‘Tens of thousands’ of British men at risk of growing breasts due to rising steroid use
A top plastic surgeon has warned that men are putting themselves at risk of growing breasts due to steroid abuse. iStock
According to the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), there are more than one million, predominantly male, steroid users, in the UK.
Unrealistic body images promoted on television shows like Love Island and social media are responsible for this becoming so common – especially over the last decade.
Since 2020, over 600 gynecomastia surgeries have been performed by Dr. John Skevofilax, Chief of Surgery at Signature Clinics.
Gynaecomastia sometimes referred to as “male breasts”, is a condition associated with excessive development or swelling of breast tissue in men or boys.
Dr. Skevofilax claims that more than half of the patients he operated on were taking imaging and performance-enhancing drugs (IPED) at the time.
Anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are used to look more muscular or fit.
While the development of breast tissue is a common side effect of steroid abuse in men, the other causes of gynecomastia include cannabis and alcohol abuse, obesity, hormone imbalances, and puberty.
Dr. Skevofilax has stated that a growing number of men abusing the drugs are coming to him for breast reduction surgery. The doctor says that some men may just experience some swelling around their nipples, whereas others may develop more full-looking breasts.
He believes the potentially painful condition could affect many more men if steroids continue to be widely used.
Dr. Skevofilax is quoted as saying, “Many don’t seek any advice before starting to take them, and the link between these drugs and this condition is well known. And while some men are comfortable having breast reduction surgery, there will be many who don’t because they are embarrassed.”
The surgeon believes “It is these people who will suffer in silence from the physical and emotional damage caused by gynaecomastia.”
In an effort to raise awareness of this condition, former Love Island star Thomas Powell live-streamed his own gynaecomastia operation with Dr. Skevofilax in April. He also admitted, in a magazine interview, that he developed the condition because he “injected testosterone.”
Anabolic steroids should only be sold by pharmacists to those who have a prescription for the drugs. However, many people misuse these drugs just to build muscle mass and reduce fat.
Besides causing physical and psychological side effects, these drugs can also land you in jail if you are found guilty of supplying or selling them.