With the trend of beards returning as fashion style, one begins to wonder if there were reasons other than style for keeping beards. The chin-strap, the goatee, the neck beard and the Van Dyke, they all have their fans. But to some critics, beards are not only an irritating affectation but can potentially harbor unpleasant bugs. Recent research about the health benefit of beards may bust your bubbles
Against popular belief that beards are harmful, BBC’s “Trust Me I’m A Doctor” revealed interesting findings about how beards actually build bacteria which appear to be producing a novel form of antibiotic. It was in fact surprising to know that it was the clean-shaven faces, and not the beardies, who were more likely to be carrying something unpleasant on their faces.
Published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, the research result showed that the beardless group were more than three times as likely to be harboring a species known as methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA) on their freshly shaven cheeks. MRSA is a particularly common and troublesome source of hospital-acquired infections because it is resistant to so many of our current antibiotics. To them, shaving might cause micro-abrasions in the skin “which may support bacterial colonization and proliferation”
On the other hand, research carried out by Dr Adam Roberts, a microbiologist based at University College London reveals that though beards actually breads bacteria including ones commonly found in the small intestine, these bacteria fight for food, resources and space. By doing so, over millennia, they have evolved some of the most sophisticated weapons known as microbe-kind – antibiotics.
Obviously, the our mysterious microbes in that beard is actually doing helpful work in your body especially around your face. It kills fellow bacteria by producing some sort of toxin.
Further more, other health benefits have been attributed to beard. these include:
- Prevents Skin Cancer: Researchers have proven that beards protects the face from about 95 per cent of UV rays from the sun. Besides keeping the sun out of your face, this is also important as exposure to UV rays can cause cancer. Hence the thicker the hair, the better.
- Saves you from infection: Beards actually keeps you away from bacteria infections, in-growths and folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles, causing spots) which are caused by regular shaving
- Beards Can Help With Allergies: If you suffer from dust or pollen allergies, your beard is your best friend. Your facial hair works as a filter, much like your nose hair does. It cleans up all the dirty pollen and allergen particles and keeps them out of your nose. Breath deep my bearded friends!
- Protects your skin from the elements: The beard covers the skin, which protects the sebaceous glands from being infected by acne vulgaris bacteria, thus preventing acne/spots/pimples. Reduces wrinkles, ageing, and bad skin.
- Gives Natural Moisture:The last thing about keeping beards is that you do not have to worry about dry skin. The hair keeps wind and cold air out, helping your skin battle dryness.