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Gynecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia

Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia are conditions characterized by enlarged male breasts and affect males of all ages. These conditions do not pause a medical risk but affected men suffer psychological distress and experience self-esteem and self-confidence issues because men with female-like breasts are looked down upon.

Although Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia share the same primary symptom, they are caused by different factors and are treated using varying techniques. This blog post will help you differentiate between Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia. Let’s get into it.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition caused by excess glandular male breast tissue. The excess tissue is firm and has more fibers than the surrounding fat tissues. The excess glandular tissue can develop with or without excess fat tissues and does not respond to exercise or fat diet changes.

Symptoms of Gynecomastia

  • The appearance of enlarged breasts
  • Puffy and sensitive nipples
  • Tender breasts that are painful to touch
  • An accumulation of a firm glandular tissue
  • Occasional soft and fatty tissue beneath the chest

Causes of Gynecomastia

There are several causes of Gynecomastia which include:

  • Hormonal imbalance-most men suffer Gynecomastia as a result of hormonal changes. For newborn males, the condition results from excess estrogen passed to the baby through the placenta. Gynecomastia in newborns resolves itself. During puberty, young males experience hormone swings that cause a drop in testosterone hormones and an increase in estrogen hormones which cause the breast tissue to grow. Men in old age develop Gynecomastia due to reduced production of testosterone and excess weight gain, which leads to elevated estrogen levels.
  • Medications- certain prescription medications can lead to the development of Gynecomastia. Men on antidepressants, steroids, heart, prostrate or ulcer medications are more likely to develop men's boobs. Antibiotics or any form of drugs with high estrogen levels can cause Gynecomastia.
  • Alcohol and narcotic abuse- men who consume large amounts of alcohol that later lead to liver cirrhosis or those who struggle with cannabis and heroin are more likely to develop enlarged breasts than their peers who do not abuse drugs.

Gynecomastia Treatment

Gynecomastia can either be treated through medication or surgery.


Patients whose Gynecomastia is caused by hormonal imbalance can get rid of the enlarged breasts by taking pills to stabilize their hormones.


Surgery might be the only viable solution if medications are not working for you. Gynecomastia surgery is a straightforward surgery, but to get the desired results and eliminate related risks, you must be worked on by a certified Gynecomastia surgeon.

Gynecomastia surgery is a minimally invasive surgery involving removing fat or excess breast tissue. The surgery can follow two techniques, depending on the severity of the gynecomastia condition.

In mild cases, gynecomastia surgery involves liposuction that removes excess fat cells through an incision on the areola area. With severe Gynecomastia, the surgeon makes an incision that is later closed with sutures along the lower areola to remove the excess glandular tissue surgically.

What is Pseudogynecomastia?

Pseudogynecomastia is a condition that causes the enlargement of male breasts as a result of fat accumulation. “Pseudo” means false or fake; therefore, Pseudogynecomastia can be described as false Gynecomastia. Pseudogynecomastia mainly affects obese people because they have excess fat depositions around, under, and behind the nipples.

Although the prefix “pseudo” may imply that Pseudogynecomastia should not be taken seriously, it affects men’s self-esteem and confidence to the same extent as Gynecomastia.

Symptoms of Pseudogynecomastia

  • Female breast-like appearance
  • Fatty and soft tissue beneath the chest

Pseudogynecomastia Causes

Obesity- Pseudogynecomastia is majorly caused by excess fat deposition. Men who suffer from Pseudogynecomastia have a lot of fatty tissues on the chest that accumulate to form female-like breasts.

Pseudogynecomastia Treatment

Pseudogynecomastia is easily treatable because it only requires the patient to lose weight. Here are different ways to treat Pseudogynecomastia:

Weight loss

A combination of diet change and proper exercise regimes can help you lose weight and eliminate man boobs. For the best results, consult a fitness coach for an appropriate diet and exercise regime, depending on your needs.

Do not go for quick weight loss programs  because they are not sustainable, and you will most likely add the weight back.


For patients with large fat deposits, weight loss alone might not give them good results, making surgery the only viable solution. Also, weight loss is not a permanent solution because Pseudogynecomastia will creep back if you add weight.

In such cases, you might consider liposuction, a surgical procedure that drains fat cells from the breast area. If you have significant amounts of fat, the skin will be very loose after surgery and require tightening.

Wear Compression Shirts

Men suffering from Pseudogynecomastia can wear Esteem Apparel compression shirts to conceal their man boobs as they work on getting rid of them. Compression shirts are very tight to hold the fatty tissues together, but at the same time very comfortable to be worn for a long time. However, while compression shirts will improve your chest appearance, they are short-term solutions and cannot be used as an alternative treatment.

How to Tell the Difference between Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia

Many men are confused between Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia because the conditions are very similar. Here is a summary of the differences between Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia.




Development of enlarged male breasts because of excessive glandular breast tissue

Enlarged male breasts caused by fatty deposits in a male's pectoral region due to obesity or excessive weight gain.

Firm and sensitive to touch lump felt under the areola

Soft-to-touch fat tissues that feel the same throughout the chest

The breasts appear firm because the excess tissue is firm

Man boobs are saggy because there is no mass

Tissue does not go away with diet change or exercise. Gynecomastia surgery is the only viable treatment

Sustainable diet change and exercise that lead to weight loss reduce the chest fat


Final word

Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia are characterized by enlarged male breasts, which cause men shame and embarrassment. The good news is that both conditions are treatable, but proper diagnosis is vital. Book a consultation appointment with a reputable Gynecomastia surgeon to receive a diagnosis and treatment options.