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June 16, 2008 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Male nipples! Will they get smaller after some weight loss?

I am a 30 year old male. I gained some weight over the past couple of years (about 20 pounds, up from 155) due to some medication and general laziness. Since then, my nipples have gotten a bit larger and seem to protrude a lot. Even when I'm wearing an undershirt and a thicker polo, my nipples always seem to be quite noticeable. I have returned to the gym and am working on my weight. Should I expect my nipples to recede once again or do I need to start taping them or something? It's a bit embarrassing and I notice my posture is changing to try and make them less prominent.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think it is more likely a result of how the medication affected your hormone levels, you are probably stuck with them.
posted by BobbyDigital at 10:23 AM on June 16, 2008

Yeah, it's a hormone thing. For me, weight loss and upper pectoral toning make them less prominent but they're always going to be there. Surgery is an option but I value sensitivity about a billion times more than aesthetics.
posted by bunnytricks at 10:35 AM on June 16, 2008

They will probably change...but even if they dont...i am pretty sure that acquiring a six pack will help you divert the attention to other places.
posted by The1andonly at 10:39 AM on June 16, 2008

Pinch / squish your nipples against your chest.

Is there a stiff lump underneath them (like a pea?) or is it squishy all the way to the bone?

"Gynecomastia" is what you're looking for here.
posted by jdgdotnet at 10:44 AM on June 16, 2008

The actual nipples themselves? Or are we talking about "man boobs"?
posted by Thorzdad at 3:21 PM on June 16, 2008

jdgdotnet, I am not the OP, but just curious. If there is a "pea", does that mean gynecomastia? Or does no "pea" mean gynecomastia?
posted by schroedinger at 6:48 PM on June 16, 2008

If the "pea" size lump (or larger) is present, then it's breast tissue that has already hardened, which means gynecomastia and not just fat deposits.

It's a perfectly normal part of puberty for males, although clearly the OP is probably not having a late puberty. :-) You also don't even necessarily have to be fat/overweight to have a fatty buildup behind your nipples.

As far as treatment goes, talk to your primary care physician first. Tamoxifen or Raloxifene are both oral medications that can be taken to help reduce gynecomastia, but typically surgery is required for non-pubertal induced gynecomastia. It's considered a cosmetic surgery, so chances are (if you're in the US) your insurance won't cover it. Prices range between $2.5 - $5k throughout the US.

OP did not specify what medication he is taking, but it might be worth checking against this (slightly old) list:

For pictures of some extreme and not-so-extreme cases of gyno, take a walk over to:
posted by jdgdotnet at 9:22 PM on June 16, 2008

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