an infographic about the different aspects of pseudogynecomastia

What Is pseudogynecomastia

Psuedogynecomastia is one of the most common condition that often gets confused with gynecomastia. When men find out that they have unusually larger chest mass than other men of their age and size, probably the first thing that comes to their mind is gynecomastia. However, not all breast enlargement in men are caused as a result of excessive breast tissue growth or gynecomastia. Gynecomastia has its own underlying etiology and definite characteristics. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of gynecomastia to know about pseudogynecomastia as they are inter-connected. This is required because, treatment of pseudogynecomastia is different from that of gynecomastia. If you haven’t read the definitive guide to gynecomastia, then I recommend you read that first and come back here to continue reading about pseudogynecomastia.

what is pseudogynecomastia

What Is Pseudogynecomastia ?

The word pseudogynecomastia is a combination of two words: pseudo and gynecomastia. Pseudo means false or masking something else. So pseudogynecomastia means false gynecomastia or something that masks itself as gynecomastia but is not gynecomastia. In the case of pseudogynecomastia, the look and feel of gynecomastia is not as a result of excess breast tissue but fat accumulation. The way a male chest will look in the case of gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia is more or less the same.

An image showing the incidence of pseudogynecomastia in men

Incidence Of Pseudogynecomastia

Of Men Have Some Pseudogynecomastia
Of Men Have Severe Pseudogynecomastia

The incidence of pseudogynecomastia must be seen in conjunction with the rise in the number of men who are obese. Let’s take a look at the numbers. As per latest available statistics from the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 1 out of 3 adults are obese and 1 out of 20 are considered to be extremely obese. Chest and abdomen are two of the most fat prone areas of our body and this fat accumulation will for sure reflects the growing number of men with chest fat. So translating these statistics, 1 out of 3 adult men will have above normal levels of chest fat and 1 out of 20 adult men will extremely high levels of chest fat. Click here for the latest statistics.

Another contributing factor that influences fat production and hormone balance is the presence of estrogen friendly food that we all eat unknowingly on a daily basis. So these two elements, the high level of obesity and intake of estrogen friendly food products that unevenly tilt the hormone balance contributes to the growing number of men who have very high levels of chest fat.

First Things First

diagnosis of pseudogynecomastia

The main difference between pseudogynecomastia and gynecomastia is the underlying mass that leads to the feminization of the male breast. In the case of gynecomastia, what leads to the feminization of male breast is the growth of excessive breast tissue. However, if it is pseudogynecomastia, the underlying mass is not breast tissue but chest fat. So if you think that you have gynecomastia just because you have a chubby chest, the first thing that you should make sure is that it is in fact gynecomastia. It is recommended that you consult with a doctor who specializes in the treatment and surgery of gynecomastia for accurate diagnosis.

Pseudogynecomastia VS Normal Male Breast Anatomy

The illustration below shows the difference in anatomy and appearance of a normal male chest and someone with very high deposit of pectoral fat. By normal chest, I am implying a chest make up with low or no fat deposit. As mentioned above, the chest area is very prone to fat accumulation and before you know, excess fat can easily get built up as pectoral fat.

An illustration showing the difference between pseudogynecomastia and normal male chest

Difference Between Pseudogynecomastia (Pectoral Fat) & Gynecomastia (Breast Tissue)

The illustration below shows the anatomical difference between breast enlargement caused by breast tissue growth as well as chest fat. If you look at the outward appearance, you can see that no matter what the underlying matter is, it looks pretty much the same and that is why it is very important to find out the underlying matter.

An illustration showing difference between gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia

How To Know If It Is Gynecomastia (Breast Tissue) Or Pseudogynecomastia (Chest Fat)

One of the common misconception that you may have is that all breast enlargement is gynecomastia or breast tissue. The first priority should be to understand what is causing it. If you can, you should always consult a doctor who specializes in the treatment of breast enlargement in men and he/she should be able to tell you what the composition is, of the underlying matter behind the areola (nipples). Your family doctor can also diagnose it but if possible, seek the help of a surgeon who is used to treating this on a daily basis.

An image of a doctor diagnosing pseudogynecomastia through physical examination

The classic approach to diagnosing the underlying matter that is causing enlargement of the chest and areola (nipple) is through physical examination. Imaging tools like scanning are usually done when physical examination does not lead to a definite conclusion.

The patient lies flat on his back with his hands clasped beneath his head. Using the separated thumb and forefinger, the examiner slowly brings the fingers together from either side of the breast. In patients with true gynecomastia, a rubbery or firm mound of tissue that is concentric with the nipple–areolar complex is felt, whereas in patients with pseudogynecomastia, no such disk of tissue is found.

  • In simple terms, if you have gynecomastia, you will feel hardness or firmness around your nipples showing the presence of breast tissue and in the case of pseudogynecomastia, you will not feel the hardness because the structural make up of fat and breast tissue are different.

  • If you have a lean physique with low body fat ratio and still have breast enlargement, it is most likely that you have gynecomastia because if it were fat, it should only present itself proportionally.

Pseudogynecomastia Treatment Options

Treatment options for pseudogynecomastia depends on factors like how fast you want the results, how much you are willing to pay and if you are able to workout in the gym to lose it. I am using the word treatment in the broadest sense here and this includes options that may not come under the purview of medical or clinical treatment in the strictest sense.

Compression Shirts

compression shirts for pseudogynecomastia

Gynecomastia shirts for men are another option to temporarily hide the visual effects of pseudogynecomastia. If you have an event coming and you are concerned or does not have the time to workout in the gym or try the pills or cannot afford surgery, compression shirts are the logical solution. They also help you feel, though temporarily, what it is like without pseudogynecomastia or gynecomastia even before you workout, take the pills or go for surgery. I always recommend my readers on this site to buy a compression shirt and realize the instant change and boost in self-confidence that they can get. offers absolutely free shipping and free returns on a wide variety of gynecomastia shirts and take a look at the selection if you are interested. Click here to browse the selection.

An image of a man wearing a compression shirt to hide pseudogynecomastia
  • Compression shirts are ideal if you want a fast yet temporary result.

  • Ideal for formal use or any event where you do not have to take your shirt off.

  • By using a compression you can see how it looks like if you lose your chest fat without actually losing it.

  • Compression shirts are affordable and you can get a branded compression shirt for less than $30.

  • Their main disadvantage is that the effect is only temporary and also, you cannot use it anywhere you have to take your shirts off as that will only attract even more attention.

Browse Compression Shirts @ Zappos

Chest Fat (Pectoral Fat) Burners

Chest fat burners for pseudogynecomastia

If you are physically active or workout in the gym, using a fat burner that specifically targets the chest fat is something you definitely have to take a look at. One reputed product that is specifically designed to target and burn chest fat is Gynectrol. It is manufactured by CrazyBulk, a category leader in the body-building supplement industry and a favourite brand among the body building community. When used along with workouts to lose chest fat as shown below, supplements that target and burn chest fat can really transform your chest a lot faster than without using them.

An image of a supplement that targets chest fat or pseudogynecomastia
  • Supplements that target chest fat are a made for each other proposition if you workout.

  • They will speed up chest fat loss giving you faster results and a huge boost in confidence.

  • No special diet requirements necessary.

  • Significant chest fat loss by the end of first month.

  • You have to workout and control fat intake.

  • Costs $60 for one month and not all might be able to afford it.

Gynectrol Official Site

Workouts To Lose Chest Fat

How To Do Workouts To Lose Chest Fat

Since pseudogynecomastia is caused by fat accumulation in the chest and especially behind and around the nipples, one relatively cost effective way to get rid of it is to incorporate workouts that target the upper chest into your routine at the gym. One thing that is worth and relevant mentioning here is that we are looking at fat loss and NOT muscle building. So the key with these workouts are that they have to be less/low weight and more/high frequency. All of the below workouts are for the upper chest and they are designed to pull up and burn fat from the lower chest and to flatten and  shape the chest. Below are some workouts that you can do at home and in the gym. You do not have to do all of them and can change them if you do not have the equipment. Take a look at this page dedicated for workouts to lose chest fat.

Dumbbell Pullover

A man performing dumbbell pullover workout to lose chest fat

Incline Bench Dumbbell Press

A man performing incline bench dumbbell press workout to lose chest fat

Incline Bench Barbell Press

Incline bench barbell press workout to lose chest fat

Smith Machine Incline Bench Press

A man performing smith machine incline bench press workout to lose chest fat

Decline Push Ups

A man performing decline push ups workout to lose chest fat

Pseudogynecomastia Surgery

pseudogynecomastia surgery

Surgery is another way to treat pseudogynecomastia for those who can afford it. The procedure is fast and the effects are instant when done by a surgeon specialized in breast reduction treatments. One of the issues that plague people from undergoing surgery is the cost and insurance companies can be a hit and miss when it comes to approving claims. There are a number of companies that finance cosmetic surgeries and you can have your dream chest now and pay for the surgery in small monthly installments. Read the breast reduction surgery for men page for more information.

  • Pseudogynecomastia surgery is the most personalised treatment you can get.

  • You will get the individualised care and surgery planning and the surgeon will discuss with you what to expect after the surgery.

  • The surgeon will carefully analyse your physique and chest contour and will make sure that the overall contour of your chest after the surgery matches with the overall contour of your body.

  • This is the most guaranteed option to get rid of pseudogynecomastia without any other effort from your part and the results are pretty much instantaneous.

  • You are looking at anywhere between $4000-7000 for pseudogynecomastia surgery and this can be a financial burden for some.

  • There is also uncertainty about insurance coverage for pseudogynecomastia surgery as it is considered cosmetic.

An image of a pseudogynecomastia surgeon

Pseudogynecomastia surgery and gynecomastia surgery follows more or less the same pattern and costs almost the same. The only difference is in the procedure used to take out the underlying fat. The procedure used for pseudogynecomastia surgery to remove excess pectoral fat is called liposuction. The procedure used to cut and remove excess breast tissue for gynecomastia surgery is called excision. In medical parlance, breast reduction surgery in general is called is called reduction mammoplasty. For more information about other aspects of surgery, take a look at the dedicated page for gynecomastia surgery.

Learn More About Surgery

CoolSculpting (Future Technology)


Coolsculpting is a new and emerging procedure for burning fat by means of controlled cooling. According to its inventors, coolsculpting is effective in even burning off the stubborn fat that have stayed even after diet changes and rigorous workouts. It is not currently cleared for pectoral fat but is something that holds immense potential for those with pseudogynecomastia once it is cleared by the FDA for pectoral fat.

Difference Between Gynecomastia And Pseudogynecomastia

Most cases of breast enlargement in men will be a combination of breast tissue or chest fat but in gynecomastia, it will be majority breast tissue and in pseudogynecomastia, it will be chest fat. An exception to this rule are body builders with gynecomastia. Compression shirts are also the same for gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia. Surgeons that perform breast reduction surgery be it gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia are also the same and only the surgical technique differs. However, there are significant differences in terms of underlying cause, the supplements that you can use, the diet you should follow as well in terms of the surgical procedure used by the surgeon.

difference between pseudogynecomastia and gynecomastia
Difference Gynecomastia Pseudogynecomastia
Definition Excessive growth of breast tissue in adult men. Excessive and disproportional accumulation of fat behind and around the areola (nipple).
Visibility Depends on grade. See grades of gynecomastia for more information. Depends of how much fat has been accumulated.
Underlying Matter Breast tissue. Fat or pectoral fat to be specific.
Diagnosis Your family doctor can but best done by a surgeon specialising in gynecomastia surgery. Your family doctor can but best done by a surgeon specialising in breast reduction surgery.
Surgical Procedure Reduction Mammoplasty. The surgical technique used is called excision. Surgical technique used is called liposuction.
Treatment options Compression shirts, estrogen hormone balancing supplements, estrogen-free diet and gynecomastia surgery. Compression shirts, workouts that specifically targets chest or pectoral fat, fat burning supplements exclusively developed to target and burn chest fat and pseudogynecomastia surgery.

Suggested Further Reading

a-z guide to breast reduction supplements for men

compression shirts for men with gynecomastia

a definitive guide covering everything on gynecomastia surgery cost

an image of a doctor explaining the different available gynecomastia treatment options

a detailed guide about causes of gynecomastia

what is man boobs

the best workouts to lose chest fat for men

a-z guide to gynecomastia surgery

causes and frequently asked questions about gynecomastia in teenagers

a-z guide to breast reduction supplements for men

a comprehensive guide to post cycle therapy to get rid of gynecomastia

the main requirements to get insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery

Still Couldn’t Find The Information ?

If you still have a question or would like to know more about a particular aspect of gynecomastia, we have the world’s largest database/knowledge-base of question and answers about gynecomastia and you will most likely find the answer for your question there. We also have a forum where you can post your questions and you can also send us your query through the contact form. Before sending us your questions through the contact form, make sure you have searched in our public database as well as in the forums.

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