Gangrene refers to the occurrence of dead body tissue. Gangrene can be found anywhere on the body. It is, however, most common in the fingers and toes. Gangrene occurs in either a dry or a moist variation. Dry gangrene is caused by an insufficient blood supply while moist gangrene occurs due to a toxin-producing bacteria. Furthermore gangrene may occur as a result of injury, diabetes, smoking, thrombosis, frostbite, severe burns, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Symptoms of external gangrene include discoloured skin, loss of sensation, and a foul smelling discharge. Symptoms of internal gangrene may instead appear as persistent or severe pain, fever, gas in the tissues below the skin, feeling unwell, and septic shock. Gangrene may be treated with anticoagulants, antibiotics, pain relievers, hyperbaric oxygen therapy or by removing the dead tissue. Keeping the wound clean and sterile is important for healing.
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