Study: Beards could slow aging, help prevent skin cancer

Drop the razor? Beards could slow aging, help prevent skin cancer

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PHOENIX -

It's a choice men make daily -- to shave or not to shave?

New research finds that a fuzzy face could be good for their health. It could even help prevent skin cancer and slow aging.

We thought this was interesting, so we talked to a dermatologist, but also wanted to discuss the study with some guys who spend every single day in the sun during Spring Training -- your Arizona Diamondbacks!

"Walking down here giving autographs..they always say, 'hey nice beard,' giving me one of those so everybody seems to be really on board with it," said Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter.

And it's low maintenance.

"I don't like shaving.  That's the reason why I started doing it," said Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy.

But Kennedy and Collmenter had no idea that their signature beards could be saving their skin from the sun.

"I mean, you look at my complexion on my skin, so I gotta a lot of freckles..I gotta protect it," said Kennedy.

Collmenter adds, "If there was any reason to shave it, that's one reason definitely not to."

According to a study done at the University of Queensland in Australia, facial hair blocks a third of the sun's harmful rays.

Beard wearing baseball fans rejoiced over a reason not to reach for the razor.

"Yeah, I'll keep it forever..'til I cash in, ya know," said Danny Olson.

At Salt River Fields, they offer fans free sun block and you should still slather some on whether you have facial hair or not.

"It's vital --  I mean it's crucial," said skin cancer surgeon Anthony Petelin.

Petelin wears a beard himself and the Scottsdale doctor says facial hair can equal as much as 24 SPF, but it's no replacement.

"I would hate to have a study like this come out and say men because they have a beard just gives them further evidence that they don't have to wear sunscreen when the reality is that's not true," said Petelin.

But the study adds that beards can also slow signs of aging and prevent respiratory problems by catching allergens and dust.

"I don't the like the whole part that it might collect all this dust," said Kennedy.  "I know it does.  I know it feels dirty..there are some days."

Dr. Petelin says men with facial hair need to make sure they're getting checked for skin disorders because they could be hiding under the hair.

North Scottsdale Dermatology & SkinSpa
Anthony Petelin, MD
14275 N 87th Street, Suite 109 & 110
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
480-905-8485
www.scottsdaleskinspa.com

 

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