During the transition of a person from boyhood to manhood, enormous hormonal changes take place in the male body. Activities of estrogen and testosterone hormones are very profound, due to which boys undergo a change in their voice texture, develop body hair and undergo many other physical changes.

In some boys the activity of estrogenestrogen; a female growth hormone present in all men; is higher than normal. As a result some boys develop breasts akin to women. This condition which is mainly caused due to hormonal dysfunction is called gynecomastia.

Although male breasts disappear with age, they remain for several men and cause problems such as tenderness, pain and even breast cancer. Given below is a brief overview about breast tenderness in men – how it occurs, manifests and how one can treat it.

Causes of breast tenderness in men


Breast cancer is a very rare cause of male breast tenderness

According to studies, nearly 60% of teenage boys experience gynecomastia

Several factors influence breast tenderness in men. The major cause is hormonal dysfunction. Some other factors are:

  • Use of certain medicines and steroids: Certain drugs, such as those used in the treatment of diseases such as AIDS, prostrate cancer and cardiovascular diseases; contain anti-androgens, which suppress the activity of the male hormone testosterone. In such conditions, the female hormone becomes dominant and causes pain and tenderness in the breasts. Such gynecomastia developed is usually temporary and disappears after treatment is stopped.
  • Diseases: Breast tenderness is also caused due to liver dysfunction, tumors, kidney failure, malnutrition, low production of testosterone and aging.
  • Obesity: Tenderness is sometimes caused due to excessive fat deposition in the breasts, which make them appear enlarged. Men need to know the difference between breast enlargements caused due to fat and due to hormone dysfunction.

Symptoms of breast tenderness in men

Tenderness in the breasts is a symptom itself. It reflects underlying dysfunction in hormonal activities or some more serious problems. Some of the other symptoms that accompany breast tenderness are pain, puffy nipples, discharge from either one or both nipples and swelling. Although it is not a serious cause of concern, you will have to consult a doctor if tenderness persists since it is also caused due to malignant tumors.


Drugs that restore testosterone levels in the body have been found to cure the problem in many people. However, if the tissues in breasts have hardened, liposuction surgery helps. In severe cases, removal of the breast might also be considered.

Weight reduction takes care of the problem if obesity is the cause.

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