Doctor Explains Why Growing A Beard May Actually Make Us Healthier

A lot of the time, quality health advice can be a bit of a buzzkill.

We've long accepted that the things we most like to eat and drink tend to be bad for us, but it hits a little different to be told that we're not supposed to sleep in the buff or that we're actually making ourselves more tired by hitting the snooze button.

Granted, it can become a little easier to let go of our common habits once we know what we're actually accomplishing with them, but it's often frustrating to know how often what we want to do contradicts what's actually good for us.

Well, it seems that doesn't always have to be the case and we can see that in the choice of facial hair that a lot of guys sport nowadays.

You've likely noticed that there are a lot more beards out there than there used to be and it turns out that trend might actually be doing our health more favors than we would've imagined.

On November 29, London-based surgeon Dr. Karan Raj uploaded a TikTok explaining why it may be good for us to grow a beard.

One might suspect that he's a little biased since he has one of his own, but the reasons he presents for this claim speak for themselves.

And chief among them is his claim that "Beards might be cleaner than no beard."

Research supporting this assertion found that clean-shaven hospital workers were three times as likely to contract MRSA as those who had beards.

As for why that is, the most plausible theory at the moment is that the act of shaving creates tiny abrasions on our faces that serve as ideal breeding grounds for the bacteria that carries the disease.

And as an added bonus, Raj said, "Beards can actually give you super soft skin."

Part of this is because the beard blocks the skin underneath it from sun exposure, thus reducing the effects of aging.

But there's another factor that's easy for us to forget about. We tend to touch our faces a lot without thinking about it and the beard, Raj said, acts as a barrier to prevent our fingers from rubbing against our skin when we do this.

As a result, it prevents us from unconsciously rubbing off the oils produced by our sebaceous glands, which help keep our skin moisturized.

Finally, Raj mentioned that beards might also protect the areas they cover from sunburns and by extension, skin cancer.

In Raj's words, "There's evidence that having facial hair reduces UV light exposure by a third compared to clean-shaven faces."

Unfortunately for those who hate sunscreen, beards aren't a substitute for that but they're good backup for it.

Some of the ways beards can help us are small and some of them have major implications, but we can see here that there don't appear to be any shortage of benefits from growing one.