U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 24-year-old male asked:

Now i got flu , and my nose secrete mucus , quest = what's the difference between yellow , green and white mucus ?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Alvin Lin
Geriatrics 31 years experience
Nothing!: Great question! And common misconception, too. We used to believe that mucus color could help differentiate between viral (no antibiotics required) & bacterial (need antibiotics) infections. But studies have shown that this isn't true. So don't give any credence to mucus color. Of course, this makes it problematic for docs to determine when to prescribe b/c indiscriminate use leads to resistance.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Jun 16, 2017


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.