This Is What Boogers Are Actually Made Of

We've picked them, we've flicked them, and we probably ate them (way back when in the school yard). But do we know what they are? We're talking about boogers of course. And even though there are far more intimate subjects that can be discussed when talking about our bodies, introducing boogers into a conversation always seems a little uncomfortable. That's why we're giving you the details — because even if you've wondered what boogers are actually made of, it's not likely that you worked up the courage to ask.

According to Healthline, the main ingredient of boogers is nasal mucus. Before you scrunch your nose in disgust, know that nasal mucus is a great defender for good health. It acts as a lubricant to keep our sinuses wet, which protects them from irritation. Nasal mucus shields the tissue and blood vessels in our noses and acts as a trap for incoming dust, pollen, and bacteria, helping to prevent infection.

There are many 'ingredients' used to make a booger

Nasal mucus may be necessary, but sometimes there is too much of it and the excess gets left in our nose to drain out. This is when those green — or sometimes other colors — hard or moist clumps start to form. The excess nasal mucus gets combined with dirt, pollutants, bacteria, and dead skin cells that have dried together (via Very Well Health). This forms what we call a booger.

What about 'bloody boogers'? It can be alarming to discover a bloody booger in your tissue after blowing your nose. Most of the time, however, it isn't a cause for concern. Healthline states that bloody boogers happen when the booger in your nose scrapes against your very thin nasal tissue, causing a blood vessel to break and bleed onto the dried green clump.

We now know what boogers are made of, and that they are natural excretions from our bodies. But despite our knowledge gained on where they come from, we suspect their reputation for being awkward in conversations will never go away.