As many of us have noticed, beards are back and it has its own fans. Whether it’s the goatee, the Van Dyke, the chin-strap or the neck beard, it seems like having a beard is the new black.
A lot of guys are choosing to grow their facial hair long and thick and although it looks trendy and many may consider it incredibly sexy, it might come at a frightful health price.
Correct, grown out beards has quite a few health hazards that could potentially cause you major discomfort if not properly taken care of. We’ve taken the liberty to shine light on the health risks the big, fluffy, facial fur may cause:
Bacteria, similar to that found in faeces
Recently reporters at Action 7 News in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Quest Diagnostic after using a beard swab test discovered that men’s facial hair contains the rancid bacteria usually found in the faecal matter.
Quest Diagnostics microbiologist John Golobic when referring to the test results said “I'm usually not surprised, and I was surprised by this. Those are the types of things you'd find in faecal matter”.
But not to worry, there is a solution. Brian Boye, grooming expert revealed two simple ways to maintain a clean healthy beard is to wash it regularly and keep it conditioned.
The Van Dyke
Cause skin conditions
Carol Walker, a consultant trichologist, from the Birmingham Trichology Centre said having facial hair can lead to more frequent skin infections and to germs being passed on to others. Because facial hair is courser, it traps germs more easily. She says the hair of the beard becomes curly and smooth; it tends to have more bends and kinks which traps dirt. This may lead to skin infections such as staphylococcus more commonly known as folliculitis, the inflammation or infection of one or more hair follicles.
There are many helpful ways by which you can treat folliculitis, but this largely depends on the severity of your condition says experts at mayoclinic.org. The condition should be monitored as it may return, but for mild infections a good antibiotic cream such as Bactroban is strongly recommended.
The Chin Strap
Weird bumps appearing on your face that is not exactly a pimple or nor any type of allergic reaction? They may be ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are hairs like its name states have grown inwards as opposed to rising up. Often the cause of this is dry skin that causes the hair to grow sideways instead of upwards and outwards. Although ingrown hairs are not serious, it can be quite irritating and embarrassing as it leaves itchy, blotchy bumps on your skin that may look undesirable.
As aforementioned, ingrown hairs are primarily formed as a result of dead skin that prohibits the hair from growing outward. Retinoid medication is great for the removal of dead skin and steroid medicine for the reduction of swelling and irritation. Infection owing to ingrown hairs are treatable with an antibiotic reveals most doctors.
I bet no one saw that coming, but this is true - head lice may lodge itself in your beard. Marvin Borcherds, a journalist at Health24 consulted Dr. Francios De Goede, a dermatologist from Panorama in Cape Town that said although this is uncommon, it is not impossible. The same type of lice known as Pediculus humanus capitis could make its way down from the “host’s” head into their beards.
When treating head lice, the objective is to remove all lice and nits. Essentially the only real way to rid of these little pests is to wash the hair with insecticidal shampoo and to remove the nits with a fine-toothed comb. How about placing a literal spin on sorting through something with a fine-toothed comb hey?
If this all leaves you scratching your chin, best you be blade sharp in taking care of that beard of yours.
- Enzo Leigh Botes