The swollen and puffy nipples in men may be due to various causes including hormonal imbalances, use of steroids, some types of sports such as running and excess body fat. In most cases, the swelling of male nipples, even if it can create discomfort on an aesthetic level, is nothing to worry about for health and can be resolved with simple changes to the diet and a specific training program. Sometimes, however, surgery is necessary to solve the problem, for example if the swelling of the nipples is due to gynecomastia, a term used to indicate the excessive growth of the man’s breasts.
Puffy nipples due to hormonal imbalances
Both men and women produce both sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen. However, males usually have higher testosterone levels. Men with higher estrogen levels could suffer from gynecomastia, an abnormal development of the mammary glands. In this case, the swelling of the male breast and nipple usually disappears when the estrogen levels return to normal.
Use of anabolic steroids
As shown by a 2010 study, the use of anabolic steroids can cause gynecomastia, swelling of the nipple and nearby tissues.
Puffy nipples after running
The puffy nipples after running in habitual runners are due to friction between the skin of the nipple and fitting sportswear. Continuous rubbing with tight clothing can cause a condition known as a runner’s nipple.
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Excess body fat
Even the excess body fat can affect the shape and appearance of the breasts and male nipples. Excess fatty tissue in the breast can make the nipples appear larger than usual.
Not to mention that being overweight disrupts male hormone imbalances, lowering testosterone levels and raising estrogen levels. In this case it will be enough to lose weight to bring hormone levels back to normal and reduce swelling of the breasts and nipples.
Exercises against swollen breasts and puffy nipples
To reduce swelling of the nipple and breasts, it is helpful to strengthen and tone the chest muscles with exercises such as:
- bench press exercises with a barbell;
- crosses on bench inclined to cables;
- jump forward;
Those who have never worked weights should start with light training, doing 1 to 3 sets of 8-12 reps each with light weights, and then gradually increase the number of sets and weight in subsequent workouts. To avoid muscle tears, you should never try to exert yourself beyond your training level.
Exercises to strengthen the back and shoulder muscles are also helpful to improve posture, balance a defined chest, and give the body a symmetrical appearance. The ideal is to diversify the exercises to train all muscle groups.
It is also important to add aerobic exercise to resistance training such as:
- I swim;
- jump rope.
Health authority guidelines recommend doing at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity and doing 2 or more endurance workouts per week. The weight training session should be preceded and followed by 15-20 minutes of cardio activity. Alternatively, you can train 45-60 minutes with cardio on days when you are not training with weights.
Diet for swollen nipples
Excess body fat can cause puffy nipples and other changes in men’s breasts.
To reduce body fat it is useful to:
- eat more raw fruits and vegetables;
- consume foods rich in fiber, such as legumes, nuts, seeds and bran;
- eliminate processed foods and foods with added sugars;
- limit refined carbohydrates, such as white pasta, white bread, and sweets.
- Men suffering from hormonal imbalances should avoid estrogen-rich foods and consume testosterone-rich foods.
Foods with estrogen to limit
The estrogen-rich foods to limit include:
- soy and soy products;
- split peas;
- borlotti beans;
- lima beans;
- clover sprouts.
Limiting alcohol consumption is also helpful because alcohol can impair fertility, increase oxidative stress, cell damage, and lower testosterone.
Foods to increase testosterone levels
The foods that can increase testosterone levels include:
- cruciferous vegetables;
- olive oil.
Supplements to deflate male nipples
Some herbal supplements can help reduce swelling of the nipples by increasing testosterone levels. Between these:
- Ginger, a root that contains many antioxidants, such as gingerols, zingerone and flavonoids. These substances protect the reproductive organs from oxidative damage, reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Turmeric, a root plant that contains curcumin, a powerful compound that can help increase testosterone levels.
- Fenugreek, a herb used in cooking from seeds rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamins A, B-6, B-12 and D. A 2017 study of furosap, a supplement with fenugreek, showed an increase in testosterone level, sperm count and improved cognitive abilities in 90% of men who took it for 12 weeks.
Warning: supplements can also have side effects. Therefore, before taking supplements to reduce swelling of the male breast it is important to consult with your doctor.
The surgical procedures for the treatment of enlarged breasts or puffy nipples in men include:
- Liposuction: This procedure removes body fat through a cannula, a tube connected to a suction device.
- Mastectomy: Mastectomy involves the removal of breast tissue or cancerous tissues in the breast.
- Tissue excision: This procedure involves removing the mammary glandular tissue and excess skin to correct gynecomastia. The surgeon can reduce the size of the nipple to achieve a more natural look.
Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breast tissue. It affects between 32 and 65% of men. It can affect men of any age, but is more common in the elderly.
The causes of gynecomastia are:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency;
- diseases of the spinal cord;
- testicular cancer;
- breast cancer.
In addition to breast enlargement, the other symptoms of gynecomastia are:
- swollen and sensitive to touch breasts;
- swollen and sore nipple;
- discharge from one or both nipples.
- Treatments for gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is treated based on the underlying cause. The doctor may prescribe drugs used to treat breast cancer or a therapy to increase the level of testosterone. The latter therapy is mainly prescribed to older patients.
Other effective remedies for gynecomastia are:
- exercise regularly;
- limit the intake of processed foods;
- eat more fruits, vegetables and other high-fiber foods;
- avoid soy and soy products.
In some cases, it may be necessary to undergo surgery.
When to see a doctor
Men who notice their nipples appear larger than usual might want to talk to a doctor. Some causes of breast swelling and gynecomastia are often serious. Detecting such conditions early can cause better treatment results, so it is vital for people to seek professional medical advice as soon as possible. A doctor is going to be ready to determine the underlying cause and suggest potential treatment options supporting an individual’s individual medical record.
Breast changes affect both males and females. Although discussing breast-related conditions are often embarrassing or unpleasant, people can ask their doctor about any concerning symptoms they’ll be experiencing. People that notice inflammation or pain within the nipples can make diet and lifestyle changes to scale back these symptoms. Certain sorts of exercise, like running, can cause friction which will cause nipple rubbing. Poor diet and lack of exercise may result in excess body fat, which research has shown to extend estrogen levels. Males who have high estrogen levels can experience abnormal breast tissue growth, which may end in a condition called gynecomastia.