71-year-old Rosemary Jacobs has had silver-colored skin for the past 60 years. At age 11, she developed a rare condition called argyria – caused by exposure to chemical forms of the element silver that makes the skin turn blue or bluish-grey. For Rosemary, the exposure occurred from nasal drops containing colloidal silver.
Rosemary’s story is unbelievable; Whoever heard of a real person turning silver after using silver nasal drops? You only get to see skin color changing in cartoons, but apparently the condition is real, and Rosemary has had to live a life of stigma because of it. Of course, her skin didn’t change color overnight. In fact, she was diagnosed with argyria four years after she began using the medication.
Rosemary, a retired Spanish teacher from Vermont, U.S., said: “When I was 11 years old, my mother mentioned to an ENT specialist that I always had a cold. He told me that it had to be allergies and prescribed nose drops that contained silver, recommending that I take them ‘as needed’.” She did as she was told, using the drops every time she had a stuffy nose.
At first, no could notice any difference in Rosemary’s skin, not even her parents. “The change in my color was so slow, I didn’t notice. My family and friends didn’t notice either because they saw me every day,” she said.