Chest fat vs gynecomastia - What is the difference?
Chest fat, also known as pseudo-gynecomastia, and gynecomastia are the two most common factors that cause benign breast enlargement in men. However, these two are not the same, and it is critical to make a detailed diagnosis to apply the appropriate treatment. This blog discusses the differences between chest fat and gynecomastia, their causes, characteristics, and treatment techniques.
Chest fat vs Gynecomastia
What causes chest fat?
The patients of pseudo gynecomastia have excess fat within their chest that appear as breasts. Unlike gynecomastia, which can be caused by a variety of factors, chest fat is caused simply due to obesity.
What causes gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia usually occurs due to excessive estrogenic stimulation of the breast tissue. It is caused by the following other factors:
- Hormonal abnormalities– At several stages of life, gynecomastia is caused due to the imbalance between testosterone and estrogen. In infants, it’s caused due to the passage of estrogen through the placenta, which slowly disappears with time. Old people can have gynecomastia due to their lowered testosterone levels.
- Medications-Patients who frequently use antidepressants, steroids, or medicine to treat heart disease, ulcers, or prostate issues are at a higher risk of developing gynecomastia.
- Recreational drugs- Gynecomastia can be caused due to the use of certain drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cannabis, etc. People with drinking habits are also more prone to gynecomastia.
Other factors that can cause gynecomastia are thyroid issues, genetic disorders, and kidney problems.
How to identify gynecomastia from chest fat?
What are the characteristics of chest fat?
The characteristics of chest fat are as follows:
- Droopy and undefined shaped breasts.
- They are soft and saggy due to extra skin.
- In comparison to gynecomastia, they are easier to get rid of.
What are the characteristics of gynecomastia?
Male breasts caused due to gynecomastia are firmer and look more like a woman’s breasts. The other characteristics of gynecomastia are as follows:
- Puffy and erect nipples
- If you have gynecomastia, you will feel a firm lump below the nipple area
- In this case, the male breasts have a defined and proportionate shape
- Pain in the chest area in some cases
How to reduce chest fat?
In most cases, people can reduce chest fat with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Given below is some diet and nutrition advice by our experts to reduce chest fat:
- Eat balancing meals to include protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthful fats
- Include plenty of vegetables, fish, fruits, and lean meats in your diet
- Avoid highly processed foods, sugary foods, and drinks
The type of exercises to target chest fat can take many different forms, ranging from HIIT to strength training. Some good exercises are as follows:
- Push-ups and Cardio
- Chest press and chest fly
- Dumbbell pullover
How to treat gynecomastia?
Unlike Chest fat, gynecomastia can not be treated by adapting to some lifestyle changes that promote weight loss. Gynecomastia can be treated with the following techniques:
Liposuction doesn’t remove the breast gland but only removes the breast fat. It is effective in cases that are minor, and sometimes it is performed in addition to the glandular tissue excision for proper contouring of the chest.
Liposuction with gland excision
Most cases are treated by this technique wherein liposuction sucks the fat and a small cut is made to remove the gland.
Gland excision with circumareolar mastopexy
This procedure is done in cases of gynecomastia with skin excess.
Gland excision a circumareolar donut mastopexy is performed along with liposuction to get rid of excess skin.
In conclusion, telling the difference between chest fat and gynecomastia can be tricky, but only a proper understanding of the difference can help you get a flat chest. If you are seeking an expert for an official diagnosis, you can book an appointment with Dr. Ashish Ghuge. He is one of the few plastic surgeons in Mumbai with vast experience in performing gynecomastia surgery.