A clinic in Switzerland said that all bearded men it studied, aged 18-76, showed high microbial counts, while only 23 out of 30 dogs had the same.
Hirslanden Clinic researchers reported that men with shaped facial hair had a "significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains" than hairy pooches.
Scientists tested swabs taken from the necks of 30 dogs to establish whether it was hygienic to let them into the same MRI machines as humans.
"On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men," researcher Andreas Gutzeit said.
Some took the results of the research to mean their concerns about the cleanliness of beards were justified.
— Bobbie Laraine McClain (@RobertaMcClain6) April 15, 2019
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Others expressed hope that a goatee doesn't pose the same microbial threat as a beard.
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Scientists have also specified that beard hair around a man's mouth and nostrils could be particularly dangerous in terms of its bacteria content.