Steroid induced gynecomastia can be caused by drugs such as Anadrol and Dianabol (used for medical conditions) and anabolic steroids taken by bodybuilders. Men taking steroids for medical reasons should consult their prescribing physician if they notice any changes in nipple size and tenderness or swelling in the chest area.
There are various ways to resolve man boobs caused by steroid induced gynecomastia. Here are the options available if you are concerned about steroid use and gynecomastia.
What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is the medical term for the growth of breast glandular tissue in men’s chest area. Breast enlargement in men is often unknown, although steroid use is a known cause of bodybuilder gynecomastia. Gynecomastia symptoms can present as puffy nipples and a slight increase in chest size, through to full, feminine-looking breasts or man boobs.
Do Steroids Cause Man Boobs?
The leading cause of gynecomastia is hormonal imbalance. Steroid use disrupts hormonal balance and may cause higher estrogen levels, which can lead to gynecomastia symptoms. Longer-term steroid use may worsen the symptoms, which is why many bodybuilders develop man boobs.
When steroid use is stopped, gynecomastia will not simply go away. The breast glandular tissue growth is permanent. The only recognized way to resolve bodybuilder gynecomastia is with surgery.
Can I Prevent Gynecomastia?
The only way to prevent steroid induced gynecomastia is to not use steroids. If you require steroids for medical conditions, speak to your physician about your concerns.
Do Antiestrogens Prevent Man Boobs?
Bodybuilders often use antiestrogens to prevent man boobs, including Tamoxifen (Nolvadex® or Soltamox®) and Arimidex®. These drugs are not FDA-approved gynecomastia medications and although they do work for some men, when they don’t work, it’s too late to do anything as the breast glandular tissue will have already started to grow. Bodybuilders who take steroids should also consider that antiestrogens have a range of side effects, including weight gain and erectile dysfunction, and some more severe side effects such as reduced bone density, leading to bone fractures and stroke.
Can Supplements Prevent Man Boobs?
Numerous companies advertise supplements as estrogen blockers. However, not only are they extremely unlikely to make any difference, supplements have been found to contain dangerous ingredients. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA and are usually produced in countries with little or no regulations.
Gynecomastia Surgery For Steroid Induced Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia surgery is a fast and safe way to eliminate man boobs caused by steroid use. Gynecomastia symptoms are divided into four grades that determine how severe the symptoms are. Grade 1 and some grade 2 gynecomastia can be treated with surgery requiring only a small incision at the edge of the periareolar, called the pull-through technique.
Grade 2 gynecomastia that can not be effectively treated with the “pull through” technique can be treated with standard gynecomastia surgery. This only requires a slightly larger incision at the edge of the areola. Both types of surgery leave small scars that are well hidden by the change in skin color from the areola to the surrounding skin. Once healed (within a few months), the scar will start to fade. After around six months, the scar will be difficult to detect.
Grade 3 gynecomastia can sometimes be resolved with a two-stage procedure which involves the pull-through technique, followed by standard gynecomastia surgery four to six months later. This is the preferred gynecomastia surgery option for men who are concerned about scars and all incisions are made at the outer edge of the periareolar. This means that once healed the scars will be well hidden and hard to see.
In the case of more severe grade 3 and 4 gynecomastia symptoms, a double incision mastectomy is usually recommended. This will create larger scars across the chest. Most men prefer scars that fade and become less evident over time than living with man boobs. The patient satisfaction rate is high for all types of gynecomastia surgery, and unlike medications, results are reliable and always permanent (as long as steroid use is avoided).
Why Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon for Gynecomastia Surgery?
Gynecomastia surgery can be performed by any physician with a medical license. Gynecomastia surgery cost may be a consideration. However, many plastic surgery companies offer reduced rates by employing surgeons without appropriate training or experience. Unfortunately, the revision rate for gynecomastia surgery is high, and poor results may not be reversible.
Not all board-certified plastic surgeons specialize in gynecomastia, and many will only perform a few gynecomastia procedures each year. Board-certified plastic surgeon and gynecomastia specialist Dr. Miguel Delgado has been providing gynecomastia surgery for all grades of gynecomastia for over 30 years. Over 40% of his patients come to him unhappy with the results of gynecomastia surgery performed elsewhere. Whether you are considering initial gynecomastia surgery or gynecomastia revision surgery following unsatisfactory results, Dr. Miguel Delgado always discusses your concerns and explains the surgical options available. All gynecomastia surgery is performed at the Gynecomastia Center of Excellence — Marin Cosmetic Surgical Center*, with the highest level of patient safety and care.
*Federal and state-accredited surgical facility.
For personalized information about gynecomastia plastic surgery procedures, please complete Dr. Delgado’s inquiry form.
Miguel Delgado, M.D, F.A.C.S is a world-renowned Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon granted by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Society. Dr. Delgado has a surgical practice solely dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery. He specializes in gynecomastia surgery and is the medical director of Gynecomastia.org, the oldest and largest gynecomastia forum dedicated to supporting, educating, and providing solutions for men with breast enlargement. Dr. Delgado celebrates 30 years of practice in San Francisco, California. He was voted the “Best Plastic Surgeon of 2017-2021.”