Necrotic is an adjective term to describe a wound in which the process of necrosis has taken effect. Necrosis is a term used to describe the process of unnatural cell death. This can be caused by many sources including radiation, venoms, chemicals or injury. Necrosis begins when proper blood flow to an area of tissue is impeded. Cells in the tissue die due to the lack of blood and new cells aren’t produced to take their place. A more common term used to describe necrosis is called Gangrene. When cells die, they send signals to surrounding cells called Phagocytes. Phagocytes are tasked with cleaning up what remains of the dead cell.

With necrosis, however, the body’s immune system doesn’t receive any such signals so the phagocytes never go to work. This becomes a problem as cells contain Lysosomes, which in turn contain digestive enzymes. Normally, lysosomes are kept isolated from the rest of the cell by a membrane which protects it from the enzymes. Once a cell begins necrosis, the membrane breaks down and releases these enzymes which then inflict harm onto other cells. This cascading or waterfall effect causes necrosis to spread rapidly unless treated. Necrosis can be treated using a variety of methods depending on the severity and the type of damaged tissue.

Some tissue can be frozen or surgically removed from the infected area. In extreme cases, a limb or some portion of the limb can be amputated to protect surrounding tissue from necrosis. Other treatments, such as exposure to an oxygen rich environment for extended periods, can also help to stop necrosis from further damaging healthy tissue. Thankfully necrosis doesn’t occur naturally in healthy people. Cancers that can lead to necrosis can be treated and eradicated. Insect and reptile venom that can cause necrosis are relatively isolated and rare. And risks from chemicals, radiation or injury can be contained or prevented. As with most medical problems, early detection and treatment is necessary.

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