During puberty , the child’s body changes to become the adult body. In the case of girls, puberty begins with changes in the chest : the appearance of the “breast button” is the first sign of puberty in them.
Breast development is one of the most significant physical changes of adolescence , and according to experts it usually lasts between five and nine years. During this time it is important to be attentive to any alteration or sign that may indicate the presence of a pathology.
Today we talk about breast development in adolescence , what is considered normal and when we should see the doctor.
During adolescence it is normal for the chest to develop asymmetrically ; that is, first one begins to develop and then the other. Until the development of the breast is complete, the asymmetry should not be evaluated by the doctor.
Macromastia or overgrowth
Breast size and shape vary from person to person, depending largely on genetics.
When medically it is considered that there is an excess of the volume of the breasts, that is, the chest has developed an excessive size compared to the rest of the body, we speak of macromastia or breast hypertrophy.
This condition can not only affect the adolescent physically, but also emotionally and socially . If this happens, it is advisable to consult with the doctor to assess the suitability of a reduction surgery if necessary. Check out more interesting articles on our site The Blog.
Absence of breast development
Menarche or first menstruation in girls usually comes between a year and a half and three years after the appearance of the breast bud, coinciding with the end of the pubertal growth spurt . For this reason, if at the age of 13 there are still no changes in the chest , we should consult the pediatrician.
Likewise, and just as in the previous point we mentioned the excessive growth of the breasts, the opposite could also happen and a medically diagnosed defect in size could appear.
This condition is called breast hypoplasia, and although it may have a genetic origin, it could also be caused by hormonal problems or other factors that require medical evaluation.
– If we observe discharge through the nipple or if it is very red and inflamed, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
– An excessively large size of the nipple (macrotelia), as well as an excessive development of the areola (the areola almost completely covers the mammary gland) is a relatively frequent alteration in adolescence, and can sometimes cause aesthetic concern or self-esteem problems . If this is the case, it is recommended to consult a doctor.
– On the contrary, a defect of the size of the areola-nipple complex (microtelia) usually occurs less frequently, and with few exceptions, does not usually present any problem.
During breast development it is normal to notice the breast more sensitive . Some teens even feel uncomfortable to the touch or just the touch of clothing. It is also common to feel pain in the breasts when menstruation is about to arrive .
Certain hygienic measures such as the use of a suitable bra or hot baths can help relieve discomfort. However, if there is pain, it is recommended to consult a doctor, as in some cases treatment may be necessary.
Breast tumors during adolescence are very infrequent , the appearance of a malignant tumor being exceptional. Within breast tumors, juvenile fibroadenoma is the most frequent benign tumor .
It is a solid, mobile, painless, unilateral and well-defined tumor that can be easily diagnosed by ultrasound. In general, periodic control is usually chosen, although if it grows rapidly or there is pain, surgical intervention is recommended.
Stretch marks on the skin of the breast
The rapid growth of the breasts in adolescence can cause the appearance of stretch marks , which are scars on the skin caused by small breaks in the elastic fibers. The stretch marks have a reddish color at first, but over time they turn white.
It is a purely aesthetic problem that adolescents can prevent by wearing suitable bras (especially when practicing sports ) and applying anti-stretch mark creams on the breast (not on the nipple).
Breast growth in men
It is common for male breasts to grow at some point in their pubertal development; in fact, it happens in up to 50-60% of children and is a very frequent reason for consultation.
This condition is called gynecomastia , and it presents as a slight enlargement of one or both breasts with discomfort when rubbed. It is a temporary situation that will disappear over time and that, in most cases, does not require any treatment.
Although these are the main alterations that can occur during adolescent breast development in one or both breasts, be sure to consult your pediatrician or specialist with any questions or concerns that may arise.