Blue Skin Disorder

by Sam Malone

Blue skin disorder is a condition in which the skin turns blue in color due to the accumulation of silver and silver compounds in the body. The ailment is scientifically referred to as Argyria. The prime cause of the disorder is the ingestion or exposure of body to silver dust and its compounds in varying chemical compositions. The condition not only affects the skin color, but it also affects eyes. The accumulation of silver in the eyes causes a variation of argyria, which is referred to as argyrosis. Silver metal darkens when exposed to sunlight. Similarly, the exposure of silver metals and compounds in the body to sun rays causes darkening of the color, which transforms the skin color to blue. As such, the prime symptom of this condition is a change in skin color.

Blue skin disorder generally has only cosmetic effects. Argyria is not a lethal condition and it does not cause any serious side-effect. This can be attributed to the low toxicity of silver metal. This is the reason why the metal is used for medicinal purposes and in medicinal instruments as well. However, the disease could be a cause for social stigma. Another major issue with blue skin disease is that it gets embedded in the genes and passed to subsequent generations as a hereditary condition. One of most notable cases of genetic transmission of blue skin disorder has been that of a family in Kentucky in the 1960s. The condition was transmitted to the offspring, but the average life span of family members was reported as 80 years, which means that the ailment is not hazardous.

Blue skin disorder is generally incurable and irreversible. However, laser surgery may give satisfactory cosmetic results. In this case, prevention is the best cure. You should avoid the chronic ingestion of silver and its compounds. Also, you should avoid being in contact with silver or silver dust. Once you are diagnosed with blue skin disorder, you must avoid exposure to sunlight. Sunlight causes a cosmetic impact due to the change of skin color, which can be averted to an extent by avoiding exposure to the sun. Other than the accumulation of silver in the body, some other causes of blue skin disorder include the intake of certain medicines, lack of oxygen in blood or cyanosis, the accumulation of methemoglobin in blood, and accumulation of homogentisic acid in the body. All of these could cause darkening of the skin as well as the ear cartilage.

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