Necrosis refers to the localized death of cells or tissues through injury, disease, or the interruption of blood supply. Necrosis is more of a general term for tissue death. The entire process of cell or tissue necrosis is irreversible. Gangrene, on the other hand, refers to the death of cells or tissue caused by the lack of blood supply.
Symptoms of gangrene include a change in skin color, pain, numbness, and swelling. Necrosis and gangrene have much in common in that they refer to the death of tissues, but the major difference is the cause of cell death. As defined above, necrosis is caused by disease and injury, while gangrene is caused by the interrupted blood supply.
Necrosis and Gangrene are cell related problems and tissues related problems respectively. The two conditions are quite similar in that; they talk about the death of cells but they are different because one talks about the premature death of the cell while the second talks about the death of tissues or mass of cells. The main difference between necrosis and gangrene will be explained using what the two medical words stand for.
Necrosis is the premature death of the living healthy cell and this might be due to injuries whether external or internal. The condition can be caused by thermal injuries or extremely high or low temperatures, lack of nutrition to cells and injury to blood vessels. While gangrene is the premature death of living healthy mass of cells or tissues due to poor supply of blood, smokers and diabetes patients are more prone to this health problem. Also, gangrene is usually considered as the end result of necrosis.