Case Study Essay

Submitted By mconover22
Words: 765
Pages: 4

Case Study of Papa Smurf Argyria is a rare disease in which the skin of the person afflicted permanently turns a bluish grey color. The disease can either be found in a certain area localized in the conjunctiva of the eye or on extremities exposed to the sun such as arms, legs, and the face. There may be no visible symptoms at first because it depends how much silver has been deposited in the body over a certain period of time. Initial symptoms may begin with the gums in a patient’s mouth turning greyish blue and then progressing towards the development of blue tinted skin (Orphanet, 2005). Extended contact with or consumption of silver salts, which deposit in the skin and other body tissues, causes the skin to turn this color (Padlewska, 2013). Silver nanoparticles have useful antimicrobial properties and can be found in many different products today such as kitchen sprays and bandages. Although these silver nanoparticles are found universally and humans may be exposed to the particles daily, it takes extreme, direct, prolonged exposure to the silver nanoparticles in order to develop argyria (Howgego, 2012). Before antibiotics were widely available, silver was a common ingredient used in nose drops and other medications. Products containing silver or silver compounds also used to be marketed as “cure all’s” for a wide range of diseases including AIDS, cancer, acne, and parasites (Barrett, 2005). Doctors and medical professionals were unaware of the harmful effects of silver until symptoms of argyria became apparent in patients. The normal human body contains one milligram of silver. Symptoms of argyria start to show when the body contains four to five milligrams of silver (Padlewska, 2013). Through studies, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that the negative risks associated with using silver products outweigh any benefit a patient may experience from using products containing silver (Barrett, 2005). There are two types of argyria, localized argyria and universal argyria. Localized argyria can be found in the conjunctiva of the eye from using eye drops containing silver or in oral mucous membranes from dental procedures that use products containing silver. This form of argyria is caused after long-term topical treatment. Universal argyria also develops after long-term systemic treatment with drugs containing silver salts. Patients with chronic gastritis or gastric ulcers often ingested a silver protein suspension to help alleviate symptoms and treat the gastritis. The disease can also be found in people who work with silver or products containing silver such as in a silver mine, preparing artificial pearls, or cutting and polishing silver (Padlewska, 2013). It is unknown how silver interacts with the human body to cause the bluish grey coloring of the skin. However, it may have something to do with the melanin in the skin reacting with the silver that causes an oxidation reaction. The silver may also be deposited in the skin a certain way that causes a change in the way light refracts through the skin ultimately exposing the bluish grey tint (Lencastre, Lobo,