Gynecomastia is the term for the enlargement of male breast tissue. It affects millions of men and can have a major impact on self-esteem. If you don't dare take your t-shirt off at the beach, you can always camouflage your chest with a compression top or swim t-shirt. While living with gynecomastia can be difficult at times, still try to accept your body and do what you can to overcome your discomfort. Keep in mind that everyone has resorts and that shouldn't prevent you from having a great day at the beach!
Method 1 of 3: Wear the right clothes
Step 1. Invest in a compression top
Opt for a sleeveless compression top, with a low neckline, which will not be visible under a UV-resistant shirt or t-shirt. Compression tops designed specifically for men with gynecomastia can be found online and in medical stores.
- If you're having trouble finding a top specifically designed for gynecomastia, use a surgical compression top, worn after breast surgery to help heal the incisions.
- If you plan to swim, take a look at the product label to make sure it can get wet. Most compression garments can be worn in salt water. However, the chlorine will damage the elastic fabric and you will not be able to wear the top in a chlorinated pool.
Step 2. Camouflage your breasts under a shapewear or a tight sports top
Tight girdles and sportswear will also do the trick, although they are not specifically intended for men with gynecomastia. If they are more expensive, some sportswear are provided with cooling bands, which will prevent you from getting too hot, even under several layers of clothing.
- You will find these pieces on the Internet, in sporting goods stores or in the men's section of most department stores.
- Like compression tops, girdles and sportswear are generally made of materials that should not be exposed to chlorinated water.
Step 3. Wear a UV t-shirt or rashguard
A rashguard is a tight top worn by surfers and other water sports fans. A UV-resistant t-shirt is a less tight-fitting version of the rashguard. These pieces are very fashionable and you will not attract any glances while wearing them.
- Many clothing brands offer UV-resistant t-shirts and rashguards are available at any sporting goods store. You can also find them on the Internet.
- If a UV t-shirt isn't enough to hide your chest, you could wear it over a compression or sports top. Remember that a garment with cooling bands will help keep you from getting too hot.
Step 4. Put on a striped or patterned shirt
You could wear a compression top under a shirt, but then you will have to forgo swimming. For a summery look, opt for a shirt with vertical stripes, checks or printed with tropical patterns. Avoid white and choose colors that won't contrast too harshly with your swim shorts.
- White will tend to widen your upper body, and too much of a contrast between your shirt and your shorts will draw attention to your core. Vertical stripes and patterns tend to refine the silhouette and will distract from your body type.
- A shirt will be more structured than a t-shirt and will have less tendency to stick to your chest.
- If someone asks you, say you are wearing a shirt to protect your skin from the sun.
Method 2 of 3: shrink your chest
Step 1. See your doctor for a fair diagnosis
Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the mammary glands, and exercising will not allow you to reduce the size of these glands. On the other hand, pseudogynecomastia is due to fatty deposits on the chest, which can be reduced through sport and a suitable diet.
If you haven't already, see your doctor to determine if your breast size is due to swollen glands. Don't be embarrassed: the doctor is there to help you, not to judge you
Step 2. Discuss the potential underlying causes with your doctor
Medications, recreational drugs, and anabolics can promote gynecomastia. Thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and other medical issues can also be factors. If necessary, identify with your doctor the health problems that could be the basis of your gynecomastia.
- Drugs that can cause gynecomastia include corticosteroids, cancer hormone therapy, and some heart and anxiety drugs. If necessary, ask your doctor to prescribe an alternative with fewer side effects.
- If you are taking corrective drugs or anabolics, ask your doctor for help with withdrawal.
Step 3. Try to lose weight if you have pseudogynecomastia
If your problem isn't with enlarged glands, do your best to eat less fatty foods and reduce your calorie intake. Get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise daily. Also work with strength training exercises that target your chest, such as push-ups and bench presses.
Before starting a new exercise routine, consult your doctor, especially if you have suffered from health problems in the past
Step 4. Discuss surgical options with your doctor
The only way to reduce enlarged mammary glands is to go through breast reduction surgery. Depending on the size of the operation, it could cost several thousand euros and will not necessarily be reimbursed by social security.
- If you decide that surgery is the right option for you, your doctor or surgeon will recommend the best procedure for you. Remember to educate yourself about the risks and possible complications.
- Liposuction is relatively non-invasive and you should be on your feet just a few days later. However, only fatty tissue will be removed and not the mammary glands. A mastectomy or removal of the mammary glands will be the most suitable option for a large breast.
- Your breasts will be swollen and sore for a few weeks after the mastectomy, and you will need to limit your physical activities for at least a month. If the scars from the operation are permanent, they will still fade over time.
Method 3 of 3: Learn to accept your body
Step 1. Keep in mind that everyone has complexes
There is no such thing as a "normal" body and everyone is complexed by some part or another of their anatomy. Many people dread having to take their clothes off at the beach - don't think that everyone is only there to judge you.
- The effects of gynecomastia on self-esteem aren't easy to overcome, and it's normal that you don't think you'll ever be able to go shirtless in public.
- As difficult as it is, do what you can to accept your body and don't let yourself be defined by how others perceive you. If you don't want to go shirtless, wear a UV t-shirt or other clothing and don't worry about what others think.
Step 2. Concentrate on everything your body does for you
Learning to appreciate their body helps some people overcome fear, anxiety and embarrassment. Instead of hating your body and focusing on the parts you don't like, focus on the positive aspects. Think about all the amazing things your body does, whether it's absorbing oxygen or allowing you to fully enjoy the world around you.
- Listen to music, watch the beautiful scenery, or breathe in your favorite scent. Recognize how wonderful it is for your body to allow you to experience all of these magnificent sensations.
- Pay attention to everything your body is doing to keep you alive. Listen to your pulse and appreciate how hard it is for your heart to work every second of the day. Think how fantastic it is for all of these parts of your body to function automatically, without you actually being aware of it.
- Try repeating, aloud or in your head, a positive mantra, such as "I'm so glad to be alive." My body is fantastic to be able to keep me alive. I am grateful to him. "
Step 3. Tell yourself that you deserve a great day at the beach
When you are at the beach, focus on the sound of the sea, the refreshing breeze and the rays of the sun on your skin. Allow yourself to enjoy this moment without being afraid of the eyes of others.
- If you feel comfortable, remove your top and let the sensations of the hot sun or cool water replace your fear and anxiety.
- Tell yourself, “I'm going to miss out on so much by focusing on what other people think. I deserve to feel good about myself and enjoy the day and it doesn't matter if my body isn't perfect. I'm not going to punish myself anymore! "
Step 4. Practice being shirtless in front of family and close friends
If you're not ready to take your t-shirt off at a public beach, do it in front of your loved ones first. If your family and trusted friends are having a little pool party, take the opportunity to get into the habit of swimming topless.