Finding the right symptoms can help you get the correct diagnosis for a cold or the flu. And it’s all about the color and viscosity of your snot and boogers — they can be clear, sticky, and even stinky. By looking at them, you can establish what is wrong with your health and then head out to see a doctor.

We at Bright Side put together 9 different types of snot and boogers for you to discover what they mean.

9. Clear and runny

If you have clear and runny nasal mucus, that means you’re healthy. This type of mucus helps you get rid of pollutants and dust. It contains proteins and antibodies that fight the viruses and bacteria that may enter your nostrils. But sometimes it can be a sign of an allergy, especially if your nose is itchy and you’re sneezing.

8. Clear and thick

This type of mucus (a.k.a. snot) is said to be a sign of a chronic allergy. It clogs up your nose, and you may even have swollen nasal tissues. Going to an otolaryngologist and/or an allergist doctor may solve your problem.

7. White

This little dude appears when you have a common cold — the white color is due to loss of moisture inside your nose, which makes the mucus go white and “cloudy” in color.

6. Yellow

You’d better get yourself some rest and lots of liquids if you notice that the color of your boogers has become yellow. It’s a definite sign of the common cold. The yellow tint is due to the dead white blood cells that are fighting the virus — they get into your mucus once they are done with their primal function.

5. Green

Green boogers are totally your friend in fighting that cold. They are a sign that your system is doing its best to get rid of the infection. However, if the symptoms last longer than 10 days, visit a doctor as it may be a bacterial infection.

4. Pink or red

Pink may be a pretty color, but it is definitely not a good sign. It either means you’ve been injured (for example, a broken nose) or you have been blowing your nose too hard. Either way, visit a doctor if the blood flow does not stop after half an hour or you decided that there is too much of it. Also, if a toddler experiences a nosebleed like that, visit your pediatrician immediately.

3. Brown

Meet Mr. Snot. Mr. Brown Snot appears when old blood in your system dries out or if you have inhaled dirt. Cleaning your nostrils with a seawater spray may help in this case.

2. Almost black

If you do not smoke marijuana or cigarettes, then having almost black snot or boogers may point to a fungal infection in your system.

1. Sticky, stinky, and discolored

Mr. Sticky Stinky is most likely a sign of chronic sinusitis. The nonstop swelling of your nasal/throat tissues produces too much mucus, resulting in this type of snot. It’s recommended that you see an ENT doctor if antibiotics or other treatments for infections/viruses do not work.


So if your snot is white, green, or yellow, it’s most likely that you’ve been experiencing a runny nose. Mr. Runny Nose is a real sign of colds or infections. Visit a doctor if the symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks.

You have now seen 9 types of snot and boogers. Please share what you think yours says about your health at this very moment. If it happens to be green or almost black, please see a doctor.

Illustrated by Igor Polushin for Bright Side