Snot - All The Facts
Ah, snot, you can pick it and you can flick it and it can exit your body at 60km per hour (the speed of a sneeze).
While it has been the quintessential greens for children and toddlers across the world (sometimes the only ones they would eat), what is this magical substance which can be soft and sticky, hard and lumpy, or gooey and runny– sometimes all at once?
Snot at the core is mucus. Throughout our bodies and especially on our respiratory and gastrointestinal tracks we have mucus-secreting cells. The role of mucus is primarily to protect the cells, moisten and lubricate, as well as well as forming an essential part of our immune system by trapping invader air particles and beating them up and breaking them down through the use of enzymes.
Mucous or snot is generally made of proteins, antibodies, enzymes and salts and we produce an overwhelming 1 -1.5 litres of snot per day, most of which we swallow without noticing!!!
The colour of your snot can be an indicator as to what is happening in your nose. Generally, snot is translucent or clear in colour with a slightly thick water viscous nature, however, with sinus congestion and irritation snot becomes thicker and more opaque, this often occurs with hay fever and allergy symptoms.
Things really take a turn when we start to see yellow and green snot. This is often thicker and can vary in hues from soft pale greens to large fluoresce boogie monsters being extracted from your nasal offices. Green and yellow signify infection most likely either with bacterial or viral causes.
If you’re seeing red boogies these are often caused by ruptured blood vessels inside the nose. Generally, not too much of a concern however if you notice the quantity of and frequency of these occurring maybe either curb your nose picking habits or speak to your GP on your next visit regarding the issue.
Brown boogers are caused by inhaled irritants, with our little mucous heroes showing off that they have done their job successfully.
Black booger colour combos are not unheard of either, smokers may find that their nasal secretions often have a tinge of black as do those who are exposed to smoke from campfires, bushfires or other types of infernos. Should you see back boogers and haven’t been near materials while they are combusting it could signify an infection of a fungal nature and may need further investigating, not with your finger but by your GP.
FUN FACT: When snot becomes dried and clumped together, possibly with air particles it may then be referred to as a booger, with common extraction methods by finger. At no point does the author condone flicking or wiping of nasal material on anything other than tissues, so no wiping them on your siblings (at least while your mum is watching.
Happy Picking :)
Allison is a qualified Naturopathy and Nutritional & Western Herbal Medicine. As the founder of Fundamental Wellbeing she specialises in gut health and stress related conditions. Allison possesses as strong passion for all things health and wellness, she understands that balance is essential to life, looking for real world solutions to help client’s reach their health goals.
For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/fundamentalwellbeingaustralia/ or book and appointment online https://fundamental-wellbeing.cliniko.com/bookings