Charlotte Covello, DPM

Pamela Eernisse, DPM

Anna Garbula, DPM

Stacey Oaks, DPM


Chicago Office
30 N Michigan Ave

Suite 720
Chicago, IL 60602
312-701-0705 fax

Justice Office
9050 W. 81st Street
Suite 500
Justice, IL 60458
708-594-3524 fax


708-748-4332 FAX



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May 01, 2014
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Wart Removal Via Duct Tape Occlusion


Duct Tape? Really?


Yes….it’s yet another use for that indispensible adhesive used for everything from taping your college roommate to the ceiling and making craft wallets to, well,  sealing HVAC ducts.

In recent years, this treatment has graduated from a home remedy to a recognized and accepted treatment backed by scientific studies. 


What are warts?

Warts (“verruca”) are a very common skin affliction caused by a virus. They can appear anywhere on the skin. Warts that occur on the bottom of the foot are called “plantar warts” and can become quite painful.  Children and adolescents tend to be more susceptible to infection. 


How are warts caused?

The virus responsible for common warts thrives in warm damp environments such as indoor pool decks and communal showers.  The virus can enter the body through tiny scratches in the skin, particularly with exposure by barefoot waking on a contaminated surface.

Warts are generally a self-limiting condition, meaning that if left untreated they will eventually go away on their own; however this process can take several years.  If left untreated, warts can spread and form clusters that may affect large parts of the foot causing pain and limitation.

Treatment of Warts

Medical science has yet to discover an effective cure for viral infections, so there is no 100% effective treatment for warts. There are many treatments available with varying degrees of effectiveness, expense, and pain.  Plantar warts tend to be more resistant to treatment than other common warts.  Tissue destructive treatments can be problematic due to the weight bearing forces applied to feet.

How duct tape occlusion works to clear warts

Frankly, nobody really understands why or how it works. There are a few theories:

1.      Occlusion (covering/blocking completely) with duct tape starves the wart of oxygen, thereby killing the virus.

2.      Occlusion with duct tape increases the local temperature of the affected tissue enough to kill the wart virus.

3.      Occlusion with duct tape is an irritant to the skin, which activates the body’s natural immune response that is adequate to kill the virus.   

4.      When the tape is removed, the adhesive pulls some skin off with it; the medical term for removal of nonviable tissue is debridement.  With repeated debridement the wart is gradually eliminated.

How to use duct tape effectively

The tape must stay in place for at least 24 and preferably 48 hours.  We have found the best results using a combination of salicylic acid paste and duct tape occlusion.  Warts may clear in as little as two weeks, however the studies performed suggest that the average treatment time is 4-6 weeks.

There are some problems we’ve encountered based upon patient feedback.  One issue is getting the tape to stay in place for the prescribed time period.  In order to do this, preparation of the area with a liquid skin adhesive and application of a second piece of medical tape have provided excellent results in keeping the tape securely in place, even with vigorous exercise, swimming and bathing.

We have made these items conveniently available in an easy to use kit, which can be purchased, from our online store .


Your Feet: Sometimes They  SHOULD Hurt.


“Heel No Pain”  is a new product getting a great deal of media attention following its recent introduction.  The product promises to eliminate foot pain with an easy to use, albeit costly ($25.00 for a 2 ounce bottle), foot spray.

There are two preparations, one is for use with high heels and the other for use in sport.  The sport product bears the tagline “loose the pain, win the game”.  The active ingredient is lidocaine, a commonly used local anesthetic used to numb tissue before surgical procedures.  The mechanism of action for the product is to cause numbness in the feet and hence block the sensation of pain.

There are two main queries that spring to mind upon review of this product.  The first question being, it this a good idea?  And next, does it work?

The answer to the first question is straightforward and easy:

Is it a good idea?

NO. It is an extremely bad idea. Foot pain which occurs due to the abnormal biomechanics and forefoot loading, which can result from six inch stilettos or athletic overuse, is a physiological signal that something bad is happening to your body. Pain tells us that we need to stop doing what is causing it.

It is fairly common knowledge that people with diabetes are prone to foot problems including wounds, infections and fractures.  One reason that they are at an increased risk for these problems is that they have diminished sensation. They do not feel a painful stimulus, which would tell a healthy person that a problem is developing.  Mimicking the detrimental effects of a serious medical condition for the sake of fashion or recreational sport is an unacceptable risk, when it could be leading to a condition requiring medical attention;  the fashion conscious should consider the prospect of a few months of immobilization in a cast boot.


Does it work?

Doubtful. In our years of practice, we have tried many prescription strength lidocaine creams, gels, and patches attempting to relieve pain prior to injections or suture removal.  The effectiveness of topically applied lidocaine is minimal when applied to the feet, particularly the thicker skin on the bottom of the feet.  The product may give a little relief for friction injuries; these usually form in response to poorly fitting shoes.

Most foot pain associated with high heel use occurs within the ball of the foot, where the toe joints are. This product will certainly not penetrate deeply enough to provide relief of joint pain.

Foot pain associated with athletic endeavors  are generally caused by overuse.  This  product may provide some relief from minor pain from tendonitis, hence allowing you to continue an activity that your body is trying to tell you to stop.

In short, thumbs down for “Heel No Pain”.

September 09, 2013
Category: Uncategorized
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Ankle sprains are very common among football, soccer, hockey, basketball, and volleyball players. They are almost inevitable in sports that involve jumping, running and turning quickly; these movements can lead to twisting the ankle and even possibly tearing a tendon or ligament. This pre-season alone, numerous NFL players, including Atlanta Falcons star Wide Receiver Roddy White, have fallen victim to ankle sprains.

Strengthening your ankles by doing exercises such as ankle lifts on stairs, as well as, taping the ankle or wearing a lace-up brace will go a long way in preventing ankle injuries. Wearing supportive shoes are key to preventing ankle injuries while off the field, ice or court. Although helpful, these measures in no way guarantee that you won't be injured if you fall hard or make a false movement.

You can treat an ankle sprains with RICE (Rest Ice Compression and Elevation) and anti-inflammatory drugs, but don't rest it excessively for more than a day. To help your ankle heal faster, you should try to move your ankle gently to get the circulation going and reduce swelling.

You know you need to see a doctor if you feel or hear a pop in the ankle when you hurt it. Additionally, if you experience significant swelling, bruising, or the inability to put weight on your ankle after an injury, that’s also a clear sign to go see a doctor. Even if you didn’t have a traumatic injury -let’s say you slightly tweaked it- if you are still having pain in that hurt ankle after six weeks, its time to have a medical professional take a look at it.  

Remember, taking the precautionary steps like ankle exercises, taping, and wearing supportive shoes, puts you one step closer to preventing ankle injuries!


Falcons_Roddy_White_1. 2011. Photograph. By Vincent Maduri. 16 Dec. 2011. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
Rogers, Sabrina. "Top 10 Sports Injuries." Fox News. FOX News Network, 19 June 2009. Web. 27 Aug. 2013

Dr. Pamela Eernisse, DPM, ABPS board cerified foot surgeon

Dr Charlotte Covello, DPM, ABPS board cerified foot surgeon

Michigan Avenue Podiatry

30 N Michigan Suite 720

Chicago, IL 60602


If you live in Chicago and are a Bulls fan, most likely you have heard of Joakim Noah's severe foot problems.  Chronic plantar fasciitis/ heel spur syndrome have left him unable to comfortably play basketball for more than 20 minutes at a time and sometimes he has even been unable to play at all, leaving the Bulls without one of their star players.

Plantar fasciitis/ heel spur syndrome is a very common problem, not just in professional athletes.  Plantar fasciitis is characterized by heel and/ or arch pain that is usually worse when standing first thing in the a.m. or after rest.  It can develop because of poor foot structure, non-supportive shoes or overuse.  The first line of defense to try at home is to wear rigid supportive type shoes that are slighlty higher in the back then the front.  Going barefoot and wearing flip flops are not an option.

Here at Michigan Avenue Podiatry in the Chicago loop, we have the most up to date treatments available to resove this sometimes debilitating condition.  The first step is to confirm the diagnosis with physical exam and in office xray.  Treatments we offer include insoles, taping/ padding, extracorporeal shockwave, PRP and steroid injections.  In the rare event that this painful condition is not resolved with these conservative treatments, we perform surgical correction if needed. 

Please contact Michigan Avenue Podiatry for appointment if you are having similar symptoms that do not resolve with the use of more supportive shoes.

Dr. Pamela Eernisse, DPM, ABPS board cerified foot surgeon

Dr Charlotte Covello, DPM, ABPS board cerified foot surgeon

Michigan Avenue Podiatry

30 N Michigan Suite 720

Chicago, IL 60602



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