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Puffy Nipples or Gyno? Understanding the Difference

Did you know that there are different types of gynecomastia? There are six types of gynecomastia, and "puffy nipples" is type one gynecomastia. In this post, we will help you understand the different types of gynecomastia and the proper treatment so that you can enjoy shirtless activities and your favorite tees once more.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes the enlargement of men's breasts as a result of excess development of glandular breast tissue. The condition develops due to hormonal imbalance, prescription medication, drug abuse, or age. Gynecomastia is very common, and research studies show that it affects more than 30% of men.

Gynecomastia can develop at different stages of a man's life, including:

  • Newborn- newborn boys suffer enlarged breasts due to hormonal imbalance when the mother's estrogen is passed through the umbilical cord. Enlarged breasts acquired at birth clear on their own within a few weeks.
  • Teenage- during puberty, boys experience enlarged breasts due to fluctuating hormones. The unpredictable drops in testosterone and surges in estrogen cause breast enlargement. For most young men, teenage gynecomastia clears as soon as the hormones even out, which takes around six months to 24 months.
  • Old age- men above 50 years are also affected by gynecomastia because of reduced production of testosterone. With age, men also gain extra weight that leads to excess body fat, which stimulates the production of estrogen and consequently excess growth of breast tissue.

Types of Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is presented as a straightforward condition that is easy to treat. However, there are six types of gynecomastia, and proper diagnosis is key for successful treatment. Here are the different types of gynecomastia.

Type One Gynecomastia

Type one gynecomastia, also known as puffy nipples, develops when the breast gland enlargement concentrates around the nipple area. It often occurs in teenage boys and young men in their 20s.

The chest skin is firm and tight, which causes the nipples to over-protrude. Puffy nipples are humiliating and embarrassing and cause poor self-image for young men. To hide puffy nipples, most young men insist on wearing baggy clothes and would instead not participate in shirtless activities.

Puffy nipples also affect men of good shape, including bodybuilders or athletes, because it is caused by excess glandular tissue and not only fat deposits.

Because the primary cause of puffy nipples is excess glandular tissue, it can only be treated through surgery if it does not go away after puberty. The surgeon makes an incision around the areola to remove excess tissue. The process is a simple procedure performed under local anesthesia without admission.

Type Two Gynecomastia

Slightly rounded breasts characterize type two gynecomastia, the most common type of male breast enlargement. The breast tissue extends over the areola's edge and is visible on tight shirts or tee shirts.

Type two gynecomastia is very common during puberty but also strikes older men in their 30s. For teenage boys, it goes away when the hormones stabilize. However, type two gynecomastia is very stubborn for some adolescent boys and older men and can only be treated through a surgical procedure.

Like type one gynecomastia, the surgeon makes an incision on the areola, which is well hidden to reduce scarring and is carried out on an outpatient basis.

Type Three Gynecomastia

Type three gynecomastia is common in adult men, mainly in cases where type two gynecomastia was not treated. At this stage, the breast tissue spills over the chest by several centimeters and takes the shape of female breasts.

Type three gynecomastia is more challenging to treat because there is more tissue to remove and loose skin. The surgeon gets rid of the excess tissue through crescent incisions under either general or local anesthesia, and the process takes longer than treating types one and two.

Type Four Gynecomastia

Type Four Gynecomastia is characterized by rounder breasts with a roll below the chest and drooping nipples. Gynecomastia grows to stage four in men who have suffered enlarged breasts since their teenage years and did nothing about it.

With age, the skin loses laxity making the condition worse. At Type four, gynecomastia can only be treated through surgery with the need for additional procedures to deal with the saggy skin.

Type Five Gynecomastia

Type five gynecomastia affects overweight and obese men and it is more complex because the skin is much sagged with the excess glandular tissue spilling over into the armpit. Surgery is the only viable solution to type five gynecomastia, but patients are advised to shed some weight before surgery.

For effective results, the gynecomastia surgery to treat type five gynecomastia must be done by a highly skilled and experienced gynecomastia surgeon. The treatment depends on the age and quality of the patient's skin.

Type Six Gynecomastia

Like type five gynecomastia, type six also affects obese men who might have worked to lose weight but still have sagging breasts. It isn't easy to find the right type of clothing because they have a lot of sagging skin.

Treatment can be done through surgery which can be very complicated because patients who are still overweight might also be suffering from diabetes and hypertension. For satisfying results, type six gynecomastia surgery should only be carried out by experienced and accredited gynecomastia surgeons at an accredited surgery facility.

Effects of Different Types Of Gynecomastia On Men

Gynecomastia affects the masculine chest aesthetic of men. Whether type one or type six, gynecomastia is very humiliating for men causing them social anxiety and poor self-image. 

Men suffering from gynecomastia avoid any activity that requires them to remove their shirts, including sports and dating. The good news is that all types of gynecomastia are treatable but with the proper diagnosis. Therefore, book an appointment with a gynecomastia surgeon for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

If puffy nipples are taking away your joy and you cannot engage in social activities or wear your favorite clothes anymore, try Esteem apparel clothing line which offers shirts to conceal puffy nipples.Their compression shirts hides under all clothes and provides you with a slimming look before you go for surgery for a permanent solution.

Final Word

Puffy nipples are a type of gynecomastia that develops when the glandular tissue grows around the nipple causing the nipples to protrude. The glandular tissue grows as a result of low testosterone levels in the body. If the nipples are causing you any form of physical or psychological discomfort, consult with a gynecomastia surgeon. Puffy nipples can be cleared by hormonal drugs or surgery for stubborn cases.