Was Paul “Papa Smurf” Karason The Unhealthiest Man Who Ever Lived?
A man who turned blue after taking silver for a skin condition has died.
Paul Karason, 62, suffered a heart attack before contracting pneumonia and having a severe stroke at a Washington state hospital on Monday.
His estranged wife, Jo Anna Karason, broke the news on Tuesday.
Karason — dubbed “Papa Smurf” — shot to fame in 2008 when he appeared on NBC’s “Today” show to talk about his condition, known asargyria.
He revealed his skin turned blue as a side effect of consuming a silver compound for more than 10 years to treat a bad case of dermatitis on his face.
To try and counteract the color change, he also claimed he had self-medicated doses of colloidal silver, a suspension of silver in a liquid base.
Silver, which has antibacterial properties, was used to fight infection until the 1930s when penicillin was found to be more effective.
The FDA banned it being used in over-the-counter medicines in 1999 because of its link to argyria, which resulted when the silver reacted with light collected in the skin.
His widow added that, as well as the skin condition, her husband also had a history of other health problems.
A heavy smoker, his heart often troubled him and he underwent triple bypass surgery five years ago.
First off the answer has to be yes. Let’s look past the fact that his SKIN WAS BLUE BECAUSE HE THOUGHT EATING SILVER WOULD HELP HIS SKIN DERMATITIS. He died of a heart attack, pneumonia and a severe stroke. Oh and he had triple bypass surgery five years ago. I guess that’s what happens when you smoke cigarettes and eat silver for a living. I can say with extreme confidence that I’m incredibly out of shape, but Paul makes me look like an Olympic athlete. Rest easy, Paul. Lay off the silver in heaven.