A Beards help prevent skin cancer isn’t just a fashionable face accessory – it could also save you from skin cancer. A study by Australian scientists has revealed that facial hair can shield men from harmful UV rays. The findings were published in the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry. The researchers left mannequin heads covered with various lengths of beards and clean-shaven faces out in the sun to measure their exposure to UV radiation. The beards, they found, blocked up to 95% of the rays, compared to just 32% of the face without facial hair.
The scientists found that beards filtered out a lot of UVB, which causes sunburn and skin cancer. They also blocked UVA, which is linked to aging and melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer). The study’s lead author Dr Kiran Lohia says beards can be particularly effective at protecting the neck, cheeks, nose and ears – areas where most cases of melanoma occur in men.
Beards as a Shield: Exploring the Connection Between Beards and Skin Cancer Prevention
It’s important to note that the beards only provided some protection and they should not be used as a replacement for a high SPF sunscreen. Facial hair is courser than other hair and can easily trap dirt and germs. This is especially true around the nose and mouth, where a beard could catch allergy-triggering dust or pet dander.
In addition to protecting your skin with a beard, experts recommend practicing routine self-skin checks for new or changing bumps, which can be signs of skin cancer. If you notice any spots that are asymmetrical, red or bleeding, talk to your doctor right away.