Reverse Engineering: Nosebleed Nougats

October 2012 Prof. Scarlet Leslie

Let's pick apart the most popular of the Skiving Snackbox sweets, the Nosebleed Nougat.

Nosebleeds are very prevalent throughout life. Young children between the ages of 2 and 10 are constantly picking their noses, causing nosebleeds. Older people, on the other hand, may get into fist fights. Accurately placed punches on the face also lead to nosebleeds. A sudden change in elevation can also trigger a nosebleed. Due to the aggressive nose blowing and constant nose rubbing, colds may cause nosebleeds.

The most common reason for a nosebleed is dryness. Nosebleeds prevail in dry climates, especially those with low humidity. Dry winters are notorious for a high incidence of nosebleeds. In dry environments, the mucous membranes in the nose will dry out. This leads to an uncomfortable itchy feeling in the nose. When the nose is picked or scratched, bleeding occurs.

Frequent use of nasal sprays can dry up the nose lead to a nosebleed. However, nasal sprays are not consumed by mouth. Allergy medications, especially antihistamines, tend to dry out everything, including the nose. An oral antihistamine is a likely ingredient in the Weasley twins' Nosebleed Nougat. They had to find an antihistamine, such as fexofenadine, that does not make people fall asleep very quickly.

Posterior nosebleeds, in the back of the nose, require emergency medical care. Luckily, practically all nosebleeds occur in the anterior, or front portion, of the nose. Those nosebleeds are easily managed. If you decide to use a Nosebleed Nougat, remember to sit up and lean a bit forward. You do not want to tilt your head back or you might swallow some blood! A non-magical nosebleed can be stopped by putting pressure on the nose. Pinching the nose for 10 minutes or using an ice pack can do the trick.

The healing end of the Nosebleed Nougat may contain multiple factors that work together to stop the nosebleed immediately. Blood clotting factors could be introduced in the body to facilitate the formation of clots and stop the bleeding. Agents like phenylephrine cause blood vessels to become smaller, minimizing blood loss.

The nougat is an appropriate choice for this component of the Skiving Snackbox. This nice sugary concoction usually contains a variety of nuts or fruit.

With an antihistamine in the sick end and clotting factors or phenylephrine in the healing end, the Nosebleed Nougat is a tasty option for skipping class. Even if the healing end is mysteriously lost (*cough*eaten*cough*), a nosebleed is easily managed without magic.