Rare But True-Disorders That Can Turn Your Skin Blue

blue skin -78023319The Blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek was an entire family from Eastern Kentucky made up of blue-skinned people.  Those who knew the Fugates described them as, “blue all over” and “as blue as Lake Louise.”

The Blue Fugates were famously known for inheriting and passing on the rare gene that causes methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder that produces an abnormally high amount of methemoglobin (a form of hemoglobin). Individuals who have this disease are at risk of developing very dark, almost chocolate- colored blood or blue skin. This is because the hemoglobin that they produce is unable to carry sufficient amounts of oxygen throughout the body and oxygenate tissues.

Methemoglobinemia can be inherited or acquired.  Acquired cases are more likely to occur and are usually the result of exposure to certain medications or chemicals such as nitrates, silver or benzocaine.

Symptoms of this rare disease can include:

  • Bluish colored skin
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue

Another disorder that is known to cause the skin to turn to a bluish or silver hue is argyria. This condition results from extended amounts of contact with silver compounds or the ingestion of silver salts.

People who are potentially at risk of developing this condition are those:

  • Taking medications with silver salts as an ingredient
  • Taking colloidal silver as a dietary supplement
  • Have careers that expose them to silver such as silver mining or refining

Cases of this disorder are extremely rare. Paul Karason famously known as “Papa Smurf,” was one of these few people to develop argryia in recent years. He acquired the disorder by drinking a home-made brew that included colloidal silver and using a silver-based salve on his face. He helped raise awareness of this condition as well as the potentially harmful side effects of ingesting silver-based products.

Here is a video of the interview of “The man who turned blue”.

(Video via OWN network)

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.