Women's Hands Tops in Bacteria: Study

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 3, 2008 7:58 PM CST
Bacteria may lurk under women's skin, where handwashing has no effect, one expert says.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Wash your hands, folks, especially you ladies. A new study found that women have a greater variety of bacteria on their hands than men do. And everybody has more types of bacteria than the researchers expected to find. "One thing that really is astonishing is the variability between individuals, and also between hands on the same individual," said University of Colorado biochemistry assistant professor Rob Knight, a co-author of the paper.

The researchers aren't sure why women harbored a greater variety of bacteria than men, but Fierer suggested it may have to so with the acidity of the skin, the AP reports. Knight said men generally have more acidic skin than women. Asked if guys should worry about holding hands with girls, Knight said: "I guess it depends on which girl."