La gangrena suele afectar los dedos de las manos o de los pies. La gangrena puede producirse debido a una o varias de las siguientes causas: Falta de suministro de sangre. Cuando esos tejidos se infectan, se puede producir gangrena. Tipos de gangrena Gangrena seca.

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Gangrene of the hand and foot Open pop-up dialog box Close Gangrene of the hand and foot Gangrene of the hand and foot Gangrene results when blood flow to a certain area of your body is interrupted, causing tissue decay and death. Gangrene often affects the fingers or toes. Gangrene may occur due to one or some of the following causes: Lack of blood supply. Your blood provides oxygen, nutrients to feed your cells, and immune system components, such as antibodies, to ward off infections.

If bacteria thrive unchecked for long, infection can take over and cause your tissue to die, causing gangrene. Wounds that are traumatic, such as gunshot wounds or crushing injuries from car crashes, can cause bacteria to invade tissues deep within the body.

When such tissues are infected, gangrene can occur. Types of gangrene Dry gangrene. Dry gangrene is characterized by dry and shriveled skin ranging in color from brown to purplish blue or black.

Dry gangrene may develop slowly. It occurs most commonly in people who have arterial blood vessel disease, such as atherosclerosis, or in people who have diabetes.

Wet gangrene. Swelling, blistering and a wet appearance are common features of wet gangrene. It may develop after a severe burn, frostbite or injury. It often occurs in people with diabetes who unknowingly injure a toe or foot. Wet gangrene needs to be treated immediately because it spreads quickly and can be fatal. Gas gangrene. Gas gangrene typically affects deep muscle tissue. If you have gas gangrene, the surface of your skin may initially appear normal.

As the condition progresses, your skin may become pale and then evolve to a gray or purplish red color. A bubbly appearance to your skin may become apparent, and the affected skin may make a crackling sound when you press on it because of the gas within the tissue. The bacterial infection produces toxins that release gas — hence the name "gas" gangrene — and cause tissue death. Like wet gangrene, gas gangrene can be life-threatening.

Internal gangrene. Gangrene that affects one or more of your organs, such as your intestines, gallbladder or appendix, is called internal gangrene. This type of gangrene occurs when blood flow to an internal organ is blocked — for example, when your intestines bulge through a weakened area of muscle in your abdomen hernia and become twisted.

Internal gangrene may cause fever and severe pain. Left untreated, internal gangrene can be fatal. Men are more often affected, but women can develop this type of gangrene as well. This rare type of gangrene typically occurs after an operation, with painful skin lesions developing one to two weeks after surgery. Risk factors Several factors increase your risk of developing gangrene. These include: Diabetes. High blood sugar levels can eventually damage blood vessels, decreasing or interrupting blood flow to a part of your body.

Blood vessel disease. Hardened and narrowed arteries atherosclerosis and blood clots also can block blood flow to an area of your body. Severe injury or surgery. Any process that causes trauma to your skin and underlying tissue, including an injury or frostbite, increases your risk of developing gangrene, especially if you have an underlying condition that affects blood flow to the injured area.

People who smoke have a higher risk of gangrene. Obesity often accompanies diabetes and vascular disease, but the stress of extra weight alone can also compress arteries, leading to reduced blood flow and increasing your risk of infection and poor wound healing.

Medications or drugs that are injected. In rare instances, certain medications and illegal drugs that are injected have been shown to cause infection with bacteria that cause gangrene.

Complications Gangrene can lead to scarring or the need for reconstructive surgery. Sometimes, the amount of tissue death is so extensive that a body part, such as your foot, may need to be removed amputated. Gangrene that is infected with bacteria can spread quickly to other organs and may be fatal if left untreated. Prevention Here are a few suggestions to help you reduce your risk of developing gangrene: Care for your diabetes. If you have diabetes, make sure you examine your hands and feet daily for cuts, sores and signs of infection, such as redness, swelling or drainage.

Ask your doctor to examine your hands and feet at least once a year, and try to maintain control over your blood sugar levels. Lose weight. Excess pounds not only put you at risk of diabetes but also place pressure on your arteries, constricting blood flow and putting you at risk of infection and slow wound healing. The chronic use of tobacco products can damage your blood vessels. Help prevent infections. Wash any open wounds with a mild soap and water and try to keep them clean and dry until they heal.

Watch out when the temperature drops. Frostbitten skin can lead to gangrene because frostbite reduces blood circulation in an affected area. If you notice that any area of your skin has become pale, hard, cold and numb after prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, call your doctor.


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