[By Josh Tan]
Women have breasts and men have chest. When you are a guy and somewhere in between, it’s not going to go down well. Unlike a small pecker which can be kept out of sight most of the time, moobs are right there taunting you in public when you got tighter clothes on and whenever the shirt needs to come off by the beach or pool. Man boobs or gynecomastia as its known medically affect up to a staggering 50% of men according to research published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. Their presence is indicative of a hormonal imbalance in the body, occurring when a man’s oestrogen-to-androgen ratio is out of balance.While the condition rarely results in physical discomfort, it’s an obvious trigger for psychological issues, such as low self-esteem, which can translate into poor general health, social functioning and mental well-being. If you or someone you know is ‘mad about moobs’ and looking for ways to tackle them, here are 5 great tips to combat them all— big, small, floppy or pointy!
Moobs are often seen on overweight or obese men and rightfully so. Breast tissue in both men and women feeds off oestrogen and typically women have higher levels of oestrogen in the body and men have more androgen hormones like testosterone.Research published in the International Journal of Andrology suggests moobs “may be the result of increased conversion of testosterone to oestradiol (potent oestrogenic hormone) in increased adipose tissue mass.” — so your fat could be secreting female, moob-boosting hormones.Cut back on fatty and starchy food, sugary snacks and processed meat; opting for fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat, whole grains and oats. A healthy and balanced diet will allow your body to turn fat into energy, burn off excess calories and begin the road back to fitness and regular body shape.
Ditch the drinks
The calories from alcohol consumption are easy to escalate unwittingly and alcohol is a close second to dietary fat in terms of its calorie density.
In addition, studies have pointed to a link between alcohol intake and suppression of plasma testosterone. In other words, if you’re fighting off an unwanted cleavage and drink like a fish, then it’s perhaps wise to cut back on booze or be a teetotaller altogether.
Best buds with the bench
Make love to the bench press. Building up your chest muscles or pectorals is an excellent method that men can use to pare down their enlarged man boobs. You should start with weights that you can manage comfortably, but slowly work up to bench pressing an equivalent of your own body weigh as levels of testosterone significantly increased after heavy resistance training, tipping your hormonal ratio back in favour of “heavage” not cleavage.Having the correct posture and technique is far more important that the absolute weights used so be patient and the results of your hard work will bear fruit eventually. If you don’t have access to a professional gym, do push-ups in the comfort of your own home, increasing the level of difficulty with alternating flat push-ups and incline/decline variations.
Banish with liposuction
In recent years more men are seeking out surgical options to address their man boobs, secondary to increased awareness through the media and the desire to look good.Minimally invasive Male Breast Reduction surgery enlisting advanced liposuction techniques such as Vaser Liposelection is perhaps the surest way to effectively address mild to moderate gynaecomastia once and for all.This procedure is relatively quick and can be performed under light sedation with local anaesthesia, and only leaves a tiny, inconspicuous scar of less than 5mm, well hidden from view on the side of the chest.
“Vaser Liposelection uses ultrasonic energy to selectively melt away fatty soft tissue, which can then be removed via vacuum suction with much less trauma as compared to traditional liposuction,” explains Dr. Tan Ying Chien, consultant plastic surgeon with The Sloane Clinic “In addition, this technique spares other vital tissues such as nerves and blood vessels resulting in less bruising and significantly shorter recovery time of a week or two.”
Surgical intervention and mastectomy
If liposuction alone failed to get rid of the issue, surgical intervention with excision is at times required. Excision is a procedure whereby glandular breast tissue is removed, at times combined with the trimming down of excess skin in severely enlarged cases. In some, the areolas might need to be surgically re-fashioned or the nipple relocated in order for the chest area to appear natural after removal of the overhanging man boobs. It should also be noted that unlike liposuction, gynaecomastia surgery can at times leave behind more visible scarring although this is not always the case.
If you are ‘mad about moobs’ and would like to have a professional opinion on how best to treat them, Dr. Tan Ying Chien can be reached here @The Novena Plastic Surgery Centre of The Sloane Clinic to help put your ‘man-maries’ woes to rest!