Topic Overview

Fournier’s gangrene is a serious, life-threatening
infection of the male genital area. The infection usually starts in the skin of
the genitals (penis or scrotum), the
urethra, or the rectal area.

There are
several conditions that may lead to this infection. Frequently an injury or
burn to the area occurred before the infection. Genital surgery, a
sexually transmitted infection (STI), or a problem with
the urethra also may precede this infection. Men with certain conditions are at
higher risk for developing Fournier’s gangrene. These conditions include:

Symptoms include:

  • Swelling and redness.
  • Tissue that
    looks deeply bruised but is actually dead (necrotic).
  • Drainage of
    pus with a bad odor.
  • Pain.
  • Fever.
  • Pain with
  • Problems passing urine.
  • Possible

This infection is a medical emergency. It is treated with antibiotics, and surgery is usually needed
to remove dead (necrotic) tissue.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD

Current as ofMarch 14, 2017