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katieholmespicforic.jpgYes, I know that it looked like Katie Holmes’ hands had been involved in some sort of horrible henna accident. And, yes, I know that rumors are swirling that the purple color was a result of Scientology’s Purification Rundown, a controversial detox program that involves ingesting large amounts of Niacin, drinking cooking oil, running on a treadmill and sitting for extended periods of time in a sauna. And, yes, I will admit that my mind immediately turned to the “Purif” when PerezHilton.com posted pictures of the actress’ extremities appearing to be the color and texture of, say, E.T.’s. Now I’m not a fan of the Purif as large doses of vitamins, especially fat-soluble ones can be toxic, and the body is designed to detox itself on a regular basis; yes, I’m talking about urination. So as much as I would like to join in the conspiratorial chattering, it seems to me that it’s much more likely that Katie is suffering from a symptom such as Raynaud’s Phenomenon–a disorder that effects blood vessels in the extremities, rather than Niacin poisoning.


Now, I’m no doctor, but I did consult one with my suspicions. Niacin is known to create extreme flushing when taken at high doses, but I had never heard of it turning anyone’s fingers purple. When shown the picture of Holmes’ hands, my physician friend pointed out that the hand was “dependent” (a fancy way to say below the heart) and being held by Tom’s hand. Isn’t the media always saying that Tom has a tight grip on Katie? Perhaps it’s literally as well as figuratively?
But what about the pictures that Hilton published previous to the unveiling of the purple paw: pictures of Holmes wearing gloves, tucking her hands into the end of long sleeves, and “conspicuously covering” her hands? Indeed, it is hard to understand why someone would be consistently covering their hands in sunny California unless you have ever suffered from a circulatory issue such as Raynaud’s. People I know with the syndrome tell me that near boiling water is the only thing that will return feeling and circulation to their fingertips. And it doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees out; Raynaud’s can be set off by stress and since Katie was making a return to episodic television with a guest appearance on “Eli Stone” last week might she not have been stressed?
Gossip gangstar Hilton had surmised that the discoloration was actually for her part on the show until an insider told him that it had nothing to do with the show, but everything to do with the Scientology Purification. I’m not overly intimately familiar with the other vitamins used–I’ve heard A and Calcium mentioned, and I’m sure a former Scientologist would know the actual side effects best (assuming that Hilton’s source is one or is close to the church), but it would seem that there are dozens of explanations– from medical conditions to medications–for her discolored and covered hands.
What I find even more curious than her mauvish mittens is her reluctance to address the rumors. Holmes and hubby Cruise have been so swept up in the Scientology tsunami that they have alienated, no pun intended, much of their middle America fan-base and are looking for ways to resurrect their careers. Heck, Cruise is so desperate that he is in talks to do a sequel to “Top Gun.” So why not end the speculation and dispel or confirm the rumors in People magazine or on “Oprah”? Either way, they’d make strides in regaining the upper hand, pun intended, when it comes to controlling the spin.

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