Wearing a beard seems to be the rave of the moment among men, especially the young men.

These days, men scrape off their heads while spotting buoyant, well-nurtured beards.

Yet, experts are saying that though a well-groomed beard may appear sexy, it also  has the potential to be a breeding ground for germs, causing fungal infections and herpes.

Indeed, physicians warn that they can even carry pubic lice!

Dermatologists indeed say that a very thick beard may disguise symptoms of skin disease, and anyone who comes into close contacts with it risks being infected.

A dermatologist, Dr. Debra Jaliman, notes, “If a guy doesn’t groom his moustache and beard properly, they can become a breeding grounds for germs.

“Though the risk is small, chin and cheek hair can harbour germs that can cause infections such as herpes, fungal infections, or even a dangerous Staphylococcus infection. If you come in direct contact with any of these infectious agents, you may end up with skin problems.”

Jaliman adds that the problem partly has to do with the wiry hairs that trap sweat, bodily fluids, even bits of food, all of which serve as breeding grounds for microbes.

Another problem, Jaliman says, is that thick facial hair can camouflage symptoms of a transmissible skin issue that isn’t directly related to the beard or moustache itself, such as redness that could be from yeast or a herpes sore.

If the man doesn’t notice the signs, he could inadvertently infect his sex partner with it.

Other things you can get from hipster facial hair include warts and impetigo.

Again, she says, a bristly beard can cause irritation and a rash when rubbed against his partner’s face, which can trigger pink bumps and chafing.

How to groom facial hair

• Wash with soap at least once a day

• Inspect it regularly (say, after meals, for instance) to make sure no particles or dirt are trapped between the hairs.

• Before you engage in any direct contact with his beard, ensure that the skin around and under it is healthy, with no redness, bumps, or blisters.


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