Whether dark or light, hard or soft, the color and consistency of mucus can be an early warning sign of health problems.
Doctors say it’s worth keeping an eye on, especially when allergy season rolls around and leaves millions prone to colds.
Clear, thin mucus is considered healthy, but if it’s too white, it could indicate congestion or that you’re about to contract an illness.
A yellow or green color usually appears when you are sickest and occurs when the body eliminates white blood cells used to fight infection.
If the color of your tissue is red, pink or brown, it could mean there is damage to the tissue inside your nose or something much more serious.
So what does your snot say about your health?
The color of your snot can give you some clues as to why you have a runny nose. In some cases, for example when it is clear, it is relatively harmless and is usually caused by pollen allergies. However, if it is black, it could indicate that you have been infected by a deadly fungus.
Experts generally say that clear mucus is not a cause for concern.
The natural color of mucus is relatively transparent, so colorless discharge from the nose means nothing is wrong.
If you sneeze or have to blow your nose frequently, as long as the snot stays clear, it’s usually a sign of common allergies.
Pollen allergies usually appear at this time of year.
White mucus is usually the first sign that you are about to get sick.
When someone’s mucus is low in water content, it will lose its usual colorless sheen and instead turn a thick white color.
The water content is usually lost during the early stages of a viral infection, such as the flu or covid.
One of the first symptoms that the body suffers when it is sick is inflammation of the tissue of the nose.
This swelling partially blocks the flow of mucus into the nose, causing it to lose its moisture as it passes.
By the time it hits the tissue, it is significantly devoid of water, making it appear much thicker and cloudier than usual.
A person who blows white mucus should be prepared to experience other symptoms of illness in the days to come.
A person’s mucus often turns yellow once they are sick.
When a person gets sick, the white blood cells attack the infected cells and fight the virus to remove it from the body.
The consistency will be similar to that of an egg white. It will be a light yellow color, but opaque.
White blood cells will die bravely for the cause.
When your body expels infected cells from the body, through mucus in many cases, the dead cells go with them.
It is the pile of dead cells that causes the mucus to acquire its yellow coloration.
Doctors say that there is usually not much to worry about if the mucus remains in this state.
When a person is suffering from a severe infection, or in the later stages of one, you may see their mucus turn green.
Green mucus means there are even more dead white blood cells than when it turns yellow.
It is usually a duller, earthier green in color and relatively thick.
While there’s usually not much to worry about, if green snot persists for more than two weeks, someone needs to see a doctor.
pink or red
A pinkish or reddish tinge to a person’s mucus is usually the result of exactly what you think it is. Blood.
The slight red tint that appears in the mucus is usually provided by a little blood.
There are a few potential causes for a nosebleed, but experts say there’s usually not much to worry about.
The most common causes are dry air, usually because the weather outside is cold or a person is indoors where an air conditioner or dehumidifier is used.
Sometimes a person picking their nose can also damage the tissue in the nose, causing minor bleeding. They will usually recover within a day.
A bloody nose can also be caused by a cold, drug use, or inhalation of chemical irritants, such as cleaning supplies.
Doctors recommend seeking medical attention if you lose a cup or more of blood.
There are a few reasons why snot may appear black, ranging from innocuous to highly dangerous.
In many cases, black snot is a sign that someone has inhaled some type of contaminant such as smoke or soot.
It’s a surprisingly common occurrence among people who work on construction sites or who smoke cigarettes regularly.
But, in rare cases, black mucus could be an early sign that a person has been infected with mucormycosis.
Also known as black fungus, a person can contract the disease after inhaling its spores.
It’s incredibly rare, only appearing in one in 1 million people, according to the World Health Organization,
However, because of this, it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors are not familiar with it and it may take them some time to determine if it is the cause of the infection.
It has a mortality rate of around 50 percent, making it one of the most dangerous fungal infections out there.