Argyria or argyrosis is mainly caused by unsuitable exposure to chemical compounds such as silver, or to silver dust. The main symptom of this disease is the skin color changes to blue or bluish-grey. In 19th century doctors identified the silver or silver compounds may cause in various parts of the body.

Argyria may effect on body in the form of

  • Generalized argyria
  • Local argyria

Generalized Argyria:  It affects the visible surface of the body.

Local Argyria: It not affects whole but some parts of the body, such as mucous membrane or conjunctiva and patches of skin.

The terms argyria and argyrosis are quite similar, but the word 'argyria' is used more frequently. Argyrosis is mostly used in referring to argyria of the mucous membrane, but the usage this term has never been consistent expect it is explicitly specified.

Biological Effect

Both animals and humans consume the silver products but commonly lead to continuous accuulation of silver compounds in various parts of the body. In photography, exposure of silver to sunlight decays them to silver metal or sulfides.  The silver compound deposits as particular in the skin, in effect a dark pigment and this condition is known as argyria.

Chronic intake may affect eyes with the silver pigments deposited on the organs. Moreover, conjunctiva is a disease related to eyes may affect lens of your eye which causing a serious problem.

Argyria Differential Diagnosis

The following diseases while diagnosing this condition:

  • Methemoglobinemia
  • Ochronosis
  • Polycythemia
  • Wilson disease
  • Addison disease
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Carcinoid syndrome
  • Ingestion of other metals like gold, bismuth, mercury

Argyria Complications

The problem can face by an individual can develop dangerous complications such as:

  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia
  • Decreased night vision
  • Loss of coordination
  • Persistent Bronchitis
  • Fatty degeneration of major organs
  • Albuminuria
  • Hemorrhage
  • Vestibular impairment
  • Gustatory disturbance

Colloidal Silver

Alternative Medicine

Colloidal silver has been promoted as an alternative medicine in 1990 but not supported by some government officials, claims of effectiveness. Department of medical authorities prohibited the use of colloidal silver preparations because the risk of side effects are high with this kind of colloidal silver preparations.

The medicine preparations deliver inactive metallic silver instead of active microbicidal silver ion. There is no specific evidence to prove the effectiveness of colloidal silver in vivo.