Hot Foot Out Of Johannesburg?

A long weekend – the wonderful South African tradition of ducking off work to celebrate something – this time it’s very important -RECONCILIATION- we will all go shopping on Monday!

At last the weather is behaving like summer, although today felt more like a humid Durban day. Lovely day today, half a day’s consulting then off for a long lunch at Johannesburg Country Club, with my receptionist Pearl and our former doctor neighbour and his receptionist, plus friends. (He’s the member, not me). A moment of travel into gracious living as we dined under the oaks! (How awfully English). We are also enjoyingOf course today also marks the beginning of that great South African tradition – "the Builders’  Holidays" – also known as SA shuts down for a month! Rather like Paris in August.Johannesburg is empty, most restaurants close and you can’t get anybody to do anything but chill.Those of us who remain here have the roads to ourselves and gloat when we go away in February when everybody else is back at work.

Of course this holiday time means not only ‘hot foot out of Johannesburg’, but also hot feet in general as people get into the mountains, by the sea, into the desert or whatever. Hot sweaty feet are quite normal, but they need a good wash at the end of the day. If you are hiking you probably know how to protect your feet, but keep your socks clean and dry as often as possible. During overnight stops or long rest periods give you feet lots of air & sunshine and dry between the toes. Watch out for hot beach feet with sand getting inside your trainers or sandals, again always wash off’ "the sand of the day" and dry carefully.

One danger of hot beach feet is the banana palm thorn, sea anenome spike and assorted puncture wounds from hidden glass and metal. Remove the foreign body flush with clean water and get medical help quickly, this will reduce the risk of tetanus and infection. At the same time, hot wet feet need particular care because they look like shrivelled spaghetti if you don’t wash, dry and air them. Always avoid wearing nylon and occlusive materials for long periods to avoid this. Finally, that cool hotel may give you a fungal infection so watch your feet for a few weeks after returning home. ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY AND BRING YOUR FOOT PROBLEMS BACK TO A PODIATRIST IN 2008!

To continue the saga of the back – it is very much better and I am sticking to the exercises and have taken fewer anti-inflammatories today. I must give credit to my outstanding physio – Judy. I’m beginning to realise that the physiotherapy profession is also often misunderstood & underutilised, but what they have achieved is a large volume of post-graduate research which gfives credibility to their treatments.

How about this for an "only in South Africa" story. A patient of mine was at a recent big horse racing event in Johannesburg and since she has difficulty walking long distances used her wheelchair to get down to the parade ring to see her horse. Having got out of the wheelchair to meet & greet etc., she turned round to get back into it to return to her seat. Yes, you guessed it! The wheelchair had been stolen. She tells me that the replacement wheelchair is painted in her racing colours, which include a nice bright yellow.

Have a great weekend


Andrew has taught at the University as well as providing podiatry services in South Africa since 1977. Twice chair of the Podiatry Association of South Africa and a commentator on care of your feet on both radio and television he now works in private practice in Cape Town and Hout Bay.

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