If you thought your nose existed purely for picking and smelling, you’re wrong. The nose — aside from being able to do cool things like detect one trillion different odors and trigger past memories — can tell you a lot about your overall health. Below you’ll find some ways the characteristics of your nose can reveal specific things about your wellness.
The Inner Nose Speaks Volumes
Physicians check out the interior of your nose for a reason during routine check-ups. The color of your nasal membranes is the first thing doctors examine; it should be a pink color. If your nasal membranes are blue, pale, or appear swollen, it’s likely you may have allergic rhinitis or some form of nasal allergy that causes inflammation. Red nasal passages, meanwhile, usually indicate infection. When you’re feverish and your nose is tender along its bridge, your doctor may suspect you have a bacterial infection in your sinuses.
Bacteria In Your Nose Can Tell If You’re Skinny Or Fat
One study wanted to find out if nasal and throat bacterial colonization were linked to body height, body mass index (BMI), and attractiveness. It found that heavier men actually had more “potentially pathogenic” types of bacteria in their nose when compared to males who were thinner and more “traditionally attractive.” So the amount of bacteria in your nose could have something to say about your BMI.
The Shape Of Your Nose May Determine Your ‘Quality As A Mate’
Another recent study found that having a nice, attractive nose can be an indicator of your fitness and quality as a mate — natural selection at its best.
“The human nose is… extraordinarily large, fragile, and easily broken… May it have evolved as an amplifier among high quality individuals, allowing easy assessment of individual quality and influencing the perception of attractiveness?” the authors of the study wrote in their abstract. “Our results show that… facial attractiveness increased when the nose tip was artificially centered according to other facial features.”
Not surprisingly, having a nice nose will increase your attractiveness as a mate. Perhaps this is why everyone spends money on nose jobs.
Your Nose And Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia has only been able to be diagnosed either through a psychological evaluation or an autopsy, but researchers discovered that the nose holds insights into the mental illness. Taking neuron samples from inside the nose of a living person proved to be an effective way to identify a gene expression associated with schizophrenia in their study, and that taking biopsy samples from noses could potentially become a diagnostic tool.
In addition, the nose can be telling about other mental illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, where many patients lose their sense of smell before developing memory issues.
Red Noses May Reveal You’re A Stressed Alcoholic
While the color of the inner nose is important, so is the outer nose color. If you constantly have a red nose — or rosacea — it’s possible that you’re either drunk or an alcoholic. But having a red nose can mean other things too; it could be an indicator of stress or anxiety, as well as a sign of allergies, Hay fever, or thyroid disorder. “Broken capillaries or redness across the bridge of the nose could reveal alcohol abuse, or it may simply mean excessive worry and stress,” Dr. Maoshing Ni wrote on Yahoo! Health. “I had a patient who would de-stress from her taxing executive job with alcohol and sweets, and her nose always gave these indiscretions away.”
The Color Of Your Mucus Is An Indicator Of Health
In a normal and healthy individual, mucus is typically clear, unless your body is fighting an infection — then white blood cells are often sent to the nose, where they secrete a greenish enzyme that can make your mucus yellow or green. Having all-out nosebleeds, meanwhile, can point to different issues like bleeding disorders or high blood pressure, though most of the time nosebleeds are harmless and normal.