Hairy News: Beards May Prevent Staph Infections
the MPR take:
Male facial hair could be a tool in preventing the spread of certain bacterial infections in healthcare settings. In a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, 408 male healthcare workers were tested for Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci colonization on the face, and those with facial hair were significantly less likely to be colonized than those without (41.2% vs. 52.6%, P=0.02 and 2.0% vs. 7.0%, P=0.01, respectively). While other Gram-negative organism colonization rates were low for all workers and did not vary by facial hair type, beards in healthcare settings may become a growing trend.
There's a new paper in the Journal of Hospital Infection that takes a look at the bacterial ecology of facial hair. Colonization rates are higher in persons with chronic breaks in the skin (e.g., patients with eczema, dialysis patients, diabetic patients who require insulin injections, and IV drug users).
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