When I was young, human beings developed photographs, and I suspect that when they saw an argyric person in one they thought, “No. This can’t be right. She can’t be this color,” and they adjusted the color mix to make us look the way they thought we should. If the photo showed us with other people, the adjustments made everyone look a little “off”, but viewers weren’t surprised because they were accustomed to photographs that often produced colors that were "a little off".
Like most argyric people, I’ve always hated to have my picture taken, but unlike most of the others, I did let some people take a few over the years, mostly my dad who was an amateur photographer, and they were mostly slides. I posted some on my webpage to show you what I looked like before I turned gray and before and after I was dermabraded.
At the bottom, you will see a lady who had her entire body discolored by silver.
In this digital age it is easier to show our discoloration, but often even digital photos make us look “just like you” and color appears different on different computer screens and mobile devices. It isn’t just us amateurs who have this problem. I’ve worked with lots of professionals who did too. That includes AP photographers and network TV video cameramen.
To compound matters, our discoloration changes in different light and probably when surrounded by different colors. I had been told that for years but never comprehended it till I met Arline, a lady who got argyria recently from a silver “dietary supplement” labeled “colloidal silver” or “CS”.
Arline and I met when Good Morning America flew me out to Las Vegas to meet her in person and be interviewed for one of their TV programs although we had spoken often on the phone before then. We met originally when a person who saw me on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not told Arline that she thought she had the same condition that I have and, with her permission, contacted me by email to ask that I phone Arline who doesn’t have a computer.
When I walked into the hotel room for the interview, Arline and her sister were seated with the TV producer and crew, but they looked fine to me. Neither looked discolored, until that is, we walked out into the sunlight. There Arline's discoloration was startling. It was also startling under the fluorescent light in her dermatologist's office. Yet in spite of this, the cameraman was never able to show the startling effect on video, but the following photos do. They show exactly how Arline looks at her worst, how I think I looked before I was dermabraded and how most people with generalized argyria look.
Here are photos which I think show what I look like now, post-dermabrasion, at the age of 69. As a result of the experimental procedure my face has gone from a solid gray to a splotchy gray, pink and white.
You will find more photos of argyric people if you google “argyria” or “Paul Karason”. Paul is the only person besides Arline and me that I know of with argyria who has spoken out publicly and the only one I know of who appears to be thrilled with the attention looking weird gets him. Oh how I’d love to meet him in person!
You will find case reports about argyric people on PubMed, some of which include photos, if you search using the term “argyria” or “colloidal silver”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed
If you live in the US and find articles indexed on PubMed that you'd like to read, go to the library at your local hospital. The librarian may have them or be able to get you copies at little or no cost.