Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

Male Breast Enlargement May Be Common

Condition Known as Gynecomastia May Occur in Nearly Half of Men

Gynecomastia in Puberty continued...

Recently, doctors have found that use of products containing lavender oil or tea tree oil may trigger breast growth in preteen boys, says Braunstein, citing a study published earlier in 2007. The boys who developed the breast growth had been using a lavender oil skin balm, a hair gel with lavender and tea tree oils, or lavender-scented soap and skin lotions. When they stopped using the products, their breasts returned to normal within a few months.

After ruling out other conditions, a pediatrician typically suggests waiting to see if the gynecomastia disappears, Braunstein says, typically telling the patient to return in three months.

"About 95% of the time, this [condition during puberty] will disappear within three to six months," he says.

Another expert, Yong Bao, MD, assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, agrees that "tincture of time" often works. The smaller the growth, the more likely it will go away, Bao says. "After the peak of puberty, it usually goes away," he says.

"Most teens do not need any therapy," Braunstein says. But if the breasts are very tender and the patient is bothered by a large degree of growth, doctors may suggest taking tamoxifen, used in breast cancer treatment, Braunstein says. It works by interfering with the activity of estrogen on the breast cells, thus stopping the growth. While tamoxifen is not officially approved for this purpose, it's used "off-label," which is legal. A course of three months of the drug is typical, he says.

About 60% of teens and adults who take tamoxifen have complete regression of the growth, Braunstein says, citing published studies, and about 80% have at least partial regression.

If tamoxifen does not work, male breast reduction or liposuction can be done.

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Man taking blood pressure
doctor holding syringe
Condom Quiz
man running
older couple in bed