According to the study, published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, men without beards are more than three times as likely to be carrying a meticillin-resistant form of coagulase-negative staphylococci on their cheeks than those with beards.
The study also found that clean-shaven men were 10 percent more likely to have common bacterium Staphylococcus aureus present on their faces, a bacterium which causes respiratory and skin infections.
The study examined the faces of 408 healthcare workers, with and without facial hair.
While the results were overwhelmingly similar for bearded and non-bearded healthcare workers (bacteria colonisation was, on the whole, low), where there was a difference between the
two groups, the bacteria species were more likely to be found in men without facial hair.

The new findings are a far cry from the results of a study last year, which found that beards are as dirty as toilets.


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