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Breast Concerns in Boys: Care Instructions


Hormones sometimes cause breast growth in male children. This is called gynecomastia. Using some medicines also can cause breast growth. It can also be caused by a medical condition.

In babies, this usually goes away in a few weeks to a year after birth. In preteen and teenage boys, this often goes away within 6 months but may last up to 2 years. Many boys get this breast growth from rapid hormone changes during puberty.

Talk with your doctor if your teen is concerned about breast size or shape or is worried by these changes.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If your child's breasts are tender, he can put a cold face cloth or ice pack on them for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and the skin.
  • Tell your doctor about all medicines your child takes. Some medicines can cause breast growth in boys.
  • Advise your son to wear loose-fitting shirts. This will make the breast growth easier to hide. Also, a loose shirt will not rub the breasts as much as a tight shirt.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your child has more pain or growth in a breast.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.