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What Can Snot Color Tell About Your Health?

Amelia Grant

August 27, 2020

If you have ever had snot of an unusual color, you’re not alone. There are lots of people who turn to Google and type “snot colors and their meaning”. However, there is no need to panic. If you have ever experienced a nasty cold, you probably noticed that snot color might change depending on your health status. 

We’ve collected possible snot colors and described their meaning to help you figure out what’s going in your body. Although snot color is important, you still need to pay attention to its consistency and amount. Keep reading the article to find out more about your snot.   

Colorless thick snot

Colorless thick snot might be caused by certain factors. The first factor is a chronic allergy (especially allergy to dust). During allergy season, you can notice constant nasal congestion and your snot might become thicker than usual. If it bothers you, contact your allergologist and they will prescribe you medications to help you get rid of a stuffy nose. 

Another possible cause of cloudy colorless snot is dehydration. Your body always reacts to dehydration and even your snot can change. When you have insufficient water balance in your body, nasal mucous becomes more concentrated and congesting.  

The third common reason for thick colorless snot is an infection. There is a type of infection that can provoke inflammation of the tissue in nasal passages which slows down the movement of snot them.

Red, pink, or brown snot 

Red, pinkish, or brown snot is a sing of the presence of blood in it. However, don’t panic. This might be caused by an irritation or injury to the lining of your nose. This color can also occur in those who are sick and blowing the nose too frequently and too hard. This can affect membranes in the nose leading to little tears. Such snot color oftentimes occurs in winter, when the air is extremely dry due to indoor heating. The membranes get  “dehydrated” and are likely to crack and bleed. 

If you often notice blood in your snot or you experience frequent nosebleeds, you should turn to a general practitioner to find out the root cause of it. In rare cases, it might indicate some serious health conditions and even tumors in the nose. 

Black snot 

Black snot might be an indication of a problem. It can be triggered by smoking cigarettes or using illegal substances like heroin, cocaine, crack, or other drugs. Black snot can also occur due to a dangerous fungal infection called acute fulminant fungal rhinosinusitis, albeit it’s extremely rare. 

The condition affects people with low immunity, for instance, AIDS or cancer patients or those who are on chemotherapy. Treatment for fulminant fungal rhinosinusitis includes emergency surgery and antifungal drugs before the fungus damages the brain or eyes.    

Green or yellow snot 

The most common cause of green or yellow snot is an infection. Each time you see changes in your snot color, it typically means that you have some infection that has provoked an immune system response and enhanced blood flow to an inflamed area. 

It is the enzymes produced by cells that fight infection (like white blood cells) give your snot yellow or green color. If you think that yellow and green snot is caused by different things, you should that it’s a myth. When you get a viral or bacterial infection, you can have a green or yellow snot color. In order to figure out what type of infection you have, pay attention to your symptoms, their severity, and duration. 

If you feel crappy and got a yellow or green snot quickly, then it’s likely you have a viral infection. If your symptoms including study nose are lingering, this might be due to bacterial infection. However, if you notice your symptoms are persistent for a too long time, you need to visit your doctor who will probably prescribe you antibiotics to fight off the bacterial infection. 


Healthcare & Nutrition