Recently the new trend for men towards growing facial hair has reached new heights. A recent Simmons National Consumer Study estimates 17 percent of all men and 35 percent of young men ages 18 to 24 have facial hair today. This is up from 14 percent and 31 percent, respectively, since 2009.There has even been a surge in facial hair transplants!
Recently reporters at Action 7 News in Albuquerque, N.M., and Quest Diagnostics revealed men’s facial hair contains bacteria usually found in the intestines and fecal matter after using a beard swab test.
John Golobic of Quest explained that the swab tests showed many men’s beards have normal bacteria but that some also were just as dirty as toilets. This study isn’t alone in those finding either. Bakc in 1967 scientists sprayed bacteria onto men’s faces and took swabs thereafter. They found that men with facial hair trapped the bacteria and germs more easily than men without facial hair.
This can lead to skin infections and the spread of bugs, such as staphylococcus, which causes hair follicle bacterial infections. Folliculitis, a superficial infection of single hair follicles, according to the International Foundation for Dermatology.
A more recent study published in the journal Anaesthesia also found bearded men who wore surgical masks shed significantly more bacteria in the area below their lips, especially if they move their masks around compared to clean-shaven men. The researchers recommended bearded surgeons try not to wiggle their face masks. They also suggested, “Bearded males may also consider removing their beards.”
Beard bacteria has the ability to be transmitted to the mouth and cause illness. It can also be transmitted to others, especially since viruses can be passed on from person to person via contact. A beard would be a focal point for this type of transmission.
As long as men clean and sanitize their beard on a regular basis there is no need to worry. It will be just one more thing you will have to add to your daily hygiene routine.