Man turned completely blue after taking dietary supplements for years
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A man nicknamed 'Papa Smurf' became an overnight internet sensation for having 'completely' blue skin.
For over a decade, Paul Karason would self-medicate his skin condition dermatitis by consuming a silver compound mix.
The Washington man regularly took homemade a silver chloride colloid, while rubbing a solution of colloidal silver on his face in an attempt to treat his sinuses, dermatitis and acid reflux.
He claimed that both his acid reflux and arthritis were cured as a result.
It turns out that silver actually has antibacterial properties that people used to fight infection for thousands of years.
However, when a far more effective penicillin was developed in the 1930s, there was no need for it.
But Paul's life started to change after appearing on TODAY in 2008.
He was soon nickname Papa Smurf, something that his wife said 'he didn't appreciate'.
“That was a nickname he didn’t appreciate, depending on who said it,” she said.
“If it was a kid who ran up to him saying ‘Papa Smurf’, it would put a smile on his face. But if it was an adult, well...”
"And he looks at me and he says, 'What have you got on your face?' 'I don't have anything on my face!'" Paul added.
"He says, 'Well, it looks like you've got camouflage makeup on or something. And by golly, he came in and he was very fair-skinned, as I used to be. And that's when it hit me."
Unfortunately, just a year on from his appearance on the NBC show, Paul revealed that his personal life was going in a downward spiral.
"I’m in a place right now where it’s very difficult for me to make my own, and my resources are limited and it’s very expensive," he explained.
Just a few years later, Paul developed heart issues and prostate cancer.
In 2012, he lost his home and was forced to move into a homeless shelter in Bellingham.
Aged 62, Paul sadly died after a heart attack led to pneumonia and a severe stroke in 2013.
He continued to use colloidal silver right up until his death.
In the UK colloidal silver is authorised for sale as a cosmetic product as long as regulation and testing is adhered to.
However, the substance is not permitted to be sold as a food supplement or medicine.