Argyria disease is a condition in which the skin becomes discolored mainly due to the severe exposure to the silver or its dust or its consumption. It affects the health in many ways and the causes of Argyria disease, its symptoms and treatment must be known. This ailment can trigger many physiological changes, respiratory tracts problems and in severe cases can prove to be fatal as well. It can also affect the eye, which is called as Argyrosis. In the eye, it is primarily the conjunctiva which makes that part of the eye bluish in color.
What Causes Argyria Disease?
It is important to understand some of the causes of Argyria disease which are responsible for the extensive skin discoloration. Primarily, the disease is because of over exposure to the element silver and its compounds. There are some of the underlying causes as well which are held responsible for the ailment.
The major cause of Argyria disease and skin discoloration is abnormally high intake of the impure colloidal silver that causes blurring of pigmentation. The overconsumption of silver may be troublesome in the long run and may result in several biological disorders on a massive scale.
- Medicines with Silver Compounds – One of the main causes of Argyria disease is the consumption of medicines which contain silver compounds, mostly in the form of salts. The medicines are used for treating the nasal and urethral mucous membranes and also for the wound dressing and drops used in the eye. When a person is a chain-smoker, silver acetate remains another cause of Argyria disease.
- Occupational Exposure – Another cause of Argyria disease is severe exposure to silver in some occupations. For instance, it is the silver refining in which the exposure reaches to the highest level. Other areas for the exposure to silver are mining, making the metal alloys, being involved in the manufacturing of silverware and processing of photographs.
- Treatment of Ailments – There are many diseases and health conditions in which the silver component medicines are used, which too can be one of the causes of Argyria disease. Such diseases may be cancer, AIDS, herpes, diabetes, arthritis and the risk is high when these medicines are used on a massive scale. Medical treatments can affect to a great extent when a person is going for the dental treatments. In such cases, the dental fillers may contain silver components as well which may result in severely harming the dental health.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Argyria Disease?
The symptoms of Argyria disease that one needs to know include
- The skin discoloration, particularly bluish-grey is one of the major symptoms of Argyria disease. This discoloration may extend to some parts of the body or cover the whole body.
- Symptoms of Argyria disease may worsen with sun exposure and this may trouble the forehead, hands and nose.
- Gums can also get stained with the blue-gray spots in Argyria disease
Pigmentation remains a major cause of concern and main presentation of Argyria disease. Initially the body excretes the silver through the urinary tract and the feces. The silver first gets deposited in the nail and further leads to trouble when the skin gets the bluish or greyish-blue color.
How is Argyria Disease Treated?
Treatment of Argyria disease mainly depends on the causes of Argyria disease. If the condition is caused by silver medicines then they need to be stopped immediately so that it does not spread to the other areas of the body. Treatment of Argyria disease includes many treatments which are available to cure the skin from the discoloration.
Physicians may prescribe ointments which can treat skin discoloration and prevent the spread of the discoloration. Topical hydroquinone is a generic ointment that is usually used to treat skin discoloration in Argyria disease. Sunscreens are also used extensively to treat Argyria disease and to mitigate the effect of the discoloration. Treatment for Argyria disease may also include various camouflaging makeup techniques to cover up minor discoloration.
It is necessary to avoid over exposure to sunlight which may aggravate the skin discoloration in Argyria disease. Sunscreens should also be used to provide proper protective shield from the harmful effects of the sun rays. Sun screens also help in preventing the spread of the discoloration to other parts of the body.
The disease may be prevented by taking due care from the causes of Argyria disease. This includes protecting from direct exposure of the silver components. Protective measures must be taken if a person is regularly exposed to the sources of the silver. Silver containing medicines must be taken only as prescribed by the treating physician and the pros and cons of the same should be discussed.