Meet the Man With Blue Skin
January 12, 2008
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When Paul Karason, now 57, developed a case of dermatitis 14 years ago, he decided to use a treatment called colloidal silver. The treatment, which is not considered safe or effective by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, turned his skin blue, and he’s been living with it that way for over a decade.
Colloidal silver is made by extracting silver from metal. Manufacturers often describe the liquid as a cure-all, and Karason both drank the silver and rubbed it on his skin.
Because the changed happened so gradually, Karason says he didn’t even realize it was happening. That is, until an old friend came by and asked what he’d done.
It appears Karason may have suffered from argyria, an irreversible blue-gray discoloration of your skin, nails and gums that’s linked to colloidal silver. Other potential side effects of the liquid include:
- Seizures and other neurological problems
- Kidney damage
- Headaches and fatigue
- Skin irritation
Karason has not sought medical attention for his skin discoloration, and he says he’s still drinking smaller amounts of the silver.
The change in his skin color prompted him to move from Oregon to California, where he hopes to be accepted.
Still, Karason says, “I do tend to avoid public places as much as I can."