You either love them or you hate them, but it looks like beards are here to stay.
Following a gradual rise in popularity, the pro-or-anti beard debate has recently started to heat up with critics suggesting that aside from being an unnecessary attachment to a man’s chin, beards are also home to a number of nasty bugs.
Thankfully, for the hipsters among us, a study conducted by an American hospital and published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, has proven otherwise.
The New Zealand Herald reports that after swabbing the faces of 408 hospital staff, both clean shaven and with beards, the American study found that it was the non-bearded participants who were more likely to be carrying something on their chops. When it comes to the methicillin-resistant staph aureus species (commonly known just as MRSA), the beardless group were in fact three times more likely to be carrying it on their faces.
Having picked up on these findings, the BBC show Trust Me I’m A Doctor proffered this little gem of wisdom: beards can fight infection.
The British television show swabbed the beards of a group of men and sent the samples to Dr Adam Roberts, a microbiologist at University College London. The result was that Dr Roberts was able to grow over 100 different bacteria from the beard swabs, however among these there was also something that appeared to be fighting – and killing – the bacteria. Dr Roberts suggested that it was more than likely a germ or microbe which fights with fungus for food and space, at a bacteria level. Further testing revealed that the same microbe could also wipe out a particularly drug-resistant form of E.coli.
Could beards be a key ingredient in future antibiotics? While it’s unlikely that beards are going to save the human race in any way, shape or form, at least men sporting facial hair now have a viable argument the next time they come up against a pogonophobe*.
*person with a fear of beards
Nick & Goudie Clooney HQ
ps. We should take this opportunity to point out that if your beard is not as god-like as you may like it. You can condition the tinge and greys out with our Clooney Beard Colour.