Objective: To assess the role of foot dermatomycosis (tinea pedis and onychomycosis) and other candidate risk factors in the development of acute bacterial cellulitis of the leg. Methods: A case-control study, including 243 patients (cases) with acute bacterial cellulitis of the leg and 467 controls, 2 per case, individually matched for gender, age (±5 years), hospital and admission date (±2 months). Results: Overall, mycology-proven foot dermatomycosis was a significant risk factor for acute bacterial cellulitis (odds ratio, OR: 2.4; p < 0.001), as were tinea pedis interdigitalis (OR: 3.2; p < 0.001), tinea pedis plantaris (OR: 1.7; p = 0.005) and onychomycosis (OR: 2.2; p < 0.001) individually. Other risk factors included: disruption of the cutaneous barrier, history of bacterial cellulitis, chronic venous insufficiency and leg oedema. Conclusions: Tinea pedis and onychomycosis were found to be significant risk factors for acute bacterial cellulitis of the leg that are readily amenable to treatment with effective pharmacological therapy.

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