Dry cough vs chesty cough

When you’re a busy parent trying to get through the day, coughing is never welcome. Although it’s annoying, a cough is a normal symptom of colds and flu. It’s just your body’s way of trying to clear our airways, it’s a protective reflex. As a parent you know all about protective reflexes! There are usually 2 types of cough, dry cough and a chesty cough.

A dry cough is the one where you have that scratchy feeling and tickle in your throat that you just want to settle. Remember that feeling of wanting to be quiet in a meeting or when trying to get a good night’s sleep and your child’s cough won’t settle? That’s a dry cough, also known as an unproductive cough.

A chesty cough, well that one you can get an understanding of from the name. You know the saying, “I feel like I’m coughing up a lung?” A chesty cough is the kind where your body is trying to clear mucus from the lower airways, and coughing is the body’s way of trying to get it out. That’s why a chesty cough is also known as a productive cough.

Causes of cough

So why do we cough? Coughing is a protective reaction to stop food or fluid going into the lungs. That’s why even when we aren’t sick, we cough occasionally to make sure our airways stay clear. Think of how you might cough when you smell tobacco smoke or when it’s a chilly day outside, that’s your lungs reacting to irritations.

When we are sick, cough plays a bigger role. Like when we have a cold and our body makes extra mucus, coughing aids in expelling mucus from our airways as our body tries to fight off the infection.

Coughing that lasts for less than 2 weeks is classified as an acute cough, while coughing that lasts for over 8 weeks, is a chronic persistent cough and needs to be assessed by a doctor. When looking for relief from a cough, whether it’s for you or your family, knowing what type it is can help with correct management.

Cough relief for the whole family

It’s good to know there are products available to provide temporary relief of cough symptoms associated with colds and flu. When you’re a busy parent, knowing that you can get or give some symptom relief straight away can make all the difference to getting on with your day.

When you have a dry cough with a cold, look for products that help to reduce the urge to cough (cough suppressants), like the DEMAZIN Cold + Flu + Cough Relief Day + Night Capsules or the DEMAZIN Kids 6+ Cough + Cold Relief Syrup. For a chesty or productive cough, look for products that help your body get the mucus out of your airways (expectorants), like DEMAZIN Kids 2+ Cough + Immune Defence Syrup.

Whether it’s for you or your family, DEMAZIN has a range of products to help relieve coughs associated with common colds so you can get on with your day.

Frequently asked questions about cough


If you are suffering from a dry cough, you can consider a cough suppressant to try and break the cough cycle.


For a chesty cough (productive cough) the focus is on clearing mucus from your airways, so try a medicine that contains a mucolytic (to help breakdown mucus) or an expectorant (to help loosen and thin mucus to expel it from the lungs).


Effects per individual may vary. Cough syrups are designed to help provide relief of the symptoms listed. Always follow the directions for use and read the product label before purchase. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information.


Cough syrups are for the temporary relief of coughs associated with colds and flu, and can be taken for a few days at a time. Always follow the directions for use, keep to the recommended dose and read the product label before purchase. If symptoms persist, speak to your pharmacist or doctor.