Q:

Why are boogers green?

A:

Nasal mucus, sometimes colloquially known as "boogers" or "snot," becomes green when the immune system sends neutrophils to the nasal passages. Neutrophils are white blood cells that contain a green-tinged enzyme. If these cells arrive in the nasal passages in large enough numbers, they color the nasal mucus green.

Despite the common misconception that green mucus signals an infection, the green tinge is not caused by the virus or bacterium itself. Viral infections tend to produce clear mucus in the nasal passages. The mucus turns green as the body starts to respond to the presence of the virus by sending white blood cells to fight it. Within one to three days of this response, nasal mucus typically thickens and becomes green or yellow.

The presence of green mucus does not mean that treatment, particularly with antibiotics, is needed. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics. Furthermore, the presence of green mucus indicates that the body's immune system is already at work battling the infection. Green-colored mucus can last for days or weeks after an infection has run its course because the white blood cells continue to drain away. Antihistamines, decongestants and expectorants are useful for reducing the prevalence of thick mucus.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What does the lymphatic system do?

    A:

    The main function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph fluid throughout the body, which in turn helps with the functions of the immune system. The main parts of the lymphatic system are the lymph nodes, lymph vessels and lymph fluid, but the thymus, spleen, adenoids and tonsils are also considered part of the system.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the thymosin hormone?

    A:

    Thymosin hormones are typically produced by the thymus gland and trigger the creation of T-cells, which are used by the immune system to fight disease. There are different classifications of thymosins, and it is believed that not all thymosins are produced by the thymus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the relationship between FSH and LH?

    A:

    Luteinizing hormone (FH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are both known as gonadotropins because they stimulate the gonads in both males and females to produce steroid hormones. In males, these two hormones stimulate the testes, and in females they stimulate the ovaries.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes sweating under the arms?

    A:

    The human body contains two types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine. Apocrine glands are found in the armpit and the groin and increase sweat production in response to emotion, stress and hormones. Eccrine glands are found all over the body and secrete sweat through pores directly onto the skin's surface, cooling the body through evaporation. Both apocrine and eccrine glands cause underarm sweating.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore