The breasts of a man most commonly become enlarged when a person is overweight, because this is an area where fat likes to settle.
In some cases, the breasts can get bigger because the breast tissue is overdeveloped, which is a condition called gynaecomastia.
There is a way to figure out whether a person has this condition or is simply overweight. The person should lie flat on their backs, grasp the breast between the thumb and forefinger and then gradually move the fingers toward the nipple.
If the person feels a firm, rubbery disk-like mound of tissue that is more than 2cm across, it is most likely a case of overly-developed breast tissue.
Puberty and breast size in males
Hormone levels begin to rise during puberty. The level of testosterone in males during puberty increases by 30 percent.
The female hormone estrogen is present in males as well, and it also increases its presence in the male body, at least three times.
This can also lead to the breast tissue of a boy growing.
However, usually after the age of 15, the testosterone takes over completely and the breast tissues begin to shrink again.
If the breasts continue to grow or remain large it is probably a hormonal problem. And, if it is really bothersome, there is surgery that can be done in order to decrease the size of the man’s breast tissue.
Medications and breast size
There are also medications that can cause the male breasts to become enlarged. Some drugs have effects that are similar to those of estrogen, especially drugs that are contained in anti-balding scalp creams. Sometimes, the estrogen can be absorbed through the skin of the penis if a man’s female sex partner is using a vaginal estrogen cream.
Hormones are the most common cause of breast enlargement in men. The most common one is estrogen, but other ones that cause breasts to grow can be found in steroids that body builders use to increase muscle mass.
Also, psychiatric drugs such as phenothiazines, tricylic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opiates can cause breasts to grow.
Drugs for hypertension or heart problems such as calcium-channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, Digoxin, Amiodarone, Spironalactone, and Methyldopa can also lead to breast enlargement.
Misusing alcohol, marijuana, heroine, methadone, or amphetamines can also increase the size of a man’s breasts.
Drugs for ulcers such as Omeprazole, cimetidine and ranitidine, as well as antibiotics and anti-fungals such as isoniazid, metronidazole and ketoconazole can also increase the breast size of men.