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The major cause of gangrene is poor or total loss of blood supply to a particular area. If blood ceases to flow to the affected area, it is deprived of nutrients and oxygen thus causing tissue death.

Dry forms of gangrene may result from:

  • Vascular problems cause poor blood supply to the extremities. In most cases this is caused by poor health of the veins and arteries in the toes and the legs. Vascular problems do not develop all at once, but occur gradually and are attributed to conditions such as high blood pressure, peripheral arterial disease, and diabetes.
  • Severe burns, cold and scalding may be caused by extreme cold, heat, and chemical agents.
  • Raynaud's disease impairs blood circulation to toes and fingers and occurs mostly in cold weather.
  • Diabetes extreme blood sugar levels cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels, resulting in educed oxygen supply to the extremities.

Wet forms of gangrene result from:

  • Deep, penetrating injuries
  • Immune deficiency
  • Embolism

Gas gangrene is the most severe form of gangrene, and can cause severe complications when not treated. It is often the result of severe untreated infection.

  • Use of intravenous drugs
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity
  • Impairment of immunity due to chemotherapy, HIV infection, and radiation therapy.

In rare cases, gangrene may be associated with the use of warfarin, an anticoagulant.

The major symptoms of gangrene (wet or dry) include:

  • Discoloration of the affected body part.
  • Skin assumes a shiny appearance.
  • Shedding of skin with a clear line separating affected skin from healthy skin.
  • Pain in affected part followed by loss of sensation.
  • The affected part will feel cold when touched with an attendant loss of pulse in the arteries.

Mode of treatment depends on the location, type, and severity of the condition. If you think you have symptoms of gangrene, seek immediate clinical care from a podiatrist near Wyandotte and Southfield. Doing so will minimize the risk of complications or death.

Effective treatment for gangrene can be done by a podiatrist and involves the following


  • Use of intravenous antibiotics
  • Surgery to remove dead tissue.

The podiatrist near Wyandotte and Southfield may call for reconstructive surgery including skin grafting.

Find out more about Gangrene and detailed treatment options available. Contact Family Foot and Ankle Specialists in Southfield and Wyandotte, MI.

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