Gangrene is a disorder in which oxygen deprivation results in tissue death. This most commonly occurs in the extremities including the toes, feet, fingers, hands and arms. There are 2 types: (i) wet gangrene (ii) dry gangrene. Wet gangrene involves a wound that gets infected with bacteria, and this infection prevents the venous drainage of the wound. If untreated, wet gangrene can lead to death. Dry gangrene is not related to infection and usually results from reduced blood flow to the feet due to diabetes, an injury, poor circulation or hardening of the arteries.
Symptoms of wet gangrene: rapidly worsening pain, swelling, tenderness, colour changes in the affected tissue (pink to red to gray-green to purple).
Symptoms of dry gangrene: dull aching pain and coldness in the affected tissue.
Who to consult: GP.