Gynecomastia occurs when a boy's or man's breast tissue swells. Though gynecomastia is not typically a serious medical issue, it can leave people feeling self-conscious and embarrassed. Gynecomastia is most often a result of a hormonal imbalance. Newborns, boys going through puberty, and older men may develop the condition in response to natural hormonal changes in the body. Breast swelling may go away on its own, but there are treatment options if the condition persists.
Gynecomastia may affect the breast tissue on one or both sides of the chest, and not always evenly. In addition to swelling, breast tissue may be tender or painful and the areola, the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple, may increase in size. Boys and men with persistent swelling, pain or tenderness through the chest, or nipple discharge, should see a doctor.
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