Chrysiasis is a medical term that sounds a tad complex, but its definition is quite straightforward. It refers to skin discoloration, a blue-grayish hue, that results from prolonged exposure to gold salts. Typically, this condition is seen in people who have undergone specific medical treatments containing gold.

To make it even simpler, let’s break down the term. “Chrysi-” comes from the Greek word for gold, and “-asis” implies a condition or state. So, Chrysiasis quite literally means ‘a condition of gold.’

Types of Chrysiasis:

While Chrysiasis itself refers specifically to the skin’s discoloration, there can be variations based on where the gold is deposited in the body:

  1. Cutaneous Chrysiasis: This is the most common type. Here, the skin gets the blue-gray hue we talked about earlier. The main areas affected are those exposed to the sun like the face, neck, and arms.
  2. Ocular Chrysiasis: The eyes are the focus here. Gold can get deposited in the eye’s front part, leading to a slight bluish discoloration. Fortunately, this doesn’t typically affect vision.

Let’s dive in and explore each type along with its effects.

1. Cutaneous Chrysiasis: The Skin Story

Cutaneous chrysiasis, also known as gold dermatitis, is a type of chrysiasis that affects the skin. When gold particles build up in the skin, it can cause a rash or discoloration. Imagine having tiny specks of gold accumulating in your skin cells – it might sound luxurious, but it can actually lead to redness, itching, and irritation. This type of chrysiasis is often linked to wearing gold jewelry, and some people might develop an allergic reaction to gold over time. So, if you notice your skin turning red and itchy after wearing your favorite gold necklace, cutaneous chrysiasis might be the culprit.

2. Ocular Chrysiasis: A Glimpse into the Eyes

Ocular chrysiasis involves the accumulation of gold particles in the eye tissues. Think of it as little specks of gold settling in your eyes – it’s certainly not as glamorous as it sounds. This type of chrysiasis can lead to eye discomfort, redness, and even impaired vision. Imagine trying to see clearly with tiny bits of gold causing disturbances in your vision. It’s essential to take care of your eye health and seek medical attention if you experience any unusual symptoms, like persistent redness or blurry vision.

3. Systemic Chrysiasis: When Gold Goes Inside

Systemic chrysiasis is like a gold invasion within the body. Instead of just affecting the skin or eyes, this type involves gold particles circulating throughout the bloodstream. These particles can accumulate in various organs, leading to potential health issues. Think of it as tiny gold travelers journeying through your body’s highways and byways, leaving traces of gold behind. This can result in organ damage, especially in the liver and kidneys. Symptoms might not be immediate, but they can include fatigue, abdominal pain, and changes in urine color. If you suspect you’re experiencing systemic chrysiasis, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial.

4. Pulmonary Chrysiasis: Gold in the Lungs

Pulmonary chrysiasis occurs when gold particles find their way into the lungs. Imagine breathing in minuscule gold dust – while it might sound surreal, it can actually happen. This type of chrysiasis can lead to respiratory issues, such as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort. Picture tiny gold particles irritating your lungs’ delicate tissues, causing you to wheeze and cough. It’s essential to prioritize your lung health and seek medical advice if you’re experiencing any unusual respiratory symptoms.

5. Articular Chrysiasis: Trouble in the Joints

Articular chrysiasis focuses on the joints – those crucial points that help us move. When gold particles accumulate in the joints, it can lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness. Imagine tiny bits of gold causing friction within your joints, making it hard to move smoothly. This type of chrysiasis is often associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, where inflammation in the joints is already an issue. The presence of gold particles can worsen these symptoms. If you’re struggling with joint pain and notice any swelling, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional for guidance.


We’ll delve into the top 30 reasons in this easy-to-understand guide.

1. Gold Salt Medication: Gold compounds, like auranofin, are sometimes prescribed for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re on these, there’s a possibility of developing Chrysiasis.

2. Prolonged Exposure: Simply put, the longer you’re exposed to gold salts, the higher your risk.

3. UV Exposure: Sunlight or UV rays increase the risk. Think of it like how sunlight changes the color of certain materials.

4. High Dosages: Taking more than recommended can hike up the risk.

5. Individual Susceptibility: Just as some people are allergic to certain foods, some are more predisposed to Chrysiasis.

6. Age Factor: As you grow older, your body may metabolize drugs differently, slightly increasing the chance.

7. Kidney Function: Your kidneys help flush out gold salts. If they’re not working at 100%, the salts might linger.

8. Duration of Treatment: Longer treatments with gold compounds can increase the possibility.

9. Skin Type: Those with certain skin types might be more susceptible.

10. Incorrect Application: Not following medical instructions can be a factor.

11. Environmental Factors: Certain environments might make you more prone, especially those with more UV exposure.

12. Diet: Some believe certain diets may interfere with how your body processes gold salts.

13. Interaction with Other Drugs: Mixing gold salts with certain medications may cause adverse reactions.

14. Frequency of Dosage: Taking gold medications too frequently can be a culprit.

15. Immune System Response: Your body’s defense mechanism might react differently, leading to Chrysiasis.

16. Genetics: Family history plays a role in many medical conditions, this one’s no exception.

17. Skin Products: Some cosmetics might react with gold salts on your skin.

18. Hormonal Levels: Changes in your hormonal balance might make you more susceptible.

19. Health Conditions: Some other underlying diseases can increase the likelihood.

20. Lifestyle: Factors like smoking or alcohol can have indirect effects on your susceptibility.

21. Frequency of UV Exposure: Regular sunbathing or tanning sessions? You might want to be cautious if on gold salts.

22. Environmental Pollutants: Pollutants might interact with the gold compounds on your skin.

23. Inadequate Monitoring: Not getting regular check-ups when on gold therapy can miss early signs.

24. Vitamin Deficiencies: Lack of certain vitamins might increase your chances slightly.

25. Previous History: If you’ve had it once, chances of recurrence might be higher.

26. Therapy Combination: Combining gold therapy with other treatments can be a potential cause.

27. Stress Levels: Chronic stress affects your body in numerous ways, potentially making it more receptive to conditions like Chrysiasis.

28. Exposure to Other Metals: Exposure to metals similar to gold might amplify the effects of gold salts.

29. Skin Injuries: Injured skin can sometimes be more prone when exposed to gold compounds.

30. Altered Body Chemistry: Anything that changes your body’s normal chemistry, like dehydration or infection, can be a factor.


Symptoms for you. Make your health a priority and ensure that you are aware of potential signs, especially if you have a history of gold salt treatments.

  1. Blue-Grey Skin Discoloration: Imagine your skin showing tints of blue and grey. Chrysiasis can cause such a unique discoloration, primarily on sun-exposed areas.
  2. Discoloration of the Eyes: Just like the skin, the whites of the eyes may take on a blue-grey hue. No, it’s not a new eye color trend, it’s a symptom!
  3. Sun Sensitivity: People with Chrysiasis might find the sun a bit harsher than others. They may develop sunburns more easily.
  4. Vision Problems: Imagine trying to see through a foggy window. Vision may become blurred or clouded for some.
  5. Rash: Think of those red, itchy patches you get from an allergy, similar rashes might appear.
  6. Joint Pain: Remember the aches you feel when you have the flu? Chrysiasis can make the joints feel somewhat similar.
  7. Swelling in the Legs or Arms: Think of how your finger swells when you hurt it. Now, imagine that swelling in larger parts of your body, like legs or arms.
  8. Fatigue: Imagine feeling like you’ve just run a marathon, even if you’ve only done simple tasks. That level of tiredness can be a symptom.
  9. Headaches: Those annoying pounding sensations in your head? Yes, frequent headaches can be a sign.
  10. Muscle Weakness: Imagine your arms feeling like they’ve just lifted weights, even when they haven’t. Chrysiasis can cause such muscle fatigue.
  11. Breathing Difficulties: Imagine trying to breathe with a tight band around your chest. It’s not an asthma attack but can feel restrictive.
  12. Chest Pain: Not the heartbreak kind, but real, physical chest pain. It’s like a pressing sensation that’s hard to ignore.
  13. Digestive Issues: Stomach upsets, nausea, or feeling like you’ve eaten something bad. This can be another signal.
  14. Frequent Infections: Ever noticed how some people catch colds more often? Frequent infections can indicate a weakened immune system, a symptom of Chrysiasis.
  15. Mood Swings: Imagine being happy one moment and sad the next. Unexpected and abrupt mood changes can be a sign.
  16. Weight Loss: Unexpectedly shedding pounds without dieting or exercise can be alarming and might indicate Chrysiasis.
  17. Increased Thirst and Urination: Imagine feeling parched even after drinking water, and then visiting the restroom too often. It’s not just about drinking a lot; it’s a symptom.
  18. Loss of Appetite: When your favorite food doesn’t appeal to you anymore, it’s not just a change in taste, but possibly a symptom.
  19. Dizziness or Light-headedness: That woozy feeling when standing up too quickly? If it happens frequently, take note.
  20. Heart Palpitations: It’s not about being nervous. Your heart might sometimes beat too fast or skip a beat.


Let’s demystify its diagnoses and tests in a simple, reader-friendly manner.

1. Clinical Examination:

  • What is it? A doctor looks at your skin.
  • Why is it done? To check for blue-gray skin stains, typical of Chrysiasis.

2. Patient History:

  • What is it? Discussing your past health and treatments.
  • Why is it done? To know if you’ve had gold-based treatments, leading to Chrysiasis.

3. Dermoscopy:

  • What is it? A device that magnifies the skin for a closer look.
  • Why is it done? To see gold deposits better.

4. Skin Biopsy:

  • What is it? Taking a small skin sample for tests.
  • Why is it done? To check for gold particles under a microscope.

5. X-ray Diffraction:

  • What is it? A test using X-rays to study material structures.
  • Why is it done? To identify gold deposits in skin samples.

6. Electron Probe Analysis:

  • What is it? A test using an electron beam on skin samples.
  • Why is it done? To detect and analyze gold presence.

7. Urine Test:

  • What is it? Testing a pee sample.
  • Why is it done? To check for gold excretion levels.

8. Blood Test:

  • What is it? Drawing blood for examination.
  • Why is it done? To measure gold levels in the bloodstream.

9. Ophthalmic Examination:

  • What is it? A detailed eye check-up.
  • Why is it done? Chrysiasis can affect the eyes, causing a blue-gray tint.

10. Sun Exposure Analysis:

  • What is it? Checking how much sun you get.
  • Why is it done? Sun exposure can worsen Chrysiasis symptoms.

11. Patch Testing:

  • What is it? Applying small amounts of substances on the skin.
  • Why is it done? To see if there’s an allergic reaction, differentiating from Chrysiasis.

12. Spectroscopy:

  • What is it? Using light to study skin samples.
  • Why is it done? To spot gold deposits.

13. Confocal Microscopy:

  • What is it? A special microscope to view skin layers.
  • Why is it done? To see gold particles in the skin.

14. Ultraviolet (UV) Examination:

  • What is it? Checking the skin under UV light.
  • Why is it done? Gold can glow under UV, helping in Chrysiasis detection.

15. Complete Medical Check-up:

  • What is it? A full health examination.
  • Why is it done? To rule out other conditions with similar symptoms.

16. Allergy Testing:

  • What is it? Tests to check allergic reactions.
  • Why is it done? To ensure skin reactions are due to gold and not allergies.

17. Gold Salt Testing:

  • What is it? Examining response to gold salts.
  • Why is it done? To confirm a diagnosis of Chrysiasis.

18. Colorimetry:

  • What is it? Measuring skin color changes.
  • Why is it done? To quantify the blue-gray tint of Chrysiasis.

19. Histopathology:

  • What is it? Studying disease in tissue samples.
  • Why is it done? To understand Chrysiasis better at the microscopic level.

20. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT):

  • What is it? Capturing skin images layer by layer.
  • Why is it done? To view gold deposition in the skin.

21. Connective Tissue Examination:

  • What is it? Checking for issues in the tissue connecting organs.
  • Why is it done? Chrysiasis can affect this tissue.

22. Genetic Testing:

  • What is it? Checking genes for abnormalities.
  • Why is it done? To see if there’s a genetic predisposition to Chrysiasis.

23. Immune System Check:

  • What is it? Testing how well your immunity works.
  • Why is it done? To rule out immune-related skin conditions.

24. Autoantibody Testing:

  • What is it? Testing for antibodies causing self-harm.
  • Why is it done? To eliminate other diseases mimicking Chrysiasis.

25. Reflectance Confocal Microscopy:

  • What is it? A non-invasive skin imaging method.
  • Why is it done? To view gold deposits in the skin.

26. Laser Scanning:

  • What is it? Using lasers to scan the skin.
  • Why is it done? To get a detailed image of the affected areas.

27. Gold Quantification Test:

  • What is it? Measuring gold amounts in the body.
  • Why is it done? To determine the severity of Chrysiasis.

28. Rheumatology Consultation:

  • What is it? Meeting with a joint and muscle specialist.
  • Why is it done? Gold treatments were once used for arthritis, which rheumatologists treat.

29. Environmental Exposure Analysis:

  • What is it? Checking exposure to environmental gold sources.
  • Why is it done? To find out if the environment contributed to Chrysiasis.

30. Dermatological Consultation:

  • What is it? Meeting a skin specialist.
  • Why is it done? To get expert insights into skin symptoms and treatments.


Here are methods explained in the simplest terms:

  1. Avoid Sun Exposure: Stay away from sunlight. Think of it as giving your skin a break.
  2. Sunscreen: Like a shield for your skin. Use it every day, even if it’s cloudy.
  3. Protective Clothing: Wear long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses. Dress like you’re on a secret mission.
  4. Laser Treatment: Fancy light beams remove the discoloration. A bit like magic, but real.
  5. Topical Steroids: Creams to reduce inflammation. Not the bodybuilder type of steroids, so no worries.
  6. Chemical Peels: Like a face mask, but it peels off the top skin layer for a fresh start.
  7. Microdermabrasion: Think of it as a skin vacuum. It sucks up dead skin cells.
  8. Stop Gold Therapy: If gold treatments caused chrysiasis, consider stopping them.
  9. Antioxidants: These are your skin’s best friends. They fight off bad guys that damage your skin.
  10. Hydroquinone: A cream that lightens dark patches. It’s like bleach for your skin but safe.
  11. Tretinoin: Another cream. This one boosts skin renewal.
  12. Azelaic Acid: Fights the dark patches. Another member of the skin cream family.
  13. Topical Retinoids: Creams that help in skin growth and repair. Think of them as skin boosters.
  14. Kojic Acid: Natural substance that can lighten the skin. Mother Nature’s way of helping out.
  15. Vitamin C: Not just for colds! It helps to brighten the skin.
  16. Aloe Vera: Nature’s soothing gel. Good for many skin problems.
  17. Green Tea Extract: Your skin will drink this up! It’s calming and repairing.
  18. Licorice Extract: Not just candy! It can also be a skin lightener.
  19. Cryotherapy: A super cold treatment. Like giving your skin a chilly wake-up call.
  20. UVB Phototherapy: Controlled exposure to UVB light. Sometimes, a bit of light is good.
  21. PUVA Therapy: A combo of UVA light and a drug. Together, they tackle the skin problem.
  22. Switch Medications: If a drug caused chrysiasis, try another one. Always with a doctor’s advice.
  23. Drink Water: Keep hydrated. Think of it as giving your skin a drink.
  24. Eat Antioxidant-rich Foods: Blueberries, spinach, nuts. Foods that give your skin an extra defense.
  25. Limit Alcohol & Smoking: They can worsen skin issues. Give them a break, and your skin will thank you.
  26. Stay Stress-free: Meditation, yoga, or just chilling. Stress can be a skin enemy.
  27. Consult a Dermatologist: A skin doctor knows best. Book a check-up.
  28. Natural Oils: Coconut, jojoba, or almond oil can soothe the skin. Like a spa day, every day.
  29. Regular Skin Care Routine: Cleanse, moisturize, repeat. Treat your skin like royalty.
  30. Stay Informed: New treatments pop up. Stay updated. The skin world moves fast.

Conclusion: Treating chrysiasis is all about understanding and finding what works best for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all, but with patience and the right approach, your skin can look and feel better.

For all those looking for easy and effective solutions for chrysiasis, this article serves as a comprehensive yet simple guide. Ensure you discuss this with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your treatment routine. Remember, your skin deserves the best care, and with the right information, you can offer just that.