Nothing says love like a little extra hair! At least that seems to be a trend I’ve noticed during the winter months. Women spend less time shaving legs because they’re covered with pants, pantyhose or tights and men seem to sport more beards or goatees. I often chuckle at this apparent lapse in hygiene as isn’t winter also the season of love with Valentine’s gifts, cards and reminders showing up virtually as soon as the Christmas decorations have been put away?
Why am I talking about beards? Well, some of you may have read one of the numerous articles that were floating around the social channels a few weeks back. According to these articles, experts claim facial hair is riddled with bacteria which may spread germs and trigger infections. These articles referenced studies that found beards harbor more bacteria than clean-shaven faces and that even after washing; beards contain thousands of germs which could lead to skin infections and the spread of bugs. Definitely not the most romantic thoughts leading up to the most romantic day of the year!
While the thought of bugs in beards is gross and certainly a perfect topic to get swept up in a social media frenzy, we cannot forget that every story has two sides! A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Hospital Infection supported the view that growing a beard is no health hazard. Researchers in this study compared bacterial colonization on the faces of 408 male healthcare workers with and without facial hair. They found there was very little difference between the two, but the results did show that some species of bacteria were more likely to be found in those without beards.
My thought is this. Bugs or not, some guys look great in beards and others should keep to the clean shaven look and to my knowledge there is no proof that a dirty beard has been the cause of an outbreak! If you are concerned about your health and wellness in this post Valentine’s Day week and are feeling a little under the weather and thinking that it could be due to bugs in your boy’s beard, we launched our “Love Sick” education campaign just in time for Valentine’s Day and hope you’ll check it out! While they may be too late for this year we even made our own Infection Prevention based Valentine’s Day cards! Keep them in mind for next year and save yourself $5!
If you don’t think our cards are sappy enough I saw a great idea that I may start next year with my husband. Go card shopping together. Pick out a card, let your Valentine read it in the store and then put them back where you found them. The sentiment is there, but you save money!