Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Gynecomastia (Benign Type)
Gynecomastia is a condition that often occurs in boys during
puberty. During this time a boy's breasts may begin to take
on female breast characteristics. He may notice that his
breast is tender and that a small area of breast tissue can
be felt beneath his nipple. This condition is very common;
about half of all 12- to 16-year-old boys have some degree
Gynecomastia is thought to be caused by an imbalance of
hormones in boys during the middle part of puberty.
Gynecomastia is diagnosed in a boy who has entered puberty
and has no other medical conditions or symptoms that suggest
a reason for the breast to develop.
Some medicines may cause enlargement of the male breast.
Tell your doctor about any unprescribed medications or
supplements your son is taking.
In most cases the tenderness lasts for a few months and then
goes away. The breast tissue eventually decreases in size.
It is unusual for the condition to last longer than 2 years.
Rarely, this condition advances to the point where your son
is embarrassed about the amount of breast growth.
No specific treatment is needed. Loose clothing may be more
comfortable than more tightly fitting shirts.
Call Your Child's Physician During Office Hours If:
- Gynecomastia is causing emotional problems.
- Discharge from the breast occurs.
- You have other concerns about your child's progression