Foot gangrene is a skin disease concentrated on the foot brought about by necrosis. Necrosis is a skin complication where the living cells that composes a tissue dies one by one, and is visibly evidenced by a large patch black discoloration on the skin.
Necrosis, in layman’s term, is cell death, and the death of cells is caused by lack of oxygen and blood supply, causing them to explode. This deprivation can be caused by smoking, diabetes, malnutrition, or infection. A massive cell death in one area of the skin causes it to blacken, and a large patch of this discoloration is called gangrene.
Gangrene can emit a foul odor most of the times. In addition to its grotesque appearance, its presence is also an ominous sign of more serious complications such as deadly skin diseases. The presence of gangrene could also mean that the wound is dirty and vulnerable to infection, if it’s not already infected.
To keep the patient safe from further complications, the gangrene must be kept safe and treated at all times. Here are ways to do it:
Apply Wound Dressing
Dressing is important for all kinds of wounds to keep it safe from bacteria, especially the ones present in the air. The most common way of dressing is band aid or medical gauze. For gangrene, a medical gauze is mostly used. But you may also choose to wrap it with a bandage or a clean cloth, but this would be more complicated to maintain as dressings need to be changed regularly.
Antiseptics and sterilizers
Most of the times, dressing the wound alone won’t do much good. Bacteria can still crawl underneath the dressing and reach the wound. In other words, wounds are not safe unless they are cared for with long-lasting remedies. Antiseptics and sterilizers are good for wound cleansing, and they are best applied before the wound is dressed. Here are many kinds of wound cleansers you can use:
- Alcohol – This is a very common all-purpose antiseptic. It is found in almost every household and is used for variety of purposes such as fragrance, sanitizers, and wound cleansers. The best alcohol to be used for wound cleansing would be 60% to 90% ethyl solution. Most hospitals and medical clinics favor it because it’s easier on the skin and has a gentler fragrance compared to isoprophyl.
- Iodine – When it comes to wound treatment, alcohol is often overlooked because of their unpleasant sting. The next choice is iodine. It is most favored by hospitals, doctors, and especially field medics because of its long-lasting effect. In addition to its high quality performance in wound cleansing, its effects last for more than 3 hours after being applied. Using this will make sure your wound stays safe for a longer duration.
- Wound Care Ointments and Products – Iodine, alcohol, and most antiseptics often cause stings when applied to the wound. To avoid unnecessary pain, you may purchase wound care ointments from your local pharmacies. Their effects and performances may vary from antiseptics, but they’re gentler on the skin and achieve the same results in cleaning the wound.
Submerge Your Foot In Hot Water
When you want to be away from wound dressing for awhile, you may submerge your gangrene in hot water. This will make sure that the bacteria haunting the wound will drown in their most hated temperature. Most bacteria cannot survive in temperatures above 37 degrees (centigrade). As a bonus, the heat will be comfortable for your skin, and also loosens the veins to promote blood flow around the gangrene.
When the gangrene doesn’t seem to be getting better, then it’s a problem with how your body is performing. An improper diet can lead to malnutrition, which is an invitation for the necrotic tissues to spread around the surrounding skin. It also brings down your body’s immune system, making you more vulnerable to the symptoms of infection. For gangrene, the best vitamin is A and C, which are good for healing wounds, and E and K for the regulation of blood flow.
Plenty of Rest
The best way to fight any ailments, whether it’s a common cold and a gangrenous wound, is to allow your body to focus on healing. Avoid doing work for awhile such a running, sitting in uncomfortable seats, et cetera. The best thing you can do is lay in bed and sleep.
Visit a doctor
He or she can do a lot of things for you, such as observe your wound, give you advice, and even offer to have it dressed for you. You also need to be diagnosed for diseases that could be causing your gangrene. The doctor can also offer you wound care products and advice on how to handle your wound. Or if you want to be sure, you may suggest a surgery for a quick but expensive and risky solution to the problem.