BACKGROUND: Erysipelas of the thigh and the gluteal region are rarely described and not well characterized. Therefore we aim to describe the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and risk factors of these erysipelas types.
METHODS: The files of 1,423 patients with erysipelas were analyzed. Data from patients with erysipelas of the thigh or the gluteal region were compared between the two groups and with a control group with erysipelas of the lower leg.
RESULTS: The thigh was exclusively affected in 2.1%, and the gluteal region in 0.6% of erysipelas patients. Gluteal erysipelas had conspicuous irregular borders and sometimes appeared bilaterally. Major risk factors for erysipelas of both sites were previous surgical interventions. Gluteal erysipelas was common in patients with the metabolic syndrome and required a more intense antibiotic therapy.
CONCLUSION: Erysipelas of the thigh and the gluteal region are rare and significantly associated with prior surgical disruption of lymphatic vessels.