For those of us who find beards sexy, this study might sway us a tad. Researchers out of Manchester University found 47% of beards tested contained fecal matter that contained deadly pathogens.
This study was also coauthored by Fragrance Direct, and found despite cleaning habits of study participants, enterococcus was found on 47% of beards swabbed and cultured.
Enterococcus is a bacteria commonly found in the colon and feces and has over 17 types, the most common being E. faecalis and E. faecium. These may cause infections in the urinary tract, abdomen, pelvis, wound and even blood (sepsis).
This study followed one done in 2015 by Quest Diagnostics in New Mexico, in which a microbiologist swabbed beards and grew out cultures finding bacteria that commonly colonize our colon.
Bacteria like to hide on the skin but need cover, and beard hair offers a nice warm, moist shelter. Oral sex increases one’s chance of being “contaminated” with pelvic and rectal bacteria.
A spokesman for Fragrance Direct states, “Caring for your beard is essential for its health, helping it stay fresh to keep the bacteria at bay. Everyone knows to shampoo their hair, but beards need some attention too. Men should use beard shampoo when they shower, along with conditioner afterwards.”
So the next time you run your fingers through a man’s beard, sanitize them afterwards….
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.
She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada