Top 5 Ways to Support Teens with Gynecomastia
If you remember your own adolescence, you might recall that it’s a time of life when it’s not easy to open up to others about your worries.Who is noticing? What are they thinking? Will it go away?
If you’re close to a teen with moobs, here are some suggestions for you.
1) Educate yourself
Before you’re ready to assist a loved one, you should know the basics of gynecomastia. You might start with this overview from the ALC Studio Clinic.
We have posted several articles about teen gynecomastia on our blog. You might want to read this one about the torture many teens with moobs suffer. If you visit the blog home page here, you’ll find an entire category of posts about teen gynecomastia on the sidebar.
2) Be ready to listen
In case your teen does reach out to you, be prepared to listen and take his concerns seriously. Remember that teasing and bullying by peers can be merciless these days, and if your loved one begins to withdraw from social and other opportunities, the damage can be lasting. If you reassure him that gynecomastia during the teen years is normal and usually goes away on its own, be sure you don’t dismiss the anguish and shame he may be feeling.
You can be a key source of solace at a time like this. Share what you’ve learned, and point the young man to resources that can help him know he’s not alone (see below). Let him know you will be there for him in any way you can.
3) Reach out if needed
If your teen hasn’t talked with you about his condition, we strongly encourage you to reach out to him. If you sense he will be extremely embarrassed to talk about it, you might want to leave him a short note indicating you’re open to a conversation. To show you really understand, you might include a new, loose fitting patterned or dark colored t-shirt with the note, or a copy of an article on teen man boobs.
4) Find resources
There are a variety of ways teens can cope with man boobs while they wait to see if the condition dissipates as hormones level out. Searching for resources to help your loved one can make you an ally during this difficult time.
One way you may be able to show you care is to offer to purchase a compression garment. We wrote about this topic here—our blog post may help you get started.
You can also point your loved one to online forums such as the one on gynecomastia.org. The value in these communities is not so much the expertise shared, as that varies quite a bit. But your teen will be able to connect with others going through the same thing he is, and that can be very comforting.
5) Visit the experts
If you and your loved one are having challenges discussing gynecomastia—and especially if you think there may be another underlying issue—visiting doctors may be in order. Starting with your teen’s pediatrician may make sense, but you may want to find out about their knowledge and philosophy related to man boobs. Some know surprisingly little about the condition; some can come off as dismissive. On the other hand, some are very experienced and can be reassuring.
A visit to an endocrinologist can also be helpful. You may want to have your teen’s hormone levels tested to make sure nothing’s amiss, and a doctor who specializes in the field should be able to discuss gynecomastia in depth. We’d also suggest you might go with your loved one to see a plastic surgeon with teen gynecomastia experience, and lots of it. Whether or not your teen needs—or chooses—surgery, these doctors have truly seen it all when it comes to man boobs and can provide a great deal of education.
The Surgical Option
You already know that male breast reduction surgery is an option for guys with moobs. What you may not know is that the procedure can be performed on adolescents as well. It is a valid choice for many whose gynecomastia has persisted for two years or more and whose self-esteem is negatively affected.