Gynecomastia is a condition in men and boys that is often jokingly referred to as “man boobs.” And although it’s often treated lightly as the punchline of a joke or a strange and rare phenomenon, it’s actually been estimated that roughly 30% of healthy men have experienced some level of this condition during their lifetimes.
What is Gynecomastia?
True clinical gynecomastia is an endocrine system disorder that causes an increase in the size of breast tissue in boys and men. This symptom is caused by a hormonal imbalance – elevated levels of estrogen or lowered levels of testosterone – often associated with puberty, aging, medications, illness, or environmental factors. But the appearance of enlarged breasts may also be ascribed to pseudogynecomastia, a symptom of excess fat that is deposited on the chest.
What are the Treatments for Gynecomastia?
Some cases of gynecomastia can be short-lived and clear up in a matter of months. These are usually cases that involve a quick shift in hormones, like puberty. However, other long-term and more serious cases can be treated with medication and even surgery.
While surgery for extreme cases of gynecomastia is an option, many men ultimately decide not to go under the knife. Instead, they choose to wear a bra or compression top to prevent discomfort and minimize the appearance of their condition.
What to Look for in Bras for Men with Gynecomastia
When choosing a bra for your gynecomastia, there are several factors you should take into consideration. Here are a few:
Wide wires: It’s common for men with gynecomastia to have muscular chests, which is caused by increases in testosterone. If you insist on wearing a bra with an underwire, choose a bra with a larger band size and smaller cup size. This way, your bra will have wider wires across your front to accommodate your muscular chest.
Wireless: Some men prefer a wireless bra because bras with wide wires can be difficult to find. If this is the case for you, try a soft cup bra or a sports bra.
Lower center panel: It’s common for men to have a more angular ribcage, which creates a protruding sternum. To maximize comfort, try a bra with a lower center panel (also referred to as the gore).
Soft materials: This is a great tip for men and women alike. A bra made with soft and flexible material can prevent skin irritation and discomfort.
Compression: Bras and tops with compression built in (as well as high impact sports bras) will help prevent bounce, discomfort and pain as you move throughout the day.
Five Best Bras and Tops for Men with Gynecomastia
This sports bra features wide straps, supportive compression and seamless design, making it comfortable for all-day wear and virtually invisible under clothes. The stretchy fabric and roominess in the rib cage makes this a great option for men with broad chests.
The Show-Off Double Dry Max Support Sports Bra by Champion
This compression and high impact sports bra features moisture-wicking fabric and mesh panels along the top front and sides for extra breathability. It’s a great option for men who don’t want a bra with underwires, but want comfortable, chest-flattening support.
These comfortable and sleek bras have a regular tank top strap style that is comfortable and sleek. They have breathability and comfort with just the right amount of support and compression.
This wireless sports bra helps keep you dry, cool, and comfortable. The wireless and seamless stretch knit cup is lined for soft and smooth coverage. The tall center front, sides, back helps provide a stay-put fit with a comfortable level of compression.
There are many women’s compression tanks and tees that can be worn by men with gynecomastia, as well. This viscose rib tank is soft, breathable, and comfortable. It fits like a regular men’s wife beater, but provides the chest flattening compression you need.
A basic white tank top is an important wardrobe staple for many men with gynecomastia who want a simplistic look and serious shaping. This crew neck seamless control tank is made with lightweight, breathable fabric and provides compression of the chest and waist without stretching out over time. The seamless design makes this tank a great option for wearing under T-shirts and other types of clothing.
Finally, my last style recommendation for men with gynecomastia is this seamless compression T-shirt made by Rounderbum. This lightweight, seamless T-shirt has the perfect balance of comfort and compression. The compression flattens the chest and slims the waist, while the breathable fabric wicks away moisture and keeps you cool.
Are you a man with gynecomastia? You’re not alone, and my team of experts at HerRoom and HisRoom are here to help you find the perfect bra or compression garment for you. If you have any questions, comments, or other suggestions, please share them with me in the comments below, or on social media via Facebook or Twitter.
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