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A new study has found that beards covering men’s faces might have a higher number of bacteria compared to dogs.

SALT LAKE CITY — A new study has found that beards covering men’s faces might have a higher number of bacteria compared to dogs, USA Today reports.

  • The new study, which was published in the February journal European Radiology, compared bacteria samples from 18 men with beards and 30 dogs, including border collies, dachshunds and German shepherds.
  • The study found that “dogs can be considered as 'clean' compared with bearded men.” According to the study, 23 of 30 dogs had high microbial counts. All 18 bearded man had the same.
  • “Disease-causing bacteria showed up more frequently on the beards, too, including bugs causing urinary tract infections, though that difference was not deemed significant,” according to USA Today.

Method: Researchers use bacterial samples from the dogs’ necks and area between the shoulders. Those areas are often unhygienic and are where most canine infections occur, according to USA Today.

  • The researchers from the Hirslanden Clinic, which is near Zurich, Switzerland, “compared the extent of bacterial contamination of an MRI scanner used by both dogs and humans with two other MRI scanners used exclusively by humans.”
15 comments on this story

Yes, but: Keith Flett, the founder of the Beard Liberation Front, told the Daily Mail that the report might not be totally true.

  • “I think it’s possible to find all sorts of unpleasant things if you took swabs from people’s hair and hands and then tested them,” he said, according to The Huffington Post. “I don’t believe that beards in themselves are unhygienic.
  • “There seems to be a constant stream of negative stories about beards that suggest it’s more about pogonophobia than anything else.”