How to Care for the Dead Black Skin on a Wound

Written by joanne cichetti
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When a wound is serious in nature, the skin in and around the wound may start dying. This condition is known as necrosis. For removing this dead skin, doctors follow a procedure known as debridement, which is done through surgery and other non-surgical methods. The appropriate method for debridement depends on the severity, size and the shape of the wound.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Examine your wound.

  2. 2

    Look for signs of wound turning black or gangrenous.

  3. 3

    Contact your doctor immediately if you find the skin around wound appears dead and black. According to Amputee Coalition of America, your skin turning black is a sign of infection, which requires “emergency” attention of a doctor. The doctor will prevent the infection from spreading to other body parts.

    According to Dr. Nadine B. Semer, when you find a wound covered with dead, black tissue, simple wound dressing may be inadequate and you might require surgical removal, known as sharp debridement.

Tips and warnings

  • Any wound after surgery or amputation can be at the risk of infection since the skin opening allows dirt and germs to enter the blood. The infections can cause pain, redness, fever, tenderness, swelling or discharge. If you don’t consult the doctor immediately, the infection can create complications, and in worst cases, death.
  • When the skin around an infection starts dying and turning black, there isn’t much you can do yourself so you must contact the doctor immediately.

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