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What is gynecomastia
It is estimated that up to 50% of men live with enlarged breast tissue at some point in their lifetime. And while “moobs” or man boobs are often the butt-end of a joke, gynecomastia is not a laughing matter for those experiencing it. Enlarged male breast tissue is often not only physically uncomfortable, it can also lead to low self-esteem and anxiety in men.
But what causes gynecomastia? Like most conditions, there isn’t one culprit causing some men to develop more breast tissue than others, but there are some men who are more susceptible to developing it. Here’s why:
It could be a hormonal imbalance. Men who have an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone can develop larger mammary glands than others. This could be caused by medications, drug usage, genetics, or an underlying health condition.
It could be your age. When hormones are raging during adolescence, some young men will experience what is often a temporary increase in breast tissue. This typically goes away after a few years, but lasts into adulthood for some men. Additionally, men can develop gynecomastia after middle age peaks and when testosterone production begins to naturally slow.
It could be drug usage. Excessive intake of alcohol, heroin, amphetamines, or marijuana can contribute to larger breast tissue as well.
- Acne is the most common skin condition by far—an estimated 40 to 50 million Americans experience acne at some point in their life. If you or someone you know has suffered from severe acne, you know first-hand the impact it can have on your appearance and self-confidence.While there are plenty of treatments focusing on how to clear acne, less attention has been given to the lasting psychological effects that severe acne can leave behind. One such effect is acne dysmorphia, a condition in which a former acne-sufferer continues to feel as though they have rampant acne, even years after their skin has cleared.
- You may have heard of body dysmorphic disorder (BMD), a condition in which an individual becomes obsessed with a perceived physical flaw that is not objectively present. Acne dysmorphia is a distinct form of BMD. People who suffer from it typically have had severe acne in the past—and it’s the fear of a past affliction returning that leads them to think their skin looks acne-ridden when in fact they may only have a small blemish or two. Acne dysmorphia often has a post-traumatic element to it as well—memories of being bullied or socially isolated may haunt sufferers of the condition, as in Gloria’s case. Moreover, acne can leave lasting physical scars, such as “ice-pick” scars that leave the skin’s texture rough and pitted, making it even more difficult to leave the condition behind.Along with counseling to help reset the patient’s mind to view their skin objectively and see themselves in a more positive light, finding the right treatment for acne scars is often an important step of the healing process. This was the case for Gloria—having laser treatments to erase acne scars was a big help in making her fear of acne a thing of the past.