Having swollen nipples as a man is not usually a medical problem, but some people do not like the appearance.
Swollen nipples in men can be the result of:
weight gain or excess fat
In some cases, swollen nipples are the result of a condition called gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a benign growth of the glandular tissue of the male breast. According to one study, approximately 30% of men will have some type of gynecomastia at some time in their life.
Depending on the cause, there may be some steps that people can take to reduce swelling, such as improving their diet and exercising more. In other cases, surgery may be an option.
Since swollen nipples are often an aesthetic concern, some people only require tranquility and advice.
The following are some steps that people can take to help reduce swollen nipples.
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A healthy diet can reduce excess fat in the chest area.
When excess fat stored in the chest area is the cause of swollen nipples, making improvements to the diet can help reduce its appearance.
People should aim to eat a balanced diet that focuses on whole foods and nutrients.
For a balanced diet, people can try:
limitation of sodium intake
increased consumption of fruits and vegetables
eat whole grains instead of white breads and pasta
Exchange of dairy products with all fat for low-fat versions
eat lean protein, such as beans and fish
Avoid processed foods and foods with added sugars.
People should always talk to a doctor or nutritionist before making important dietary changes. This is particularly important if they live with diabetes or another chronic health condition.
In addition to improving the diet, exercising and trying specific lifting routines could help reduce the appearance of swollen nipples.
Exercise, particularly cardiovascular exercise, can help reduce overall fat levels. Targeted lifting routines can build muscle in specific areas of the body, such as the chest.
Although there are many programs that promise rapid weight loss, in general, people looking to lose weight and maintain that weight loss should choose programs that they can maintain in the long term.
A study that examined the role of exercise and physical activity found that weight loss is more likely when a person combines a low-calorie diet with sustainable exercise. The researchers also point out that, in many cases, physical activity without dietary changes will only result in modest weight loss.
Some examples of cardiovascular exercises to try include:
In addition to cardiovascular workouts that can help reduce overall weight, people looking to reduce the appearance of swollen nipples may consider adding chest exercises to their routine.
Chest exercises generally focus on the pectoral muscles. Strengthened pectoral and thoracic muscles can reduce the appearance of swollen nipples.
Some examples of chest exercises to try include:
People interested in specific programs that can strengthen the chest muscles may want to talk with a personal trainer or other fitness professional about routines that meet their needs and abilities. Getting help from a personal trainer can also help prevent injuries.
There is very little evidence to suggest that taking certain herbal supplements can help increase testosterone levels.
In some cases, elevated testosterone levels can help reduce the appearance of swollen nipples. However, this can only be the case if a person knows for sure that the swelling is due to low testosterone levels. Studies in this area are limited, so more research is needed to make firm claims.
An herbal supplement that can potentially have a positive impact on testosterone levels is ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera. However, most ashwagandha studies examine its impact on male fertility, not nipple size.
An earlier 2010 study found that ashwagandha supplements increased the amount of testosterone in the group of men who took them. However, the study did not analyze the effects of the supplement on the nipples or breast tissue.
A 2015 study analyzed the role of ashwagandha in exercise and strength training. Although it may not help directly with swollen nipples, the study did indicate that ashwagandha had a positive impact on increasing muscle mass.
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There are several surgical procedures that can reduce the appearance of swollen nipples.
If gynecomastia is the cause of swollen nipples, surgery may be an option. Although diet and exercise can help people with gynecomastia reduce the appearance of swollen nipples, they may not completely eliminate swelling.
People can talk to a doctor about the surgical procedures available to reduce swelling. However, insurance generally does not cover this option, since it is generally an elective procedure.
Some surgical options include:
Excision of tissue, in which a surgeon makes small incisions to remove breast tissue.
liposuction, to remove fat but not breast tissue
mastectomy, for more severe gynecomastia
Non-invasive fat reduction, which uses topical laser or freezing to reduce fat accumulation.
A doctor can help a person determine which option, if any, is best for them.
Swollen nipples are an aesthetic concern for some people. Although swollen nipples usually do not cause any physical medical problems, some people do not like their appearance, which can affect their confidence and mental well-being.
People who are interested in reducing swelling of their nipples can do so by exercising more and making appropriate dietary changes. In other cases, surgery can help.
Anyone concerned about the appearance of their nipples can talk to a doctor about their treatment options.