Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia

By Dr Dennis Wolf on Sunday, March 11, 2018

What is the difference between gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is true enlargement of the breast tissue in the male chest.  All males have some element of breast tissue.  In puberty this can sometimes grow due to hormone fluctuation or weight fluctuation.  Occasionally also due to steroid use in gym bunnies.

Pseudogynecomastia is enlargement of the chest appearance, but not due to breast tissue alone.  In most cases this is a combination of fat and gland, but mainly fat.  The cause of this is mainly weight fluctuation.


Gynecomastia in teenage years is mainly due to hormone fluctuations.  Hormone levels then stabillise in late teens.  Childhood obesity and weight fluctuation can also have an affect on this.

Middle age men sometimes acquire "man-boobs" - this can be due to various reasons - alcohol binge drinking, certain types of medication such as anti-acids, amphetamines, heroin, marijuana, anti-depressants, anabolic steroids, growth hormone.

Normal physiology also can result in gynecomastia as the hormone levels reduce in advanced age.  With this we also lose elasticity in our skin which can result in the chest appearing as its drooping.