It just seems that sometimes there’s no escaping your genes, and by default, your parents.  The psychologists can blame it on nature vs nurture, however, I’m not sure who is nurturing the fungal and viral infections of my NYC patients, and I’m not entirely sure it’s natural.  I do believe strongly, at this point- and I think there’s research somewhere that supports this- that it’s not always your fault if you have fungal nails, warts, or even bunions and other such slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that NYC flesh is heir to.

In my many, many years of treating NYC feet, and even more feet than I could possibly count, I’ve seen my share of warts, athlete’s foot, nail fungus and various bony and soft tissue deformities.  And the question often arises- just what exactly happened to the Rangers the other night??  That question I can’t answer.  The other question, however, is puzzlement at the development of fungal nail infections and warts, or even bunions on otherwise clean healthy well adjusted feet and bodies.

The usual suspects are implicated- nail salons, flip flops, high heels, spouses, roommates, and even parents.  Of all these suspects, it is the last that may be the most culpable.  You see, my dear NYC patients, we must consider both exposure and susceptibility, which in essence is our nurture and nature.  In the case of fungal nail infections, the nail salon may indeed be the venue where the infection first hitched a ride onto the privileged feet of one unsuspecting New Yorker, however, a certain susceptibility is necessary for the infection to propagate, and that requires a genetically acquired inability to fend off certain types of infections.  The same can be said for the wart acquired at the gym.  Or the bunion for which a tight shoe is blamed.  Tight shoes can make the bunion feel worse, but a genetic predisposition is almost always a prerequisite for the development of a bunion, and upwards of 90% of patients with bunions in one study could identify a family member with the same deformity.  It’s all in our blueprint, our DNA.

So kids, once again, it’s OK to blame your parents.  The warts, bunions, fungal infections, even dry skin and heel pain may be due to bad genes.  But before you go pick up that phone to call Mom and Dad, remember Karma has a sense of humor- and you may just get a call from one of your kids someday.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

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Ernest L Isaacson DPM PC
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