How to Talk to Your Son About Gynecomastia
From time to time we field inquiries from parents whose son has developed gynecomastia. In New York City and the surrounding areas, there are many such young people. In fact, gynecomastia among teens is so common that estimates of the numbers affected run as high as 65%.
This can be a difficult topic to discuss. Young men are often reluctant to share their anguish due to the level of embarrassment they feel about their man boobs. Moms and dads usually have trouble figuring out how to broach the subject. Trust us, it’s worthwhile to face discomfort and talk with your son; he needs your support.
One great way to get started is to begin a conversation about how challenging – and sometimes funny – adolescence can be. This approach works especially well if you can relate an experience from your teen years that you laugh about now. This gives you the opportunity to talk about the role hormones play in physical changes, and how they can come on too strong and cause unwelcome effects like sudden voice changes, extremely oily skin and gynecomastia.
You can reassure your son that as hormone levels even out over time, body changes settle into place too. This means that for some young men, moobs disappear eventually. It may be helpful to print out information from qualified sources for your son. Feel free to make use of our website devoted to the condition: www.gynecomastiasurgery.com.
If you’re thinking of making an appointment with your family doctor, you might want to have a conversation with the physician first. Be advised that some doctors may not be as sensitive as they could be in dealing with a teen with gynecomastia. Many tell a young man to wait and the problem will resolve itself. For some teens this is not the case, especially if moobs have been present for several months or longer. And if your son is lucky enough to see his enlarged breasts shrink over time, gynecomastia can take quite a toll on self esteem in the meantime.
If, like many teens and parents, you find it difficult to be as open as you’d like to be about body changes, here are some signs you can watch for – indications that your son may be really suffering:
– He gains weight suddenly, possibly to try to disguise his chest
– He walks hunched over and seems to be “hiding”
– He wears many layers of shirts at once, even in warm weather
– He becomes reclusive, especially avoiding activities that reveal his physique
One other consideration for you: gynecomastia can result from the use of illegal drugs like marijuana and anabolic steroids. It’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with all the triggers of man boobs in order to be armed with full information. The Mayo Clinic offers a comprehensive list here.
If you’re starting to think that plastic surgery might be an option for your son, you’re not alone. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than 18,000 men and young men had male breast reduction in 2010. And the number grows each year. Generally speaking, the procedure is straightforward, safe and effective.
If your son’s condition is persistent, if you want to learn more about gynecomastia surgery or you simply need help discussing the condition and your options with your young man, we can help. Make an appointment to consult us about gynecomastia in New York if you live nearby or can travel to the area. Male breast reduction is one of our specialties, and we have worked with many teens and their parents.
Give us a call at 212-570-6080 or contact us online.