Gangrene occurs when there is a loss of blood to a body part, and tissue dies. This condition can happen in any part of the body, but the most common are the toes, feet, fingers, and hands. Conditions such as diabetes that cause poor blood circulation can put you at a higher risk of gangrene.
Below, learn more about risk factors, signs of gangrene, and how our diabetic podiatrist can help you treat the problem.
Risk Factors and Signs of Gangrene
Gangrene can occur after an injury or infection if there is a lack of blood flow to a certain area of the body. A bacterial infection that goes untreated or an open injury that allows bacteria to enter the body can infect tissue and cause gangrene.
Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of gangrene because diabetes can reduce blood circulation. Without proper circulation of blood, your cells cannot get the oxygen and nutrients needed to heal and fight off infection. When this occurs, your risk for gangrene increases.
Foot wounds and ulcers are especially dangerous for those with diabetes because patients may have a loss of sensation to their extremities. According to our diabetic podiatrist, when an injury occurs, they may not feel pain and realize they have a wound or sore until it becomes infected. When an infection goes untreated, it can lead to gangrene.
It is important to recognize the common signs of gangrene and get treated early to prevent serious complications such as amputation, septic shock, or even death. Some common signs of gangrene are:
- Redness that can turn black or brown
- Pain that is followed by numbness
- Sores that have a foul-odor and discharge
- Cold skin temperature
- Skin appearance that is shiny or thin
Types of Treatment for Diabetic Patients
Gangrene can spread quickly to surrounding tissues and organs. If it starts to spread, you may need a diabetic podiatrist to perform an amputation to prevent death. If caught early, the following treatments may be effective:
If you are diabetic, you can reduce your risk of developing gangrene by doing the following:
- Examining your feet daily to check for sores, cuts, or signs of infection
- Seeing a diabetic podiatrist annually
- Keeping your blood sugar levels under control
Contact Our Diabetic Podiatrist Today
If you have signs of gangrene or are diabetic and have a foot wound, contact the team at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists for immediate treatment. To schedule an appointment in our Grapevine or Keller office with our diabetic podiatrist, fill out our convenient contact form, or call us today.