The Real Smurfs: People Who Turned Blue (Literally)

Posted by By Limoge at 31 August, at 09 : 38 AM Print


There’s the Blue Man Group, Picasso’s ”blue period” and the famed Blue Note jazz club in NYC.  But you ain’t never seen blue until you’ve seen Paul Karason,  Rosemary Jacobs and Stan Jones.  ”How’s that?”, you say.  Well, they’re all blue (and no, I don’t mean in that “woe is me, I’m so depressed”, kind of blue).  Karason, Jacobs and Jones suffer from argyria, a condition that causes their skin to literally turn blue.

Argyria is a condition caused by improper exposure to chemical forms of the element silver, silver dust, or silver compounds. The most dramatic symptom of argyria is that the skin becomes blue or bluish-grey colored. The condition is usually permanent.

These three people have contracted agyria in different ways and each of their stories is fascinating and may actually make you feel, dare I say, more than a little ”blue” (pun intended):

Paul Karason

Paul Karason started turning blue more than a decade ago after he used a silver preparation to treat a bad case of dermatitis on his face that broke out due to stress when his father died. He took the silver in colloidal form that he produced himself, using electrolysis.  Karason is blue for life (or as you can see from the picture above more the color of a ripe Concord grape).

Karason’s hue however hasn’t stopped him from living a fairly normal life. Three years ago, after he appeared on the Today show, he became something of a minor celebrity in his town of Madera, Calif.

Soon he went from a man who didn’t like to speak in public and didn’t appreciate the often-negative attention his singular skin color brought him to giving interviews on national shows and being approached with acceptance by people who had seen his story. He even got engaged several years ago (though there’s no official wedding date).

And most amazing of all, his overall health is fine. Though he did have a bout of prostate cancer three years ago, it was determined that it was unrelated to his skin condition.

Rosemary Jacobs

Tired of a living in the shadows, Rosemary Jacobs allowed a local Long  Island, New York newspaper to tell her story. The headline?: “The Silver Woman From Long Island. The Face That No One Forgets.”

Jacobs wasn’t always blue, however. She remembers when she was eleven years old, her  mother mentioned to an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist that she always had a cold. He told her that it had to be allergies and prescribed nose drops that contained silver with instructions to take them “intermittently as needed.”   Jacobs took her drops every other day for four years.

It wasn’t however, until Jacobs helped out at a local hospital that a pharmacist passed her in the hall seemed startled by her appeareance.  ”Why are you that color?” he asked Jacobs. “What color?”, she wondered. No one had noticed that her color was weird until then.  But suddenly everyone started noticing Jacob’s skin was slate-gray.

Eventually Jacob’s mother took her to the dermatologist who took some tests and asked her mother if she was taking any particular medications. When her mother mentioned the nose drops, the  dermatologist told her to stop taking them. “They have silver in them. That’s why you’re gray”, Jacobs recalls the dermatologist telling her.

Soon a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of argyria showing all the little specks of silver in her skin. Unfortunately, that is the only information that Jacobs has ever gotten about the drug that disfigured her. “No one ever sued doctors back then”, Jacobs says.

In the 1970′s Jacobs underwent agonizing skin dermabrasion where the top layer of skin is removed, leaving it raw.  Her face healed but she was left with a pink and blotchy complexion. I don’t think I look much better now,” she said.

Jacobs  now runs a website to warn others of the danger of colloidal silver.

Stan Jones

If anyone has the right to say “what was I thinking?!”  that person has to be Stan Jones.  Jones, who is a Libertarian Party politician and once unsuccessfully ran for US Senate,  developed argyria  by consuming home-made colloidal silver, a concoction he made due to fears the Year 2000 problem would make antibiotics unavailable.

Jones brewed his home-made colloidal silver by using tap water and salt with a battery colloidal silver generator, and let his generator run for an hour, which not only produced an abundance of silver chloride, but also produced larger particles of silver. He drank eight ounces or more of this product containing an extremely high concentration of silver daily for at least two years.

The peculiar coloration of his skin featured prominently in media coverage of his unsuccessful campaign though Jones allegedly believes that the most prominent photo was “doctored.” And while Jones admits to being somewhat embarrassed by his blue skin, it’s not enough to refrain from running for public office.

And by the way, Jones continues to promote the use of colloidal silver as a home remedy.

So in the  end, being blue may not be the best thing in the world, but, as Kermit the Frog so famously observed,  “it’s not easy being green”, either.

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6 Comments

  1. The Silver Genie, 4 years ago Reply

    “Jones brewed his home-made colloidal silver by using tap water and salt”

    OK, you danced around it a little, but there it is BINGO. What was produced was NOT Colloidal or even Ionic Silver. By using these ingredients the solution created was SILVER CHLORIDE, which is responsible for Argyria when abused for years.

    I recently read one report from a psych facility on a person that tried to commit suicide. He had been infected by an STD and “claimed to be taking Colloidal Silver” and started turning gray and thought he was dying. There was no follow up on what he was taking other than his claim.

    **Show me one documented case, just one where the “claim” of taking Colloidal or Ionic Silver where the solution taken has actually been TESTED and VERIFIED to be Colloidal Silver or Ionic Silver and NOT silver chloride or some other silver compound. Just 1.

    It’s really funny how many people clamor to FDA “approved” medications that the mfg warns of possible suicide, cardiac arrest, organ failure and a litany of other side effects that are worse than what they’re trying to control without a second thought. On the other hand, everybody is scared to death to use Colloidal or Ionic Silver on the “rumor” that they might make history and turn a little gray while curing an ailment.

    I spend more time on this topic than any other.

    Even with silver chloride (a silver salt), you have to abuse it over a long period of time to get Argyria.

    I’ve been making, using and studying Ionic Silver for over 10 years with amazing results and no adverse side effects even when taking other medications at the same time. No I’m not blue or even a little gray.

    Ionic Silver – Generically most often and incorrectly referred to as Colloidal Silver. Also correctly referred to as EIS – Electrically Isolated Silver.

    Silver chloride is the substance responsible for the reports of Argyria.

    Neither Colloidal or Ionic Silver are responsible for this condition.

    Silver chloride (a silver salt) is created when salt of any kind is added to the preparation of Ionic Silver.

    • Brian, 4 years ago Reply

      For real. I expected this to be about the Blue Fugates.

  2. Tharani, 3 years ago Reply

    how are this people turned into Blue….and how come not me ? anyone reply !!! I got see my aunty son turned into blue …his name is jiva and when he was 5 years ols he died …..when he turned blue the doctor say cannot help ready ..we went to america for a operation…but there also said no help for it …..no cure …no solution

  3. shemina, 2 years ago Reply

    thes poeple look discousting

  4. Jackie, 2 years ago Reply

    I have been reading on treatments for Palmo Plantar Pustulosis.
    Collodial Silver was a remedy one person tried and it worked famously. Now that I have been reading about it, I’m afraid to try it.
    Even though I am desperate to try anything to get rid of this.
    Any advice from those who have used Collodial Silver?


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