This is a shout out to all my colleagues and paramedical personnel about the importance of gynecomastia education. You may have learned that it is a self-limited and benign condition, appearing during puberty and dissipating in a year or two.
This is true in the majority of patients, but for the twenty percent of patients (millions of men) who don’t experience relief, the consequences of no treatment are mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation and an alteration in the psyche that can have negative long term sequelae.
Gynecomastia is not physically harmful, but it can have profoundly negative mental effects. Because it develops during the critical adolescent years, when young men are learning about their bodies and sexuality, it is important to remove this negative condition sooner than later. Early action prevents the condition from “burning” into the psyche and forming a permanent scar.
We all want to act on behalf of our patients’ best interests. In the case of gynecomastia, this means sensitivity, understanding and quick referral for treatment before the damage sets in and before complete mental recovery is difficult. We all need to work together and be part of the solution.