The Cap’n has talked (a lot) about how to keep yer beard healthy. Today, the Cap’n wants to fill ye in on how yer beard keeps you healthy. To put it another way, don’t ask what you can do for yer beard, but what yer beard can do for you.
Fellow bearded swashbucklers, I’m sure some landlubber – upon seeing the awesomeness on yer face – has asked ye at some point how ye maintain yer best asset, because “surely” it’s not sanitary, right? We’ve all had to content with malcontents trying to deride our glorious beards with questions about food particles and dirt. This particular prejudice – that a beard is a dust catcher – has been around for as long as beards have glorified the manly man face. Well, now it’s settled once and for all.
I’m sure ye have heard that some poor sod or other always gets an infection – anything from just unpleasant to quite deadly – upon entering the hospital. Now, the Journal of Hospital Infection (yeah, I was surprised, too – that topic has its very own journal) has done a comprehensive study. Ye can find the results right here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24746610
I’ll do ye the favor of translating the scientific English into good ole’-fashioned pirate speak. What these swashbucklers did was swab the faces of over 400 hospital staff – with and without facial hair. And the results they arrived at were remarkable. The researchers figured out that it was the clean-shaven landlubbers, and not the mighty bearded pirates, who were more likely to be carrying something unpleasant – speak germs, bugs, anything that causes an infection — on their faces.
In fact, the poor, deprived, beardless mates were more than three times as likely to carry what’s known as “methicillin-resistant staph aureus” on their overly smooth chin and cheeks. Also known as MRSA it’s a very common and bothersome source of hospital-acquired infections ‘cause it is resistant to so many of the currently used antibiotics.
Now, we all know how amazing our beards are. (Let me hear a hearty pirate “Arr!” in response to that statement.) But why and how would our beards fight infections? The researchers suggested that shaving might cause micro-abrasions in the skin “which may support bacterial colonization and proliferation”. In other words, shaving is bad for you. (We knew that.) Others even went so far as to suggest that the beard itself might produce penicillin to fight bacteria.
Either way, it’s clear that yer best asset is indeed that – a terrific asset in more ways than one. (Let me hear another hearty pirate “Arr!” in response to that statement.)
The Cap’n and his crew always like to hear from you, so don’t be shy about gettin’ in touch by sending us a message in a bottle (or even an email).