It’s OK to admit it… you’ve taken a peek at a used tissue after blowing your nose.
Now that might seem gross but most people do this and that is good! It plays an important role in your body.
Here’s what to know about the texture and color of your snot.
Clear snot is generally considered normal. “Clear mucus is mostly salt water, with locally produced protective antibodies,” Dr. Culver said.
Most of the time you won’t even notice mucus doing its job unless you notice more mucus and phlegm. “Increased amounts of clear mucus are often part of an allergic reaction,” Dr. Culver said.
White Thick Mucus…
White snot is an indicator of slow-moving mucus or a sign that you’re dehydrated. “If the salt water is evaporated or dried out, what is left is the white mucus,” Dr. Culver said. “This is usually not something to be too concerned about.”
Pink or Red Mucus…
“Pink or red snot is most likely related to blood from a dried out or irritated nose,” Dr. Culver said. This can occur from continual blowing of your nose, damage or trauma such as picking your nose.=
Yellow or Green Mucus…
If you see green or yellow mucus or phlegm, it may be a sign your body is fighting a viral infection or allergies but also may resolve on its own, Dr. Culver said.
“The color comes from white blood cells that are battling viruses, bacteria and irritants,” he said. “When they’ve done their job, they get flushed out of your body along with the virus.”
Saltwater irrigation or saline nasal spray of the nose may reduce or eliminate the colored mucus and hasten your return to a “normal state.” However, if this mucus persists for more than 7 to 10 days and includes congestion, sinus pressure, headache, fever and other symptoms, it could be a bacterial infection or sinusitis.
Dried blood may give your nasal mucus a brown tinge of color. “Outside irritants such as dust and dirt will also make it a brownish color,” Dr. Culver said.
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Similar to brown snot, black nasal mucus can be the result of dried blood or from inhaling something dark like cigarette smoke, smog or dust. However, in some cases, it could also be a symptom of a fungal infection, which tend to affect those with a compromised immune system. Dr. Culver said if your symptoms continue, you should talk to your health care provider.
When Should You See A Doctor?…
Embarrassing or not, it’s important to be in touch with your body-and your snot. If you notice changes or something isn’t changing for the better, you should always consult with your health care provider.