Best way to sneeze if no tissue at hand?

We all know how hazardous it can be when you’re exposed to other people’s sneeze droplets, or how rude it is to spew them all over someone else. So you hope to have a hanky or a tissue handy when the time comes, but you may not. I

I have been trying my best to contain the sneeze in the upper part of my arm/shoulder, obviously turning my head away. At least that way I can minimize “sharing” with anyone who might be around. I don’t want to sneeze in my hands ,as many people do, because I can’t always find a place to wash them quickly and I wouldn’t want to spread anything around if I forgot.

Recently, I saw my cousin’s wife actually tug at the front of her blouse, put her face downward, and sneeze on her…chest. I guess it contains it, but I don’t know if I would want to do that.

Would you? What is your method?

First off… EWWWWWWWW!!!

Had to get that out of my system (heh.)
Umm, I guess into my left hand, or left sleeve. Depending on whether or not there’s a washroom nearby.

I get my nose as deep into my elbow as I can…

Definately no hands, ick!

The inner elbow has been most recommended, from what I see. It’s convenient, stops germs, and discretely holds the snot if you end up with one of those sneezes.

Not that I’ve ever had one of those sneezes, of course…

Depends. I usually sneeze over my right shoulder but if one sneaks up on me and I don’t have enough time, I’ll just cover my nose with both hands.

I’m a right-shoulder man myself. In a pinch I’ll use my upper arm, provided it’s covered by a sleeve. I don’t think I’m necessarily a germophobe, but sneezing on skin…ick.

Behind the left elbow. I had actually thought of this on my own when I was working in a grocery store and unwilling to sneeze onto my hands that were touching food. I was sure it looked weird, but my concerns were elsewhere.

I felt slightly vindicated when I saw an Oprah-sponsored PSA recommending this practice.

I just do the non-sneeze sneeze. I snuff it before it comes out. All you hear is a quick intake of breath, and then a little squeak.

Yes, it’s sort of against the whole purpose of sneezing, but having allergies and taking classes in huge auditoriums taught me to stifle sneezes.

You’ll still love me when I blow half my brain out with an aneurysm, right? :smiley:

I get really powerful sneezes that make everyone in the room jump. I swear it must sound like a thunderclap or something! :eek: No way can I hold my sneezes in- I’d blow out my eardrums! Plus all the times I have tried to hold back a sneeze, it puts enormous (and painful) pressure on my soft palate, which hurts for some time afterwords. So honestly I’d rather get snot everywhere than have this excruciating pain in my throat/ears.

…Now that I think about it, I also sneeze into my inner elbow! But I never thought about what exactly I was doing- reading about it made it sound wierd but I’m sitting here miming what I do when I sneeze and sure enough, there’s my inner elbow coming right up to my face! :stuck_out_tongue:

The absolute worst, though, is when you have a bloody nose and sneeze! :eek: Talk about messy!

Speak roughly to your little boy
And beat him when he sneezes
He only does it to annoy
Because he knows it pleases

I can hold off most coming sneezes by pinching the bridge of my nose. Try it, it (usually) works. At least long enough to get to a tissue or someplace less public. Failing that I second sneezing into the crook of your arm. Cough there as well.

I sneeze into my elbow.

I have allergies to dust mites every morning, people. I can’t stop all those sneezes. Literally, I get out of bed, put foot to the floor, and sneeze. My BF says it’s how he knows I’m awake.

I used to be an in-the-hand sneezer, since that’s how I was taught. Then WhyKid came home from first grade with the elbow technique. I quickly realized what a better option it is, so now I’m an elbow sneezer when I can’t muffle it, and a muffler when I can. (Years of high school competitive theater - you sneeze during someone else’s performance, *your * score gets docked.)

I will tend to quickly bend down so my head is less than three feet from the floor and sneeze towards the floor. I get very rappid onset sneezes, where time to get out a hanky is not available, but I can still usually get my head down fast enough.

Using the arm or elbow works best if you have at least a 3/4 sleeve. Otherwise, it’s right into the bare skin–but I suppose that beats the chest method in my OP.

Another vote for the elbow pit. Although the belly button makes for an interesting germ catching option.

I’ll do the elbow if possible. On the train today, however, I was surprised by a sudden sneeze and had to do it into the book I was reading. Thankfully it wasn’t a wet sneeze, or I would have been really sad. I know it’s gross, but had I tried to use the elbow, the guy sitting under me (I was standing, holding onto the pole) would have borne the brunt of it.


When I lived in my parents’ house, they were notoriously short of tissues… my mother has allergies, so they were always out of them. (I know, you’d think just the opposite! They’re aliens, though).
I was sitting in the living room with my brother one day, and I was gleefully eating pickled beets out of the bottle with a fork. I love my pickled beets. Anyway… I felt a sneeze coming on… and I quickly scanned the room for tissues. Naturally, there were none, so instead of sneezing in my brother’s face, I turned slightly away from him, aimed down, and…and… a… ACHOO.
Bright magenta stains all over my shirt, in an interesting spray pattern.
After seeing that, I carry those little pocket packs of tissue wherever I go. If there are none available, I’ll excuse myself, turn away from polite company, double over and aim for the ground. This has not yet resulted in my leaving the ground bodily, though I have high hopes.

I always pinch my nose if I’m around people and there aren’t any tissues handy. No mess at all. I’m still amazed when I see someone sneeze down the front of their shirt.

I used to have bad allergies and sneezes were not avoidable, loud, and very wet and messy. Hand for me. See you can cup your hand and conceal the products of the sneeze. It is harder to hide your elbow and half your arm.

Ana, you may just have hit upon a new method of art! Instead of Pollock splatters, we could have your beet sneezy sprays on canvas!

Feeling silly tonight. :smiley: