Contrary to popular belief, pseudogynecomastia and gynecomastia are two different problems. Though pseudogynecomastia is often considered to be gynecomastia, the former is quite different from the actual medical problem.
It is worthwhile to mention here that all breast enlargements do not refer to gynecomastia because it may not necessarily be due to the enhanced breast tissue growth. It is, therefore, necessary to have a thorough understanding of both gynecomastia as well as pseudogynecomastia so as to understand and recognize the problem correctly. Both the conditions differ in their treatment, causes and effects. The only similarity is in the appearance of the two conditions and it is nearly impossible for a layman to differentiate one from the other.
Pseudo refers to false. Just like the literal meaning of the name implies, pseudogynecomastia falsely appears to be gynecomastia, however, it is not actually gynecomastia. The primary difference between both these conditions is that pseudogynecomastia is due to the excess fat while actual gynecomastia occurs due to an abnormal enhancement of breast tissue.
Gynecomastia vs. Pseudogynecomastia
The major difference, as mentioned before, is the accumulated mass that imparts a feminine appearance to the male chest. Gynecomastia is the condition where the mass is actually excessively grown breast tissue whereas in pseudogynecomastia the accumulated mass is fat, not the breast tissue.
Only a specialist doctor can differentiate between the two. Though many physicians have adopted quite a few techniques to distinguish between these two conditions, the prevalent approach is to go for a detailed physical examination of the male chest.