Ask the Doc: How do I get rid of gynaecomastia (‘man boobs’)?

Related conditions


How do I get rid of gynaecomastia (‘man boobs’)?


Growth of breast tissue in men, often socially referred to as ‘man boobs’, can be caused by a couple of things.

The first is gynaecomastia (say it: “guy-na-co-mas-tee-ah”), which is when male breast tissue grows larger than usual. The second is pseudogynaecomastia (say it: “soo-doe-guy-na-co-mas-tee-ah”), which is due to growth of fat.

Gynaecomastia Causes

Gynaecomastia is usually caused by a hormone imbalance (when there is too much or too little of a hormone). It’s common in newborn baby boys and during puberty, because of normal hormonal changes that occur at these times, and usually goes away on its own.

Men with Klinefelter syndrome, who have very low testosterone levels, may develop obvious gynaecomastia during puberty.

Up to 70% of men aged 50-85 years may have gynaecomastia, which can come about because of  hormonal changes caused by chronic health conditions, such as obesity or type two diabetes, or as a side effect of medications. Successful treatment or management of these underlying health conditions, or stopping medications that might be causing gynaecomastia, may reduce the amount of breast tissue.

If gynaecomastia doesn’t go away on its own, male breast reduction surgery to remove the extra breast tissue is possible. For men who can’t or don’t want to have surgery, hormone therapy or other medication, they can reduce the appearance of gynaecomastia by using a compression shirt.

Breast tissue due to the growth of fat (pseudogynaecomastia) can be helped by losing weight through diet and exercise. Sometimes, liposuction can be used to remove the excess fat that causes pseudo-gynaecomastia.

A/Prof Tim Moss

Tim Moss

Biomedical research scientist

Associate Professor Tim Moss has PhD in physiology and more than 20 years’ experience as a biomedical research scientist. Tim stepped away from his successful academic career at the end of 2019, to apply his skills in turning complicated scientific and medical knowledge into information that all people can use to improve their health and wellbeing. Tim has written for and Scientific American’s Observations blog, which is far more interesting than his authorship of over 150 academic publications. He has studied science communication at the Alan Alda Centre for Communicating Science in New York, and at the Department of Biological Engineering Communication Lab at MIT in Boston.


Man boobs

Did you find this page helpful?

Information provided on this website is not a substitute for medical advice

Call 000 for emergency services

If you or someone you know needs urgent medical attention.

Call MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 for 24/7 support

MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns.

Sign up to our newsletter

We release two monthly newsletters – one written for men, family and friends, and another for health practitioners.

Your preferred mailing list

Your name

Your email

Stay up to date


Healthy Male acknowledges the traditional owners of the land. We pay our respects to elders past, present and future. We are committed to providing respectful, inclusive services and work environments where all individuals feel accepted, safe, affirmed and celebrated.


Healthy Male is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. This website does not host any form of advertisement. Information provided on this website is not a substitute for medical advice.

Trusted information partner of