(1) A form of gangrene in which the necrosed part is moist and soft. Caused by sudden stoppage of blood, resulting from burning by heat or acid, severe freezing, physical accident that destroys the tissue, a tourniquet that has been left on too long, or a clot or another embolism. At first, tissue affected by moist gangrene has the color of a bad bruise, smells atrociously, is swollen, and often blistered. The gangrene is likely to spread with great speed. Toxins are formed in the affected tissues and absorbed.
(2) Moist gangrene may occur in the toes, feet, or legs after a crushing injury or as a result of some other factor that causes blood flow to the area to suddenly stop. When blood flow ceases, bacteria begin to invade the muscle and thrive, multiplying quickly without interference from the body's immune system.
Other causative organisms for moist gangrene include various bacterial strains, including Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. A serious, but rare form of infection with Group A Streptococcus can impede blood flow and, if untreated, can progress to synergistic gangrene, more commonly called necrotizing fasciitis, or infection of the skin and tissues directly beneath the skin.