Beards look like they are here to stay after research highlighted the health benefits of having facial hair.
According to the Independent UK, a study tested swabs from the faces of 408 male hospital staff members with and without beards.
The results showed that bearded men were three times less likely to be carrying MRSA, a common methicillin-resistant infection.
The study also found that clean-shaven men were 10% more likely to have colonies of Staphylococcus aureus on their faces, a bacterium that causes skin and respiratory infections, and food poisoning.
“Colonisation is similar in male healthcare workers with and without facial hair, however, certain bacterial species were more prevalent in workers without facial hair,” researchers said in the report.
The researchers also suggest that the micro-abrasions and cuts caused by shaving may "support bacterial colonisation and proliferation."
Dr Adam Roberts, a microbiologist based at University College London did a separate analysis where he was able to grow over 100 types of bacteria from 20 samples he tested.
He found a microbe that appeared to be killing other bacteria. He then isolated the microbe and tested it against a form of E. coli and found that the microbes efficiently killed the bacterium.
Roberts found that it attacked and eradicated a form of drug-resistant E. coli during testing.
The study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, was seeking to find whether bearded hospital workers were more likely to carry and pass on preventable and potentially fatal infections than their shaven counterparts.