Your beard might be unhygienic and full of horrid bacteria

It can spread germs


Do you think your trendy beard will still be “cool” when you find out it’s absolutely riddled with disgusting bacteria?

Hygiene experts warn bushy facial hair is actually just a “bacterial sponge” perfect for passing on filthy germs.

Fashionable men will be devastated by the new research suggesting beards can lead to more frequent skin infections because of the coarseness of your face’s hair.

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Consultant trichologist Carol Walker from the Birmingham Trichology Centre explained beards can trap dirt and germs more easily.

She told the Mail: “Beard hair; it’s coarser. It has the shape of a bayonet, a round, convexed bottom and then comes up the side to a point.

“It becomes curly and smooth, it tends to have more bends and kinks which trap dirt.

“The cuticles on the hair – which are like layers of tiles on a roof – trap the germs and grease.

“Hair around nostrils and mouth is well-placed to harbour bacteria.”

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Researcher Carol also claimed people have a habit of fondling their beards, meaning they can spread bacteria to their mouths.

She said: “If their hands are dirty, they transfer dirt from their hands on to their face and mouths.

“If someone is eating dairy products, it can get stuck in their beard and become a bit rancid.

“There can be a lot of Stepholococci [a group of bacteria that can cause illness] if someone’s got a cold.”

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Carol has noticed people developing skin conditions due to their facial hair.

She said: “Some people get skin infections, caused if they have a lot of scale build-up or eczema from the bacteria in their beard.

“If someone has a cold and a runny nose it can trickle down and be trapped in the nose and beard. Food and drink can dribble down too.

“The beard works as an insulator. If it’s in the fold under the chin, the skin can be angry and red where they’ve sweated and the hair has trapped the dirt and bacteria.”

Bearded wonders can also pass the bacteria living on their face to other people.

Carol added: “If you’re affectionate with someone, if you kiss them, you can pass on bacteria.”

But Prof Hugh Pennington, a bacteriology specialist at Aberdeen, believes there’s no real difference between the bacteria on your beard and your face.

He said: “It’s the same bacteria that’s on your skin. It’s not problematic and it’s not a health risk.”