Puffy nipples in men are fairly common. They’re the result of enlarged breast glands.
This may be due to:
- low testosterone levels
- steroid use
- excess fat
You may be able to minimize puffiness by making changes to your diet and exercise routine. This can help reduce body fat and strengthen your chest.
If diet and exercise aren’t effective, surgery may be necessary to achieve your desired results.
Read on to learn how to maximize your workout, what foods you should be eating, and more.
You can reduce puffiness in your pectoral area by doing chest exercises. These exercises are specifically designed to tighten and tone your pectoral and chest muscles.
Popular options include:
- overhead presses
- bent-forward cable crossovers
- pushups (regular, suspended, and diamond)
- bodyweight flies
- low cable flies
- incline, decline, and barbell bench presses
- incline bench cable flies
You can use these exercises to create a custom workout plan. For maximum effect, one workout should include at least a handful of different chest exercises.
You can perform exercises with fewer sets and more repetitions, or vice versa. For example, you can do 1 to 3 sets consisting of 8 to 12 repetitions, or 2 to 6 sets of 1 to 8 repetitions.
Once you have a workout plan in place, aim to do one 20-minute chest workout two to three times a week. You can gradually increase the frequency and duration as you build up your strength. Be sure to rest one day each week.
Rotate different chest exercises into your plan so you’re working slightly different muscles.
Ideally, your exercises will be balanced with some type of full-body cardio so you can get a full workout.
You can also build up your chest muscles by doing a full-body exercise like rowing or swimming for at least 15 minutes. If you want to go this route, add a couple of rowing or swim sessions to your weekly rotation.
In some cases, puffy nipples are the result of too much estrogen and fat. You may be able to correct this by making a few dietary changes. Mindful eating may also help you get fit and stay in shape.
If you want to try a low-fat diet, you should:
- increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
- eliminate heavily processed foods
- avoid soy products and grains
Your doctor can provide more detailed information about what you should eat and what you should avoid when following a low-fat diet. They may also be able to recommend a diet better suited to your individual needs.
If you think your hormone levels may be to blame, you should eat a diet rich in testosterone and low in estrogen.
Try adding these testosterone-rich foods to your diet:
- low-fat milk
- egg yolks
- cruciferous vegetables
- macadamia nuts
You should also make an appointment with your doctor. Your hormone levels may be tied to an underlying condition. Your doctor may be able to recommend other therapies or prescribe medication to help regulate your hormones.
Herbal supplements may also help reduce puffy nipples. Some of them are thought to work by boosting testosterone levels.
- tribulus terrestris
Although some evidence suggests that these herbs can boost testosterone in men with underlying conditions like erectile dysfunction, more research is needed. To date, there are no scientific studies connecting herbal supplements with decreased nipple puffiness.
Anecdotal reports suggest that these herbs may help treat puffy nipples:
- milk thistle
- red clover
- devil’s claw
Some supplements can cause unpleasant side effects or have dangerous interactions with over-the-counter and prescription medications. Your doctor can discuss your individual risks and advise you on use.
It’s important to buy supplements from a trusted manufacturer. Your doctor may be also able to recommend a specific brand or product. You should always follow the dosage information provided on the label.
While research suggests there can be health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor the purity or quality of supplements. It’s important to talk with your doctor before you begin taking supplements.
If you aren’t getting the results you want through diet and exercise, talk with your doctor. They may be able to refine your existing treatment plan to better suit your needs. They can also discuss your options for surgery.
The procedures below are often used to treat gynecomastia. They may also be used to treat puffy nipples tied to other conditions.
- Liposuction. This surgery is used to remove breast fat, but not breast gland tissue. Liposuction requires a recovery time of up to six weeks.
- Mastectomy. This surgery removes your breast gland tissue. Small incisions are typically used. It takes about four weeks to recover.
- Non-invasive fat reduction. These treatments help get rid of excess fat cells through a topical procedure. Nonsurgical treatments may work by freezing fat cells, or by using radiofrequency technology or lasers. Recovery time varies, but usually it lasts only a few days.
- Tissue excision. This technique is used to remove glandular breast tissue or excess skin in order to correct more severe cases of gynecomastia. It’s also needed if your areola will be reduced or if your nipple will be repositioned. Recovery may take up to three weeks.
Some insurance plans may cover surgery costs. Your insurance company may be more likely to cover the costs if your doctor can show that having puffy nipples, or an underlying condition that causes them, is affecting your health.
If you have unwanted puffiness around your nipples, talk with your doctor. Your doctor can help determine what’s causing it, as well as create a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
In some cases, targeted exercise and dietary changes may be enough to reduce the appearance of puffy nipples.
You should also talk with your doctor if you want to explore supplements as a treatment option. They can discuss your individual risk of side effects and interactions.
Whatever you decide, know that results can take time. You’ll have to be consistent in your treatment in order to see improvement. Surgery is the only treatment option that may provide immediate results.