Gangrene, or dead body tissue, occurs when blood flow and oxygen are cut off or severely restricted. Gangrene can result from bacterial infections deep frostbite, or open sores that do not heal properly. Those with weakened circulatory systems and nerve damage, such as diabetics, are more prone to foot gangrene.
Gangrene is characterized by acute, sudden pain or numbness in a lower extremity, which may be accompanied by skin that feels cold and looks darker than usual. Wet gangrene shows signs of tissue decay; redness, oozing, swelling, and foul odor at the site may be present.
It is important that gangrene areas are removed surgically to prevent infection that can move quickly throughout the body and cause death. If gangrene is suspected, seek immediate medical help.