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Breast Concerns in Boys: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Hormones sometimes cause breast growth in male children. This is called gynecomastia. Using some medicines also can cause breast growth. Usually it starts as a rubbery or firm lump (breast bud) under the nipple. Your child may have a breast bud on one or both sides. In babies, the small lump usually goes away in a few weeks to a few months after birth. In teenage boys, breast buds may be about the size of a nickel or quarter. They may last up to 1 to 2 years.

Many infant and preteen boys get this breast growth. It likely upsets your son to have lumps in his breasts. Tell him that this is common and that they should go away on their own.

Talk with your doctor if you or your son is concerned about the size or shape of his breast growth.

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 call line 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 call 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.