It's finally been revealed. After the sh*tstorm of the 'poop beard' article going viral, a lot of us with beards got a lot of flack. But we knew. We knew the only sh*t in that article was the study itself. We knew our beards wouldn't harm us.
Well, it's finally here. Vindication. Scientists swabbed the faces of 408 bearded and non-bearded members of hospital staff (the 'Poop Beard' test only had a sample size of 1) and published their findings in the Journal of Hospital Infection. Their findings? Shaven men were more likely to have something nasty on their cheeks being three times more likely to have MRSA bacteria on their face!
A BBC News article explores this further, theorising that this is because micro-cuts on faces from razors create perfect trenches for bacteria to multiply in. To test this theory they swabbed some beards and sent them off to a microbiologist from University College London. He found a different explanation: in the several beards he found microbes that he theorised could well be killing off other bacteria.
The microbiologist took this bacteria and pitted it against a bacteria that's known for causing urinary tract infections (E.Coli) and astonishingly they destroyed the bacteria. What's most incredible about this, is the strains of E Coli used were known for being very resistant to drugs, meaning the beards may well have cultivated a new antibiotic!
To read up more on this news, the link to the BBC article is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35350886