Necrosis vs Eschar: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Necrosis: Necrosis is the death of cells or tissues caused by injury, infection, or inadequate blood supply. It can occur in different forms and is characterized by the dark, discolored appearance of the affected tissue. Necrotic tissue is non-viable and cannot regenerate or heal itself.
  2. Eschar: An eschar is a dry, black, or brown scab or slough that forms over a necrotic wound. It serves as a protective barrier that covers the underlying necrotic tissue. Eschars help prevent infection and promote healing by providing a barrier against external contaminants.
  3. Relationship: Necrosis and eschar are related as eschars form over areas of necrotic tissue. An eschar acts as a natural dressing for the wound, facilitating healing and protecting the underlying necrotic tissue from further damage. It is integral to the body’s response to necrosis and wound healing.

What is Necrosis?

Necrosis can be summed up as a type of cell or tissue injury. Our tissues or cells die due to various reasons. It can happen due to infections, toxins, trauma, lack of oxygen, and other causes. Necrosis can get hold of several parts of the body, such as skin, bones, and even internal organs like kidneys, liver, lungs, and brain.

It is a pathological process. Necrosis can be classified into a few types: coagulative necrosis, liquefactive necrosis, fat necrosis, caseous necrosis, and gangrenous necrosis. The cure for necrosis depends on the cause and severity of the condition.

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If the case is not severe, then antibiotics, wound care, and medications can treat the condition, but if it is in a crucial state, then surgery is required to remove the affected cells. It will halt the spread of infection.

What is Eschar?

Eschar can be mentioned as a type of necrosis. Here the death of tissues or cells can occur for various reasons. Here the damaged tissue is a case of coagulative necrosis. The tissue loses its blood supply and turns into a dark and dry layer.

It is hard and black. It forms a crust-type surface. It is a natural response of the body to prevent infection. Eschar can be painful and itchy, but they only stay on the skin’s surface and do not cause any severe condition. It is an external condition only.

When the tissue beneath the eschar is healed, the eschar on the skin falls off automatically. In severe cases, surgery is required to remove it. Even though these are not serious, they may indicate some underlying disease. Therefore with any noticed sign, one must contact a health professional.

Difference Between Necrosis and Eschar

  1. Necrosis is the death of cells or tissues. It can happen due to infection, injury, or toxins present on the skin. On the other hand, eschar is a dry, scab-like build-up on the skin.
  2. Necrosis can occur in various body parts and can even be seen in the internal organs. However, eschar appears only on the skin and can not occur on internal organs.
  3. In necrosis, the affected area gets swollen. It loses its color, and a rotten smell persists. At the same time, in eschar, the affected area becomes hard and dry and gets black.
  4. Necrosis can become sepsis and lead to other serious health issues. But eschar does not lead to serious health threats. It only gives rise to pain and itching.
  5. While the infection is one of the main reasons for necrosis, burn is the leading cause of eschar.
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Comparison Between Necrosis and Eschar

Parameter of ComparisonNecrosisEschar
DescriptionIt is the death of cells or tissues.Not only the skin, but can also affect internal organs.
Occurrence areaIt occurs in various parts of the body.It occurs on the skin generally.
Reason of occurrenceIt is caused by infection, ischemia, and toxins.Thermal or chemical burns and skin injuries cause it.
TreatmentNecrosis can be treated with antibiotics and surgery.To treat eschar, wound care and surgical removal are useful.
Effect on internal organsTo treat eschar, wound care, and surgical removal are useful.It can not affect the internal organs.
TypesIt has several different types and classifications.It does not have any types of divisions.
References
  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shankar-Subramanian-2/post/In-Scrub-Typhus-why-do-we-get-only-one-eschar-when-multiple-chiggers-are-supposed-to-bite-an-exposed-individuals-at-different-sites/attachment/59d61e6479197b807797ccf1/AS%3A277938244210690%401443277049499/download/eschar.pdf
  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/394757

Last Updated : 30 July, 2023

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