Beards are a hot trend that many women find sexy, but according to a new study, the beard on an average man’s face is actually hiding “significantly higher” amounts of bacteria than what’s found in a dog’s fur.
Research published in a medical journal called “European Radiology” compared bacteria samples from 18 bearded men, ages 18 to 76, with those of 30 dogs including German shepherds, Dachshunds, and Border Collies. The conclusion found “On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as ‘clean’ compared with bearded men.”
The research stemmed from a technical question regarding MRI scanners used in veterinary clinics. The authors claim that they were originally trying to determine if dogs and humans can use the same MRI machines.
That prompted the study from Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic, which, in addition to examining beards, tested the cleanliness of MRIs used by both dogs and men.
The researchers took bacterial samples from the men’s beards and dogs’ necks, between the shoulder blades, which veterinarians suggested was the most unhygienic area as it is highly susceptible to skin infections on dogs.
“The beards of men harbor significantly more microbes than the neck fur of dogs, and these microbes were significantly more pathogenic to humans,” per the study.
The research ultimately determined that “Dogs are no risk to humans if they use the same MRI.”