Now that it’s 70- degrees, and raining steadily, it’s hard to believe that our city was experiencing triple digit temperatures, sweltering heat and humidity, and drought-like conditions less than two weeks ago.
Feet don’t forget, though.
An eight-time marathoner, and longtime resident of the neighborhood, Dr. Elizabeth Kurtz, DPM, of the West Town-based Complete Ankle & Foot clinic, reported to The Pipeline that it’s been a very busy summer, thanks in part to the heat wave, which brought in more cases of Athlete’s Foot (also known as ringworm of the foot and Tinea pedis) and Plantar fasciitis than previous summers.
According to Kurtz, flip flops don’t offer much heal support. Since summer started earlier than usual, people were putting on their flip flops earlier, too. In addition to poor support, Plantar fasciitis affects patients carrying extra weight, runners who traverse uneven surfaces, and those with flat feet.
As for Athlete’s Foot, it turns out you don’t have to be much of an athlete to get it. You just have to hang around a public pool four days a week for about six weeks trying to improve your lower back pain through painfully slow lap swimming.
Even wearing flip flops in the shower and locker room at a public pool doesn’t mean immunity from Athlete’s Foot.
“Water sloshes up onto the flip flops, and you’re exposed,” Dr. Kurtz said, advising those affected to toss their flip- flops, or if they’d perhaps spent upwards of $40 on ‘Fit Flops,’ to wipe them down with Lysol and put the shoes in the freezer for a day or two. Treatment on infected areas can include applying a prescription-only cream twice daily and taking a 7-day supply of an oral antifungal.
Moving on, how exactly does a person choose to study podiatry over another field of medicine?
“I have flat feet, and my parents took me to a podiatrist, who was a great doctor. So when I knew I wanted to study medicine and surgery, I thought about that experience,” Kurtz said.
About five years ago, she purchased her practice from a former mentor, Dr. Giamfortune, DPM, who’d treated patients in the same space for over 20 years.
“I look younger than I am. A few people even asked me if I was old enough to treat them!” the now 37-year-old recalled.
A few months ago, Kurtz added marriage, or as she puts it, “a layer of credibility” to her operation, at least in some patient’s eyes. She’d been so busy working that her future husband, an attorney, had had to meet her at her practice on a Saturday, where they went out for lunch in the area. It was a blind date and the clinic’s receptionist, Barbara, joked to The Pipeline that she met her boss’s future husband before Kurtz did.
Dr. Kurtz is pictured with Barbara. Complete Foot & Ankle is located at 1802 W. Chicago (next to Deitch Pharmacy and across from Master Medical Supplies’s original location). To book an appointment, call 773-227-3080.