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Throughout their pubertal development, about 50-60% of children between 13 and 14 years old can develop what is called at the beginning of puberty. transient gynecomastia.
Adolescents can experience how their mammary glands begin to grow. It can be individually, in a single breast, or even jointly, in both.
Pubertal or transient gynecomastia is common and normal in the development of adolescents, according to experts. Basically it is something aesthetic although it can also be a sign of an underlying disease so it should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out any other pathology.
What is the reason for this increase in breast volume in children?
According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, in most cases it may be due to an imbalance of their hormones, in the case of a lower level of androgens than estrogens.
It can also appear after taking medications or other types of substances such as: estrogens, anabolic steroids, corticosteroids, drugs such as cannabis or amphetamines. Certain liver, thyroid, kidney diseases, or, for example, malnutrition can also trigger breast enlargement in children as well as genetic or tumor causes.
How does pubertal gynecomastia present?
We have to differentiate the increase of the breasts in adolescents by an accumulation of fat in the pectoral area, in which case it has a soft consistency, from pubertal gynecomastia which is firm and can even be uncomfortable to the touch. The breasts in this case can become red and secrete fluid.
In the event that pubertal gynecomastia develops in an overweight adolescent, the aesthetic impact may be greater.
How is this development of the breasts in children treated?
Gynecomastia is transient and benign and goes away on its own. It is not serious and does not require taking any medication. In the event that it grows a lot in volume, has fibrosed, does not disappear with the passage of time or significantly affects the day-to-day of the young person, the doctor will evaluate an androgen-based treatment or even a surgical intervention to eliminate it.
Sometimes it can cause psycho-emotional damage in children, some anxiety or fear, even complex, rejecting the exposure of the torso or avoiding certain sports activities. It is convenient to make them understand what it is about, calm them, and try not to cause any trauma for them since it is a transitory situation.
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