Puffy nipples in males are something that doesn’t occur too often. When it does happen, it’s often a sign of an underlying issue. Sometimes, the issue is medical in nature, but other reasons could lead to this physical change.
If you’re a man who has puffy nipples, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. You may want to know how to fix the issue quickly. To get to the bottom of things, you’ll need to first discover the cause.
Causes of Puffy Nipples
Three main issues could lead to puffy nipples. They all require different approaches to find a solution and reduce the appearance of the nipples.
According to Healthline, gynecomastia results from high estrogen levels. It’s most common during puberty or at birth, but it can occur at any age.
During puberty, hormone levels are out of balance due to the changes occurring in the body. At birth, a baby may have some remaining estrogen from his mother that leads to the condition. In adults, hormones can go through fluctuations as a man ages, which can cause gynecomastia.
One thing to note about this condition is that it’s not harmful in any way beyond the physical appearance. It often causes excess fat in the chest, and it can also cause puffy nipples.
In most cases, the condition disappears when the hormones balance. Reducing the high levels of estrogen in the body typically happens naturally, but may require intervention.
Excess Body Fat
Another thing that may lead to puffy nipples is being overweight. Everyone carries weight differently. You may gain weight in your stomach first, while someone else may gain it in their face first. For some men, the weight will start showing in the chest, which can lead to puffy nipples.
Being overweight can also mess with your hormones, which can lead to gynecomastia. You may have symptoms from that, added on top of the weight gain.
Some medications can lead to puffy nipples as a side effect. It’s quite common in those who use anabolic steroids. Medications for hair loss or depression can also create this side effect. Many medications could do this to your body. Often, such medications alter hormones.
More Serious Issues
Sometimes, puffy nipples are a result of a more serious medical condition. You may notice other symptoms beyond the physical change if this is the case. Only your doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis, and ensure there’s nothing more serious happening with your body.
The treatment options you have often depend on the cause of your puffy nipples. In some cases, certain treatments simply won’t work. It’s essential that the first thing you do when seeking treatment is to see your doctor. You can then work with him or her to figure out the right course of treatment that will work in your situation.
If you have true gynecomastia caused by a hormonal imbalance, your doctor will want to help you balance your hormones. However, this may not make your puffy nipples disappear, especially if you’re an adult. It’s typical for adults with the condition to need surgery to fix the appearance of the nipples.
There are three surgical options. The least invasive is liposuction. During this procedure, the surgeon will remove excess fat from the chest.
You may also have a mastectomy. This is more invasive and will require a longer recovery. However, it may be the way you have to go if you have a lot of excessive fat in your chest area because liposuction does have some limitations as to how much fat it can remove. A mastectomy will open up the chest to remove the excess tissue.
The final option is a tissue excision. This may be the best option for puffy nipples because it allows for reconstruction to reduce the size of the nipple and make it appear more natural, while also removing the glandular breast tissue.
Surgery is the most expensive treatment option. It’s also the most difficult physically. You should consider all your options before taking the surgical route. But then, do realize that in some situations, it’s the only treatment option that will work.
If your issue is due to excess weight, then following a healthier diet can help. Your diet should be low in fat and sugar. You want to choose high-fiber foods, but also limit carbohydrates. It helps to eat more fruits and vegetables, which allows you to eat larger quantities without consuming too many calories.
If you have hormone imbalances, then changing your diet may also help. You can avoid foods known to be high in estrogen:
- Lima beans
- Split peas
- Pinto beans
- Soy products
- Clover sprouts
Also, remove foods that can lower your testosterone levels because they can allow your estrogen levels to get too high. One common thing you may consume that can lower testosterone is alcohol.
Another important thing to do if weight gain is responsible for your condition is to add exercise to your new diet lifestyle. You’ll need to do both cardio and chest exercises. Don’t just do the chest exercises, as this will build your chest muscles and make your chest look bigger and more pronounced.
You want to do about 150 minutes each week of cardio activities. Consider something easy, such as walking or swimming. For strength training, focus on tightening and building your chest muscles with exercises that include:
- Forward dips
- Chest press
- Incline bench cable fly
- Barbell bench press
Start with one to three sets of 8-12 repetitions. You can increase this as needed. You also want to begin with light weights and increase the weight as needed.
Sometimes, the best solution to your issue will be making some changes in your life. If other solutions don’t work or aren’t an option, such as expensive surgery, you may want to consider what you can do to feel and look better.
One option is to wear these gynecomastia nipple covers. Nipple covers are discrete. Only you will know you have them on. They help to keep the nipple flat and reduce the puffy look under your clothes.
If you have a bigger concern beyond just the nipples, you may consider a compression shirt that can help to flatten the whole chest. It also helps to wear layers and thicker tops if possible.
Treating puffy nipples is a multi-stage process. You have to first identify the underlying issue. Then, you can find the solution or treatment that works the best for you.