Gynecomastia is a men’s medical condition where they experience the enlargement of the tissue on their chests to resemble a woman’s breasts. It affects between 40% and 70% of the male population in the United States.
It is a more common condition than many people think and most men who experience the condition are embarrassed and do not talk about it. It may come as a surprise but some high-profile celebrities and bodybuilders have suffered from gynecomastia.
Today we will look at an overview of the condition and celebrities who have experienced gynecomastia and have undergone surgery to correct the condition and make their chest appear more masculine.
Male Celebrities With Gynecomastia
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Dwayne Johnson has been transparent about his gynecomastia struggle. Most people would have no idea that he of all people ever had body image issues.
Gynecomastia is a known side effect of steroid use and many bodybuilders who have used them have ended up with excess breast tissue on one or both sides of their chest.
Dwayne Johnson has spoken openly about his steroid use early in his career and gynecomastia was a source of distress for many years. Today his well-chiseled chest contours, indicate that he is one of the celebrities with gynecomastia surgery to thank for his more defined pectoral muscles.
Simon Cowell has appeared on several television shows and has been caught on camera while out and about. In many pictures, it appears he is another celebrity with gynecomastia. He is known for wearing tight-fitting shirts while on the set of American Idol and America’s Got Talent which accentuated the appearance of male breasts.
In more recent pictures, the breasts appear to be gone and his chest now appears more toned and masculine indicating that the star has undergone gynecomastia surgery.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is another bodybuilder celebrity with gynecomastia. He also used steroids during his bodybuilding years which is now known to create serious hormone imbalances sometimes resulting in the formation of excess breast tissue. These steroids were not illegal at the time and there was little known about the long-lasting side effects of steroid use.
Once an adult male develops gynecomastia, it will not go away with any amount of dieting or physical exercise. The most effective treatment for gynecomastia is surgery. Generally, the surgery involves both liposuction and the removal of glandular tissue but professional bodybuilders typically have very low body fat levels so there is no excess fat to remove via liposuction.
Gynecomastia surgery for bodybuilders generally only involves removing the excess glandular tissue to remove the “moobs” and improve the contour of their chests.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has had the distinct honor of being chosen as Mr. Olympia on numerous occasions. It is hard to believe that someone who appears to have everything going for him would openly express that he has always had negative body image issues. Even the most famous celebrities can have anxiety about the way they look.
Jack Nicholson has not always had gynecomastia, it began developing as he got older. As men age and enter andropause, they can experience a natural decline in the hormone testosterone which leads to an imbalance in hormones. Around 60% of older men develop sagging breast tissue or pectorals as they age.
Although Jack Nicholson did not become well known for his physique, the natural aging process caused him to gain weight which appears to have resulted in the development of gynecomastia.
Ronnie Coleman is a retired bodybuilder and is considered one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won the title of Mr. Olympia eight years in a row and won 26 professional titles. He is considered the strongest Mr. Olympia of all time.
You can see by the picture that like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie appears to also be another bodybuilder celebrity with gynecomastia. At the time when Ronnie was in his prime, the use of certain steroids was commonplace. In a podcast interview with Joe Rogan, he talked openly about his steroid use and where he was obtaining them.
He explained that he was not taking an overabundance of steroids, or using them recklessly but he was using them under a doctor’s supervision. He also went on to say that he would not encourage others to use them.
Noah Beck is a social media personality with over 1 million followers on Youtube and is also a popular Tik Tok personality. Beck also played soccer for the Portland Pilots as a midfielder in 2019. Noah is not as famous as others mentioned in this article but he is among other celebrities with gynecomastia. In 2021, Noah had surgery to address the condition of excess male breast tissue and he documented his journey on Youtube to build awareness of the condition.
What Is The Cause Of Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a medical issue that is not considered medically serious but it can promote emotional distress. The enlargement of male breast tissue can be related to an excess of fat that has gathered in that location (pseudo gynecomastia) or maybe an abnormal build-up of actual breast tissue.
Commonly called “man boobs”, this condition often develops during adolescence when many hormonal changes are taking place and for some, the condition does not resolve. True gynecomastia can be caused by:
- 1. An Imbalance In Hormones
- A hormonal imbalance can cause true gynecomastia and can affect one or both breasts and may cause pain in the affected areas.
Males and females alike have levels of estrogen and testosterone hormones but the levels are just in different quantities. In general, the dominant male hormone is testosterone but they do also possess estrogen in low levels which helps with cholesterol control, sperm production, skin health, bone density, helps with mood regulation, and more.
An abundance of estrogen can cause males to develop breasts. Over 50% of baby boys are born with enlarged breasts caused by estrogen exposure passed to the baby from the mother and typically resolves within a few months.
- 2. Hormone Changes During Puberty
- Many teenage boys go through a temporary experience with gynecomastia during puberty due to hormone changes. This might cause the adolescent to have one or both breasts enlarged and can take almost 2 years for hormone regulation to balance out.
It can be distressing for a teenage boy and can affect their self-confidence, especially in social situations. Fortunately, for most teen boys, the condition is only temporary and resolves on its own by the time they reach the age of 17.
If by age 17, gynecomastia symptoms have not resolved, medical intervention should be sought.
- 3. Medication
- Sometimes medication can promote the occurrence of gynecomastia so if you are starting to see signs of the condition check with your doctor to see if your medication may be the cause.
- 4. Steroids/Recreational Drugs/Alcohol
- Recreational drugs, excess alcohol, and anabolic steroids are known to result in the manifestation of gynecomastia. Many competitive bodybuilders have experienced the condition and we will detail some of them later in this article.
- 5. Male Menopause (Andropause)
- As men age, their production of testosterone decreases, and they can begin to experience symptoms such as depression, irritability, memory loss, weight gain, muscle loss, gynecomastia, and more.
Gynecomastia Treatment in Atlanta, GA
A combination of liposuction and surgery is often used to treat Gynecomastia. Each patient’s treatment can differ depending on the underlying cause and severity of the gynecomastia. Sometimes liposuction is sufficient to remove the “look” of gynecomastia that is actually a localized fat deposit. In true cases of gynecomastia where fibrous breast tissue has accumulated, surgery is necessary.
Surgery for gynecomastia is effective and safe if performed by a qualified surgeon who is trained and experienced in treating the condition. Medical research has demonstrated that men who undergo treatment for gynecomastia experience much improvement in their self-confidence and emotional well-being.
If you are embarrassed or self-conscious about the way your chest looks and suspect you may have gynecomastia, we can help! Dr. Angelina Postoev, a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon at SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics utilizes the latest medical and surgical techniques to eliminate gynecomastia to provide a natural-looking, masculine contoured chest.
Contact us today to set up an appointment to learn more! If you are suffering from gynecomastia, you are not alone. Many celebrities with gynecomastia had surgery to correct the issue and you can too!