Blue Man Seeks Acceptance

12/19/07 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

abc30 Action News Original Blue Man Story - 12-19-07


A former Oregon man who's skin is bluish-purple is hoping to put down roots here and find acceptance.

His name is Paul Karason, and he's blue.

It's not makeup or paint.

The 57 year old started making the transition from fair skin and freckles to this about 14 years ago.

"The change was so gradual I didn't notice it. A friend I hadn't seen in months saw me when I was at my parents' house and said, 'what did you do to your face.'"

What Paul did was use a substance called colloidal silver.

Made by extracting silver from metal, into water with an electrical current, and drinking it, it's billed as something that will cure just about everything that ails you.

Paul swears by it.

"After it turned your skin blue, your still drinking it?"

"Yeah, but much less," said Paul.

Actually Paul doesn't believe drinking this potion caused the discoloration. He believes it happened because he rubbed it on his face to treat a skin problem.

But a medical condition called Argyria has been linked to such discoloration since the days when silver solutions were used as antibiotics.

Whatever the cause, Paul Karason says it's not easy living life as a blue man.

"I do tend to avoid public places as much as I can."

His girlfriend, Jackie Northup says she was surprised at first, but is now used to it.

"The only time now I really think about it or notice it if we're out in public and people start staring."

Paul moved to Madera about six months ago after living in Oregon. He says too many folks there weren't nice to him. He thinks people here will be different.

"I hope that they just accept me and learn to like me. And I think that will happen here. Where I was, I rather doubt it would have. This is a different kind of community here," said Paul.

Paul Karason says he hasn't sought medical attention for the condition. He's prepared to live with it for the rest of his life, and he hopes the people who see him out and about will realize he's just like them, only a really different color.

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