(CBS Local) — Five months after a study found men with beards to be more attractive, a new report suggests a man’s beard contains more germs than dogs carry in their fur.
Researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic in Switzerland took swab samples from the whiskers of 18 men, aged from 18 to 76, and compared them with samples from the necks of 30 dogs of varying breeds.
The study found all 18 of the bearded men sampled for the study showed high microbial counts, but only 23 out of 30 dogs had high counts, the Daily Mail reported. The remainder had moderate levels.
Seven of the bearded men sampled were found to be harboring microbes that posed a threat to human health.
“On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men,” said Professor Andreas Gutzeit.
The study was conducted by scientists who wanted to know whether humans could contract dog-borne diseases from a MRI scanner that was also used for examinations by veterinarians.
But Keith Flett, founder of the Beard Liberation Front, pooh-poohed the report, suggesting it’s more about pogonophobia — the irrational fear of beards — than anything else.
“I think it’s possible to find all sorts of unpleasant things if you took swabs from people’s hair and hands and then tested them,” he said. “I don’t believe that beards in themselves are unhygienic.”