Gangrene is the death of tissues in your body. It happens when a part of your body loses its blood supply. Gangrene can happen on the surface of the body, such as on the skin, or inside the body, in muscles or organs. Causes include
- Serious injuries
- Problems with blood circulation, such as atherosclerosis and peripheral arterial disease
Skin symptoms may include a blue or black color, pain, numbness, and sores that produce a foul-smelling discharge. If the gangrene is internal, you may run a fever and feel unwell, and the area may be swollen and painful.
Gangrene is a serious condition. It needs immediate attention. Treatment includes surgery, antibiotics, and oxygen therapy. In severe cases an amputation may be necessary.
- Gangrene (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Necrotizing Fasciitis: A Rare Disease, Especially for the Healthy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Necrotizing Skin Infections (Merck & Co., Inc.)