to mention your love and respect. Here’s what you can do:
- Share what you have learned online. This step will indicate that you’ve paid attention to the difficulties your son may be handling and show that you care.
- Stress that the problem may be temporary. Most cases of teen man boobs do disappear on their own, and though it may be distressing in the meantime, there’s a good chance the condition won’t last.
- Think about offering some wardrobe help. You can read our article about compression garments–they may be useful in some situations. Offer to go shopping with your teen for new shirts–loose, dark solid color t-shirts are among the best choices for disguising man boobs.
- Consider whether you need to talk to people in your son’s life. Depending on the relationships you may have with others, you might want to have a conversation with a coach (remember the dreaded “shirts and skins” teams?), a teasing uncle, or someone else who has the power to influence your teen’s well-being.
If and when you do decide to consult a plastic surgeon, we can’t emphasize strongly enough how important that doctor’s experience should be. Teen gynecomastia surgery can be a tricky procedure, and getting it right is key to your son’s future happiness.
We would be pleased to have a conversation with you. Call us at 561-367-9101, or fill out our short online form and let us know about your situation. We’ll be happy to help.