Difference Between Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia

If you’re a man and you start to develop or have already developed what is commonly referred to as “man boobs”, you may begin to feel worried that you have some serious medical condition.  Once you begin to research or speak with a doctor you will learn that there are two types of this condition, gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia.  These two conditions look nearly identical but they are not the same.  The basic difference between these two is that one is caused by fat while the other is caused by the glands.

What is Pseudogynecomastia?

While it is called “pseudo”, which would indicate that it is in fact not a type of gynecomastia, this would be false.  Pseudogynecomastia despite its name is an actual form of gynecomastia.  This particular type however is most associated with obesity instead of a glandular issue.  With Pseudogynecomastia the increased breast tissue is solely from the collection of fatty tissues on the chest.  Thankfully, this condition can be dealt with by losing weight.

What is Gynecomastia?Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is breast tissue growth that is caused by a hormone related condition and is not from weight gain.  If you have this condition then the growth is purely gland tissue caused by hormonal imbalances and depending on your age, how it is dealt with will vary.  There are actually 3 distinct types of gynecomastia: neonatal, pubertal, and elderly.  Depending on the age that gynecomastia develops it can sometimes go away on its own with time or may need some medical intervention.

This is of course the easy way of looking at these two conditions when in fact they can get quite muddled.  In actuality, both medical conditions can be made up of both gland and fat.  In a completely normal male chest you will still find this mixture in addition to muscle.  Both of these tissues can be both soft and hard so you cannot use firmness as an indicator of your particular condition.

What is the real difference?

If we look at pseudogynecomastia and gynecomastia from a purely physical standpoint they can be differentiated by the amount of the two tissues they contain.  With pseudogynecomastia the majority of the tissue found in the breast growth will be fat.  The good news about the accumulation of fat instead of gland tissue is that it can be burned off and improved over time with exercise and a healthy diet.  Keep in mind that if you do have this condition and begin a regimen to lose weight that it is not possible to reduce fat in a specific area.  Instead, you will need to lose weight over your entire body in order to reduce the chest fat.

True gynecomastia on the other hand has substantial amounts of glandular tissue that has developed just beneath the nipples.  There is fat but it will be in a much smaller portion than the glandular tissue.  If you are overweight or obese the amount of fat below the glandular tissue can increase or decrease depending on your weight.  Unfortunately, glandular tissue cannot be helped with exercise or diet and will instead need medical assistance.  Even if you manage to gain muscle mass in your chest you will still have the excessive glandular tissue and will still have gynecomastia.  In fact, added muscle can unfortunately push the tissues further forward making the problem area appear even larger.  You shouldn’t be alarmed if the nipple area also becomes enlarged as it can grow along with the glandular growth.  The type of medical assistance can vary from herbal supplements, to medications, all the way to surgery.  It is suggested that you turn to surgery as a last result as some of the other options can be just as beneficial without the high cost and pain.

No matter which condition you have, pseudogynecomastia or gynecomastia you will want to meet with a doctor to get a clear diagnoses indicating which medical condition you have.  Once this has been established you can discuss with your doctor which methods of treatment they suggest so that you can begin to treat the growth.  The good news is that it is highly treatable and you are not doomed to live with the growths forever.