Man Nicknamed 'Papa Smurf' Turned Blue After Self-Medicating With Dietary Supplements
After ten years of passing away, the blue man has reawakened on the internet. Paul Karason, nicknamed 'Papa Smurf,' who died in 2013 suffered from a range of medical conditions including dermatitis, and consumed a silver compound mix intending to stop his skin from flaking. According to an episode of Inside Edition in 2008, the Washington resident also rubbed the mixture onto his skin. The American man who relied on self-medication for his several health conditions first gained prominence in 2008 when he appeared on NBC's Today Show.
Karason followed the instructions of a newspaper advert that claimed colloidal silver would promote good health and rejuvenation. Instead, the supplement negatively affected his skin and caused argyria, a rare medical syndrome caused by silver poisoning from dietary supplements. Surprisingly, the supplement showed no signs of side effects initially so he continued its consumption for over a decade and eventually, his skin turned blue. According to the experts, a compound in the supplement caused silver poisoning in Karason's body leading to a drastic color change. Although silver is known to treat some infections, penicillin became the preferred treatment as medical science advanced. This compound was also banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after it caused a disease called argyria.
3 .Paul karason "papa smurf"— it boy KELVIN 💥 🎯 🖤 (@Kel_vin_son) December 1, 2022
(Nov 1950 - Sept 2013)
An American whose skin turned purple after taking a homemade silver colloid and rubbing a colloidal silver on his face in attempt to treat sinuses, dermatitis, acid ruflux and other problems, he died of a heart attack in 2013 pic.twitter.com/0Yg0QvgjKM
The frightful mixture contained tiny silver ions and nanoparticles suspended in liquid which Karason overlooked until a friend pointed it out. Horrifying! "A friend that hadn't seen me in a while came by and asked me what I'd done to myself," Karason told Inside Edition, who was born with fair skin and red hair, per Daily Mail. Before his famous appearance on Today Show in 2008 to discuss his condition, he led a private life. He did not enjoy the weird stares people shot at him when he was outside so he kept it to himself.
In the show, his then-girlfriend Jackie Northrup discussed the nickname Karason received consequently for his blue skin shade, 'Papa Smurf.' She said, "That was a nickname he didn't appreciate depending on who said it." His girlfriend added, "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..."
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However, his fame was short-lived. Soon after the show, his life went into a downward spiral. He suffered from several other health conditions like prostate cancer and heart issues. He could not find work and also broke up with his fiance. In 2012, Karason left his home and was forced to return to his hometown of Bellington and move into a homeless shelter. Then Cupid struck again and the blue man found love in his school friend Jo Anna Elkins. The couple first moved in and later married.
Inside Edition Flashback: Paul Karason shocked the world when he went on national television showing his blue skin. pic.twitter.com/dPGt2xjApQ— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) May 31, 2019
September 2013 marked 'Papa Smurf's' end as he took his last breath in a Washington hospital while being treated for pneumonia after suffering a heart attack. His then-estranged wife Jo Anna Karason informed the well-known 'blue man' died of a heart attack.