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The Colour Of Snot

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It's cold and flu season, which means snotty noses and dealing with constant running noses, getting sneezed on and at times you may notice the changes of nasal mucus colour and texture.

What Is Nasal Mucus?

Nasal mucus is there to protect your nose and sinuses from things like dust, bacteria, and other environmental dangers.

The Colour Of Snot

From time to time, nasal mucus can be clear, green, black, and many other colours in between. Its colour and texture can indicate what is going on in the body and can be signs of a virus or infection.

Here are the various colours and what they could mean.

  • Clear - Normal
    Clear mucus in mostly water with proteins, antibodies and dissolved salts. Nasal tissues produce all day ling, Most of it flows down the back of the throat and its dissolved in the stomach.
  • White - Congested
    Swollen, inflamed tissues in the nose show the flow of mucus causing it to lose moisture and become thick and cloudy. This can be a sign of a nasal infection or a cold.
  • Yellow - Progressing Cold or Infection
    White blood cells and other infection -fighting cells are working to fight microbial infection. Your cold can last up to 2 weeks.
  • Green - Immune System Is Battling
    Mucus has accumulated and is thick with dead white blood cells.
  • Pink or Red - Bloody
    Nasal tissues have become broken. Perhaps from a lack of moisture, irritation or possible impact.
  • Brown - Possibly Blood
    May be dirt and debris that may have been inhaled.
  • Black - Possible Fungal infection
    See a doctor.

Fun Fact: - On cold days, noses get super runny and mucus hangs from the tip of the nose. This is mostly water that has condensed out of the cold air passing over warm nasal tissues.

Note: This is to be used as informational purposes only and not to diagnose medical conditions.

Reference:
What Is Your Snot Saying, Texas MedClinic
What Is Mucus, UPMC Health Beat
The Colour of Snot, Cleveland Clinic

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