Should I shave my beard to keep from getting the coronavirus?

Published: 28 May, 2020 | Español

From The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Nick Vadala

Average bearded folks can take a breath, said Carrie L. Kovarik, associate professor of dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. There is currently no evidence that shaving will help prevent you from getting the coronavirus.

“There’s just not,” she said. “Some people have beards for religious reasons, or they have had beards their whole lives. At this point, there is no evidence that they need to shave it.”

Primarily, the coronavirus is thought to spread through respiratory droplets, mainly from the cough or sneeze of an infected person, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. A properly cared-for beard may not have much of an effect either way when it comes to the coronavirus — especially if you are following proper social distancing guidelines and practicing good hygiene.

“If someone sneezes in your face, it could settle anywhere on it — your nose, your beard, any part,” Kovarik said. “It’s not the beard that is the problem, it’s being in close contact with others or having people sneezing on you or coughing on you.”

Cloth and homemade masks, like the surgical masks that should be reserved for health-care workers, do not require a seal, and could be used despite the presence of facial hair, Kovarik said. “You don’t need to shave your beard to wear a surgical mask properly,” Kovarik said. “You just need it to fit over your mouth and nose and loop behind your ears. It doesn’t require a tight seal.”

The CDC has touted basic personal hygiene like avoiding touching your face and washing your hands since the coronavirus outbreak started, and the same type of cleanliness can be applied to beards. Additionally, people with beards — like everyone else — should follow social-distancing guidelines. “Proper hygiene on your beard is the best thing,” Kovarik said. “Wash it like you normally would.”

While also helping to protect your health, proper beard care can also keep your whiskers looking their best. As barber Sean Robinson recently told The Inquirer, a sulfate-free shampoo option would be a good choice because it won’t pull moisture from your beard while keeping it clean. “You really need to wash it every day,” he said.

Read the full article: Should I shave my beard to keep from getting the coronavirus?

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