Puffy nipples are one of those physical traits that people either admire or despise. They’re a curiosity for some, but even a source of embarrassment for others.
Puffy nipples can be seen in both men and women. But they are particularly prevalent among men. Even though they are normal and ubiquitous, some men may feel that it makes them feel self-conscious.
Breast gland enlargement might be caused by various reasons, including obesity, low testosterone levels, and steroid usage.
This article discusses a variety of therapies and lifestyle modifications that can help you get rid of your swollen nipples.
Table of Content
What Are Puffy Nipples?
The term ‘puffy nipple’ is used to describe nipples or areolas that develop a puffy-mound appearance different from the chest/breast’s usual contour. This can happen to men and women alike, although it is more common in men.
Changes in the breast begin to occur during puberty. But in women, the change is more drastic than in men. Women may experience puffy nipples before periods, or during pregnancy. This is a natural physiological change and is no cause for alarm.
The shape and size of nipples may be considered a taboo subject or even a fetish focus in some circles; however, it is primarily a unique anatomical trait, like double-jointed. However, it is not as frequently displayed.
How to tell if you have Puffy Nipples:
A swollen nipple mound produced different from the typical contour of the chest characterizes puffy nipples. Anyone unsure whether or whether they have puffy nipples should consult a doctor.
Signs and symptoms of this may include:
- Pain, particularly in adolescents
- Swollen breast tissue
- Breast tenderness
- Nipple sensitivity with rubbing against clothes
Teens With Puffy Nipples
Puffy nipples can begin to appear during the formative teenage years. During this time, the body goes through various changes as puberty sets in. The change in the the appearance of breast and nipples could indicate that a person is going through hormonal changes or even hormone imbalance. Some drugs and steroid use can also cause puffy nipples. Teens with puffy nipples are common these days as childhood obesity rates are at an all-time high.
Puffed nipples in men can be caused by excess chest fat, which can be reduced with exercise, a better diet, and, if necessary, liposuction surgery. Puffy nipples are rarely a symptom of a significant medical issue.
Puffy Nipples in Men
The ideal male chest is flat and firm, with minimal nipple projection. The chest portion of your shirt should be protruding above the nipple when you’re wearing it. A common term you’ll hear whenever there is any discussion about puffy nipples is Gynecomastia.
Gynecomastia is the abnormal growth of the breasts and nipples in men. If the nipple is the point of maximal projection, extending further than the pectoral muscles, it can be an indication of Gynecomastia.
When men lose weight or exercise their chest area, they may notice that their puffy nipples do not disappear. Puffed nipples can occasionally become worse or more visible as the chest muscle develops.
Causes of Puffy Nipples:
It can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of puffy nipples. It may be genetic or due to the combination of a number of different factors. For example, hormonal irregularities are seen as a possible cause for teems with puffy nipples. But in the case of adult men, it may be due to the use of steroids or excess fat.
The most common causes for puffy nipples in men are discussed below:
Both men and women have testosterone and estrogen hormones. These are called sex hormones and are highly active in the development of the body. Men usually have high levels of testosterone. However, above-average estrogen levels can lead to the growth of the mammary glands, leading to Gynecomastia.
When estrogen levels return to normal, swelling of the breasts and nipples usually disappears.
Use of Steroid
The use of anabolic steroid hormones can lead to hormonal imbalances. In a case study in 2010, researchers described two men who regularly use anabolic steroids. Both suffered from Gynecomastia, nipples, and swelling of surrounding tissues.
Prolonged running or jogging can cause your nipples to swell. Repeated running movements can cause friction between the skin of the nipple and the fabric of the garment, which can lead to irritation and swelling, also known as “jogger nipples”.
Excess Body Fat
Excess body fat affects the shape and appearance of your breasts and nipples. When a man develops excess adipose tissue in his breasts, his nipples appear larger than normal.
Obesity can also lead to hormonal imbalances in men. A study in 2017 found that men with high body fat had lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen.
A certain number of medications may trigger puffy nipples. Those include:
- An antiandrogen is used to treat an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, and other conditions. Examples include flutamide, finasteride and spironolactone.
- Anabolic steroids and androgens are used to treat hormone deficiencies, delayed puberty, or muscle loss from another disease.
- AIDS medication, the estrogenic properties of some HIV drugs can cause Gynecomastia, especially efavirenz (Sustiva).
- ADHD medications containing amphetamines.
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants.
- Ulcer medications, mainly the over-the-counter drug cimetidine.
- Chemotherapy to treat cancer.
- Heart medications, namely digoxin and calcium channel blockers.
- Stomach-emptying medications, such as metoclopramide.
Recreational Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Alcohol
These may include:
Certain Health Conditions
Several medical problems can produce Gynecomastia by disrupting hormone balance. They are:
Hypogonadism: Gynecomastia can be caused by conditions that reduce testosterone production, such as Klinefelter syndrome or pituitary insufficiency.
Tumors: Tumors of the testes, adrenal glands, or pituitary gland can create hormones that disrupt the male-female hormone balance.
Hyperthyroidism: The thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine hormone in this disease.
Kidney failure: Approximately half of the dialysis patients develop Gynecomastia due to hormonal changes.
Liver failure and cirrhosis: Gynecomastia is linked to changes in hormone levels caused by liver disorders and cirrhosis medicines.
Malnutrition and starvation: When your body isn’t getting enough nutrients, testosterone levels decrease, but estrogen levels stay the same, resulting in a hormonal imbalance. When normal nutrition is resumed, Gynecomastia can develop.
Treatment for Puffy Nipples:
Making modifications to your diet and workout routine may help reduce the puffiness of nipples. This can help you lose weight while also strengthening your chest. If diet and exercise aren’t working, you can also opt for surgery.
Exercises for the chest might help to reduce puffiness in the pectoral area. These exercises target your pectoral and chest muscles to tighten and tone them.
Regular dips can be done at home with two strong chairs facing each other and spaced a few feet apart so that you can stand between them.
Place your arms at the tops of the chair backs, cross your legs at the ankles, and use your arms to elevate and lower your torso. Aim for three to four sets of five to ten reps per set.
This exercise focuses on your arms and chest. If you can’t get much lower, do the dips with a box beneath your feet where your knees can land as you lower your torso. Instead of using your arms to lift your body, you might lower yourself and then stand up.
This dips variation is gaining popularity because it has been shown to improve overall arm strength. Triangle dips will strengthen your chest and arm strength.
Triceps dips are a great way to strengthen and pump your triceps and chest muscles. This is a simple form that may be done without using any weights or apparatus. Triceps dips will stretch your lower chest and aid in reducing swollen nipples.
Because your hands will be in the opposite direction of typical dips, it’s termed reverse dips. It’s similar to regular dips, except with the opposite hand direction. We can think of it as a variation or a form of a dip. Reverse dips are a great way to strengthen your arm, biceps, and chest.
Wide-Angle Arm Dip
Wide Angle Arm Dips are an advanced dip exercise that impacts both chest and arms. It may be challenging at first, but you’ll gradually adapt to it. It is a highly suggested workout if you wish to tense your chest muscles quickly.
You can even feel the straining around the chest during broad-angle arm dips. The key to developing the muscles in the chest fast is practicing wide-angle arm dips.
As previously stated, puffy nipples are the result of extra fat. If you want to reduce weight through diet, you should limit your intake of fatty foods.
If you want to try a low-fat diet, follow these guidelines:
- Boost your fruit and vegetable consumption
- Eat more vegetables.
- Keep away from processed foods
- Lower the intake of sugary products.
- Balance your carbs intake ratio with protein.
When it comes to a low-fat diet, your doctor may give you more specific advice on what you should consume and avoid. They may also suggest a diet that is better suited to your needs.
If you believe your hormone levels are at fault, you should consume a testosterone-rich, estrogen-free diet. Try including these foods in your diet as they are high in testosterone:
- Low-fat milk
- Egg yolks
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Macadamia nuts
You should avoid foods that promote high estrogen levels, like:
- Soy products
- Split peas
- Pinto beans
- Lima beans
- Clover sprouts
You might want to cut back on alcohol consumption as well. Too much alcohol may also have a negative impact on the hormonal balance in the body.
Medication and Supplements:
There isn’t much evidence but some herbal supplements may help you increase your testosterone levels.
Since puffy nipples are primarily caused by hormonal disturbances, balancing the hormones may help in reducing the effects. Increased testosterone levels may balance out the high estrogen levels, and help lessen the look of swollen nipples in some circumstances. However, this is only true if the cause of puffy nipples is certain to be caused due to low testosterone levels.
Herbal supplements that can increase testosterone levels include:
- Tribulus Terrestris
The followings are some frequently asked questions on puffy nipples.
Is it normal for a 14 year old to have puffy nipples?
Boys’ hormone levels fluctuate during puberty. Estrogen can induce breast tissue to develop if testosterone levels decline. So it’s possible for a teenager to develop puffy nipples. But as the hormone levels get steadier, the changes may gradually be reverted.
Does teenage gynecomastia go away?
Gynecomastia in teens is caused by hormonal changes during puberty. Many teenagers may develop Gynecomastia in the middle of puberty during adolescence. It normally disappears within 6 months to 2 years after the onset of puberty.
Can a 15 year old get gynecomastia surgery?
Generally, it is encouraged that a person should wait till they are 18 before they undergo any sort of surgery that might permanently modify the appearance of the body. This is because the body is still growing during the teenage years and surgery may affect the normal course of development. However, you should ask your doctor for advice.
Talking about problems related to breasts or nipples can be uncomfortable, for men and women both. But it shouldn’t be the case. Reproductive health is a topic that should be accessible and encouraged, especially for adolescents and teenagers.
Teens with puffy nipples should not feel shy to talk about their problems. Because only then can they can move forward towards a solution. As a rule of thumb, regular exercise to shed excess weight and a healthy diet to maintain good health should go a long way to prevent gynecomastia and unwanted breast growth.