If you are like most people, you probably only notice your snot whenever you’re sick. However, there’s more to this gel-like substance than what you can see or feel when you have flu or cold. You could be wishing you don’t produce a lot of mucus, but a healthy person actually has about a quart of snot throughout the day.
You need mucus in order for you to remain healthy. The gooey substance can be found in many parts of the body, not just your nose. Snot is also in your mouth, throat, lungs, sinuses, and even your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Wherever it may be located, rest assured that it has an important function in your body.
What Your Snot Color Means
Believe it or not, your snot color could decode whether you are healthy or not. Here are the most common colors and what they mean to your health:
• Clear: Colorless mucus means that you are healthy or just normal. This type of snot contains water, some liquefied salts, antibodies, and proteins. Clear mucus is always produced by your nasal tissues, which don’t stop working even when you’re sleeping. Most of the clear snot goes to your mouth and all the way to your throat, which will then pass through the stomach where it will be dissolved.
• White: White mucus means you are suffering from nasal congestion, which means that the tissues in your nose are inflamed. The swollen tissues slow down the flow of mucus, so it loses moisture and becomes thicker than usual. This often signals an impending cold.
• Yellow: Colds usually start with white mucus, which then progresses to yellow colored snot. The cells that normally fight infection are all over the part of your nose where there is microbial infection. Generally, yellow snot will go away after two weeks or less.
• Green: After yellow, your snot will become green if the immune system is doing its best to combat the infection. Your snot appears green because it has a lot of dead white cells and other particles. You may want to see a doctor if the infection does not subside after 12 days. It could be a sign that you have sinusitis.
• Pink: Sometimes the mucus may appear pink, sometimes it is red. Regardless, it is blood and it signals you that nasal tissue has been damaged. This could be because it is irritated, dry, or perhaps it took a hard blow.
• Brown: Brown mucus could also be blood, but it could also be something that you have inhaled, such as paprika or just dirt.
• Black: Black snot is serious and it can be due to fungal infection. This often means you have very weak immune system. If you know your immunity is compromised and you have black mucus, it’s time to see a doctor.
Snot is not something to be annoyed about. Although medical experts rarely use it to diagnose a disease, it doesn’t hurt to take a peek at what your snot color is.