A strange thing happened this summer. A new term went viral that had curvy men feeling good about their large beer bellies and love handles. The phrase ‘dad bod’, which was coined by Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson, applied to any man whose body was not fat, not toned, but somewhere in-between. Sported by celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Simon Cowell the dad bod said “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also enjoy eating huge slices of pizza washed down by cool beers.” The newfound appreciation for pudgy men had a positive effect on heavier men, however the trend didn’t stretch to guys with big breasts also known as man boobs or moobs.
There are two main reasons men get enlarged breasts. The first comes from simply being overweight. The enlarged breasts are caused by fatty tissue stored over the pectoral muscles. A common myth is that you can exercise to reduce your man boobs, but unfortunately, you can’t pick and choose where your body is going to lose its fat, so you just have to lower our overall weight by changing your diet or by expending more calories through exercise(or both). The other reason men get man boobs is from a medical condition called gynecomastia. The ailment is associated with hormonal imbalance and various metabolic disorders. It can also be a symptom of much more serious underlying conditions like tumours, testicular cancer, kidney or liver failure. While dieting and exercise can decrease the fat around the breast, the area itself is made up of highly resistant and sensitive glandular tissue, so other measures are required.
The first obvious solution is to simply hide the problem with one of the many gynecomastia shirts that are available on the market. Just as women have all sorts of underwear and apparel, such as girdles, to hide bulges and excess curves, guys can wear a compression shirt to hide what they don’t want to be seen. The invisible undershirts eliminate bulges in the upper body and flatten the breast area. Of course, man boobs will only disappear as long as you’re still wearing the compression shirt, once you take it off, they will appear again.
Many men turn to medication, breast reduction pills, generally fall into three broad categories.
1) Gynecomastia Pills that targets the growth of breast tissue for men who already have gynecomastia
2) Men who are taking steroids or other performance enhancing drugs and wants to counter gynecomastia in advance and
3) Pseudogynecomastia Pills that target the fat accumulated in the chest area. Unfortunately, one of the major reasons that breast reduction pills don’t not work is because many men buy the wrong product. If you use medication that targets the breast tissue but you in fact, have fat build up, then that is not likely to return the best results. So it is important to seek medical advice before taking any pills to alleviate the problem.
In desperation some men turn to laser treatments, sonic wave procedures, and surgical options like liposuction to treat their enlarged breasts. While they produce results, these procedures can shatter, burn and cut out fat cells to do so, leaving scars and worse in their wake and requiring long periods of recovery. One, non-surgical, non-invasive, non-scarring treatment used to destroy fat cells that is available is Cryolipolysis. Its principle relies on controlled cooling to near -4 Celsius for the non-invasive localized reduction of fat deposits in order to reshape body contours.
The exposure to cooling is set so that it causes cell death of subcutaneous fat tissue without apparent damage to the overlying skin. This makes it a very viable nonsurgical alternative to liposuction. Although machines, like Zeltiq’s ‘Cool Sculpting’ will not address any glandular tissue- it will reduce only fat cells. So a doctor must first ascertain how much of the enlarged breast is fat and how much is glandular to determine whether the procedure will benefit the patient. So whether they choose to simply cover them with specialised clothing, take pills or use the latest cutting edge technology to combat their enlarged breasts at least men no longer have to suffer the social stigma of having big breasts.