Strange case of Paul Karason who turned himself blue due to colloidal silver

by Arjun Singh

In 2008, the world was introduced to Paul Karason, a man from Bellingham, Washington, who had accidentally turned his skin a permanent shade of blue. His unusual transformation garnered international attention and he became known as “Papa Smurf”. However, behind the viral sensation was a man who had turned to unconventional remedies to address his medical issues, and his story serves as a cautionary tale.

Karason had been living with acid reflux and dermatitis among other minor health concerns when he decided to experiment with a solution involving silver chloride colloid and colloidal silver. He believed that these remedies could successfully treat his ailments. Unfortunately, he soon discovered that there was a horrifying side effect – his skin turning blue-silver permanently.

The revelation came when a friend, who hadn’t seen Karason in a while, pointed out the drastic change in his appearance. The nickname “Papa Smurf” was bestowed upon him, which Karason did not appreciate, especially when used by adults. Although he admitted that children’s innocent use of the nickname brought him some joy.

After his appearance on the Today show, Karason’s life took a downward turn. His personal life began to crumble, financial resources became scarce, and he faced health issues. Over the years, he developed heart problems and prostate cancer. His self-medication with colloidal silver continued until his death in 2013.

Karason’s story raises important questions about the dangers of relying on unproven remedies and the potential consequences of using them. While colloidal silver is authorized for sale as a cosmetic product in the UK, it is not permitted for use as a food supplement or medicine. It serves as a reminder that seeking professional advice and following approved methods of treatment are essential.

The tragedy of Karason’s life serves as a cautionary tale. While his unconventional methods gained him international notoriety, his ultimate fate was a heartbreaking one. It highlights the need for individuals to approach medical issues responsibly and consult experts rather than relying on unverified remedies. The lesson from Karason’s story is clear, and his legacy should be one that reminds us of the potential risks and consequences that come with untested treatments.

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