Gangrene refers to tissue death due to a lack of blood flow or a severe bacterial infection. Gangrene commonly affects the extremities, including toes, fingers, and limbs, but it can also occur in muscles and internal organs.
Chances of developing gangrene are higher if due to an underlying condition that can damage blood vessels and affect blood flow, such as diabetes or hardened arteries (atherosclerosis)- Peripheral arterial disease, Smoking, major trauma, alcoholism, HIV/AIDS, & Raynaud's syndrome.
Wound care for gangrene includes surgery to remove dead tissue, antibiotics. The prognosis for recovery is better if gangrene is identified early and treated quickly.
When gangrene affects Skin, signs, and symptoms may include:
1. Skin discoloration — ranging from pale to blue, purple, black, bronze, or red, depending on the type of gangrene
2. Swelling or the formation of blisters filled with fluid on the skin
3. A clear line between healthy and damaged skin
4. Sudden, severe pain followed by a feeling of numbness
5. A foul-smelling discharge leaking from a sore
6. Thin, shiny skin, or skin without hair
7. Skin that feels cool or cold to the touch
8. The affected tissue is swollen and very painful
9. You're running a low-grade fever and generally feel unwell
A condition called septic shock can occur if a bacterial infection originating in the gangrenous tissue spreads throughout the body.
Gangrene is a serious condition and needs immediate wound care treatment. Seek help from wound care experts for persistent, unexplained pain in any part of the body along with one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
1. Persistent fever
2. Skin changes — including discoloration, warmth, swelling, blisters, or lesions — that won't go away
3. A foul-smelling discharge leaking from a sore
4. Sudden pain at the site of recent surgery or trauma
5. Skin that's pale, hard, cold, and numb