To some, big bushy beards are a symbol of masculine sexiness, to others, they are this decade’s mullet.
But a recent study has found that men’s beards are dirtier than dogs’ fur and can even contain bugs hazardous to human health.
Researchers took swabs from the beards of 18 men and the necks of 30 dogs, across a range of breeds, and compared the results.
Professor Andreas Gutzeit, of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic, noted the researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men’s beards compared with the dogs’ fur.
The study of hirsute men, aged from 18 to 76, showed all had high microbial counts, while 23 out of 30 dogs had high counts.
Seven of the men, almost half the study group, were found to host microbes that posed a threat to human health.
The study was conducted to see if humans could catch doggy diseases after sharing MRI machines. The surprising findings showed that after the dogs used the MRI scanners and they had been disinfected, there was a significantly lower bacteria count compared with levels seen when the machines were used by humans.
It is believed no dogs caught diseases from the humans’ dirty beards during this experiment.