Nipple Piercings and Gynecomastia (Medical Condition)

I received a message from a man who had questions about the effects of nipple piercing on breasts with Gynecomastia:

Hey Elayne, my name is L.

I'm a piercer and tattoo apprentice. First I want you to know that you and your book are astoundingly impressive. Your resume alone is quite intimidating. I thought I was hot shit when I was one of the first people I knew to rock a gauged earing, but to work at the first piercing shop, and to see these piercings and jewelry to come to fruition.. Just wow.

I also understand that there must of been some Struggles being a pioneer. Just wanted you to know how much I respect you.

So I wanted to get in touch with you about a VERY important question to me. I have gynocomastia or however you spell it. Its not easy to talk about- I have puffy nipples, were talking half spheres. Its embarassing and humiliating with a shirt on, let alone no shirt. I've tried, believe me, to get over it. I'm not sure if my torso has ever been hit by direct sunlight. I have to be with a significant other an incredible amount of time to take my shirt off.

I was reading your section of the nipple piercings. first off I don't have mine done. I'm a little confused because on page 128 you say the piercing can cause the nipple to stay erect (which for me would KEEP THEM SHRUNK!!!!! :)) but on page 131 you speak of post nipple development and mention swelling. I've looked into plastic surgery and its almost forever out of my price range as well as a strong chance it will come back.

My question is, could it keep my nipples hard which would be shrunk for me, and is there a way to try and achieve that or is it a probability. I just wanna be comfortable in my own Skin. Thank you in advanced soo much for replying and even more for your contributions to the world.            

My response:

Hi L.

Thanks for your message and for all of your positive feedback; I really appreciate it!

I'm sorry to hear of your body image issues and your medical condition (I'm familiar with it--an excess growth of male breasts). If you would like to send me a photo so I can evaluate your individual anatomy, feel free.

I'm concerned that what would happen with piercing your nipples wouldn't necessarily resolve the problem. If you do end up with development, that essentially makes the nipple larger--so that wouldn't help. There's no guarantee that nipple piercing would keep your nipples erect. Also, because the condition is caused by excess glandular tissue, I believe you could expect that there might be extra challenges in healing.

To clarify the distinction about nipple development: Certain piercings are subject to swelling after the procedure. Nipples, however, are prone to what I call development (a semipermanent or lasting change in the shape, dimensions, and texture of the localized nipple and areola tissue). 

This is often mistaken for swelling, though it is actually quite different. Development is most common in male nipples or smaller female nipples, and the change can be relatively dramatic. In essence, the nipple grows in response to the stimulus of the piercing and the jewelry. Your nipple may not revert back to its prior size and shape, even if the jewelry is permanently removed. This is common, but not a universal response to nipple piercing. 

If you really want to tackle the problem, I suggest you start saving up. If you're consistent about it, you'll get the money for surgery eventually. My husband had a mastectomy to masculinize his chest, as he was born female (http://www.buckangel.com) and he just saved up for it because he was super motivated. Don't think that's out of the realm of possibilities--it is a matter of priorities...

Wishing you the best.