Different Types of Snot Colors

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Different Types of Snot Colors

While it isn’t the most glamorous thing for parents to talk about, or deal with, snot is a very important topic and one that parents have to deal with more often than they may like. What comes out of your child’s nose is important and it can be a major indicator of their health.

For decades, older generations believed that green mucus, or snot, meant there was automatically an infection and that it meant children needed an antibiotic for treatment. Now, after years of research, we know that isn’t exactly true. The color of nose mucus is far more complex than just green vs. clear or infected vs. non-infected. And typically, physicians can’t determine exactly what is going on just based on the color of the snot.

However, there are a few pieces of information you can pick up based on snot colors alone, although they should be used together with other symptoms for a full diagnosis. Let’s break down some of the most common snot colors and what they may tell you about your child.

Clear- Colorless snot is normal. If your child is producing more clear snot than normal, they may have a mild cold or have allergies. Typically, stringy mucus is a sign of allergies.

White- If your child’s snot is white, but not clear, it may be a sign that they are starting a cold. If white snot lingers for more than two weeks, or if it is present in an older child with sinus pain, fever, or other symptoms, then it may be a sign of an infection.

Yellow- Typically, yellow snot means your child is fighting off an infection. Typically, this just means their body is doing what it should, but if the associated symptoms do not clear, then your child may need to visit the doctor.

Green- Sometimes, this can be an indicator that your child is struggling with allergies or a viral infection like influenza. If the color persists for more than 10 days, then your child should see a doctor.

Pink/Red- This is a sign that your child has blood in their mucus, it typically means they have an irritated nasal passage. This may be due to dry air or high elevations

However, what is more important than the color alone are the surrounding symptoms involved with the change in snot color.

– Is your child congested so much it is bothering them?

– Do they also have a cough or fever?

– Are their symptoms worsening with time?

– Is there more volume than normal with their snot?

These are important details to note that are more important than the color itself.

Of course, whenever your child is having congestion issues, it is important to make sure you are sucking out the snot and boogers from their nose using a device like a Nose Frida. This can provide your children with some much-needed congestion relief when they can’t blow their own nose. In older children, aged 2-3, you can start helping them learn to blow their own nose, so they can get some temporary relief from their congestion issues.

The most important thing is to make sure you take your child in for an appointment when their congestion-related symptoms linger.

If you have any questions about your child’s sinuses, and what their different snot colors may mean, then contact the experts here at Continuum Pediatrics. We can help answer all of your questions, just give us a call at 817-617-8600 to schedule your appointment today.