Chrysiasis is the phenomenon of bluish to slate-gray discoloration of the skin induced by prolonged treatment with “gold salt” medications. Chrysiasis, caused by gold-therapy, is similar to argyria, caused by colloidal or topical silver-therapy. The most common cause of chrysiasis is the administration of gold salts to patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Gold therapy is given either orally or by injection, and like most metals, it stays in the body once administered.
Laser energy, such as PicoSure for skin revitalization, may cause a chemical reaction with the gold salts in a patient’s skin, which could result in the permanent bluish/gray skin discoloration known as chrysiasis. A client with a past or present history of gold therapy is contraindicated for treatment with PicoSure and should be cautious when seeking any laser treatment. PicoSure is considered the world’s premiere skin revitalization laser with little or no downtime and phenomenal results.
When in doubt, test spots should be administered in an inconspicuous place on a patient’s skin to determine if any adverse reaction happens. If there’s a color change, then the patient is not a candidate for laser therapy. Fortunately, the incidence of patients seeking PicoSure rejuvenation procedures who have taken gold therapy is low.