Yes, Your Beard Might Be As Dirty As A Toilet Seat. No, You Don’t Have To Shave It.

If you’re a bearded man or love someone who has a beard, you may have recently heard the horrifying news rattling around the Internet that there is fecal bacteria in some men’s beards.

Or, as Buzzfeed so pithily put it: “It turns out men’s beards are covered in poop, says science.”

That unpleasant nugget of information comes courtesy of a swab analysis conducted by ABC affiliate KOAT in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Several bearded men volunteered to have the bacteria on their facial hairs analyzed, and what Quest Diagnostics microbiologist John Golobic found wasn’t pretty. While some beards hosted run-of-the-mill microbes, other beards had bacteria comparable to what’s found in feces, Golobic told KOAT.

Now before you go shaving off that beautiful beard, keep in mind that the study was conducted by a TV station committed to ratings, not a university or research facility committed to scientific integrity. And remember that there’s harmful bacteria on surfaces in your office, supermarkets, hotel rooms, the gym and many other places where lots of human beings congregate together, as well as on oft-handled devices like mobile phones, TV remotes, telephones, ATM machines, escalator handrails and gas pumps.

There’s also trillions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies, some of them helpful and some of them harmful. For instance, a study published last December found traces of MRSA, human papilloma virus, Staphylococcus and herpes on the surfaces of public restrooms on a university campus. While this list of bacteria might set off alarm bells in your head, microbiologist and researcher Jack Gilbert of the University of Chicago said it is quite similar to the bacteria on the surfaces of your home because they’re the same bacteria that your body is —> Read More