COLUMN: 'Beards help your immune system?' Exactly the news I've been waiting for

Reader's beards: this entry from Steven Hewitt was posted on our Facebook.
Reader's beards: this entry from Steven Hewitt was posted on our Facebook.
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After a shock revelation on TV last night that facial hair is actually GOOD for your health, beards are back in the limelight.

Facial-hair fashions are cyclical. Big for the Victorians, not so bushy after the war. They came back in the 60s and then as the world got a lot snappier in the 80s, they more or less disappeared from the mainstream.

Our reporter Nick Charity is excited as beards are once again in the limelight. He sadly no longer has one.

Our reporter Nick Charity is excited as beards are once again in the limelight. He sadly no longer has one.

Now beards are back, which has led to a degree of controversial news from the Pogonophobics implying that they're dirty - mainly misinterpreting a small study which found the same bacteria in a beard as you usually find in faeces. News came out last April that beards were 'as dirty as a toilet' and Pogonophobes were jumping for joy as people were led to believe that beards contained 'poo particles'.

But today is a good day for we, the bearded men of the UK can finally wear our facial fur with pride. We already use our facial hair to fight cancer (well, to raise for charity) and now an old study from 2014 has re-emerged, saying that beards may actually be good for your health.

The Journal of Hospital Infections found in its paper, "Bacterial ecology of hospital workers' facial hair" that colonisation of bugs is similar between bearded and clean-shaven men. But those that wet shaved were three-times more likely to be harbouring superbugs like anti-biotic resistant MRSA, which can be life threatening.

The BBC revealed in last night's Trust Me I'm a Doctor that beards are also fighting disease for us. They said the explanation behind the data was likely because shaving causes micro-abrasions in the skin which may help bacteria proliferate.

One of our readers gave this beard selfie from Adrian Egley an 8.5 out of 10. John Moore said: "No bleeding of the hairline down the neck. No visible signs of shaping. No attempt to dye the greys. 8.5/10."

One of our readers gave this beard selfie from Adrian Egley an 8.5 out of 10. John Moore said: "No bleeding of the hairline down the neck. No visible signs of shaping. No attempt to dye the greys. 8.5/10."

But also, Dr Adam Roberts at University College London found that microbes in beards were producing toxins to fight off other bacteria, including drug-resistant superbugs, which at a time when more and more bacteria are threatening to evolve beyond our antibiotics capabilities, could be groundbreaking.

So what do you think of beards? Here's some of our readers comments:

Owen Pavey said on Facebook: "Only person I want to see with a beard is Brian Blessed. Personally,I find them too itchy."

Holly Louise said: "Love a nice big beard! Must be kept clean though!

Ali David said: "Shaved mine off yesterday, got too itchy. Now I have a cold face."

Sav Michael said: "Suites some but hate it on women haha!"

Joe Rosato said: "No Nope and Never !!! Smooth for me all the way."

Ashleigh Cooke said: "Love beards, trimmed and kept neat though... And you've got to have a nice hair cut with it, if you've got long shaggy hair and a beard you just look a scruff."