What is a Fish Pedicure?

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Courtesy : http://cubeme.com/blog/2008/07/31/fish-pedicures/
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There’s a new trend in the world of beauty which is nothing but “Fish Pedicure” where your feet enjoy the tickling sensation made by the fish that clean your feet. Fishes chew away the dead skin in person’s feet thereby cleaning it called as “fish pedicure”. Garra rufa or doctor fish are used in this treatment. Doctor fish is the name given to two species of fish: garra rufa also called as reddish log sucker and Cyprinion macrostomus, other nicknames include nibble fish, Kangal fish and doctor fish. This fish is available in the pools of hot spring near Kangal a small town in Turkey. These fish were first used in Turkey and have become popular in several Asian countries. These particular fish are used as they can survive the warm waters of the foot bath.

From medical point of view, people who are having eczema and psoriasis can get amazing results as the fish gently exfoliate the skin and their saliva is believed to have unique healing protein. Fish pedicure is harmless and safe. The experience is a tickling, fizzing sensation than painful, since the fish are small and toothless. This lack of teeth makes the fish pedicure process feasible. This treatment has been popular in Turkey and has lately spread to other countries in the world. This treatment is very common in Japan and it has many fish pedicure salons in every town.

How is the fish pedicure done?

Fish pedicure is a type of treatment where you put your feet in a modified aquarium pool and allow approximately 100 tiny black fish known as garra rufa or doctor fish that nibble away the dead and flaking skin leaving the healthy skin to grow. After 15-30 minutes of fish pedicure, the feet is then removed from water and rinsed, massaged, scrubbed and moisturized thoroughly and that results in baby soft tootsies.


Is a fish pedicure Sanitary?

The water used is perfectly clear and it is filtered five times an hour. After each pedicure the spa is drained, cleaned and sterilized.  Sometimes even the fish are changed.


What are the health benefits from this fish pedicure?

These amazing fish help in battling skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, muscle trauma and joint diseases, rheumatic and neurologic disorders. They remove dead skin, bacteria and calluses. It helps people with arthritis as this pedicure involves heat treatment. With this treatment the feet are well hydrated and help your feet look fresh, clean and supple. The Garra rufa fish secrete an enzyme which is beneficial to the human skin.

What are the health hazards involved in this treatment?

  • Fish used for pedicures can’t be disinfected or sterilized without causing harm to the fish. Using the same fish for multiple persons can lead to the spread of infection.
  • Salons using look-a-like fish replacing the costly garra rufa with cheaper fish called as chin chin and these fish have teeth posing danger to customers as they can bite the skin and spread infection.
  • Fish are kept in non-chlorinated water that can be a source of bacteria and fungus that can lead to foot infections.
  • So the only way to be safe is customers purchase their own garra rufa fish and feed them well with regular diet of dead skin. But not all the spas use look-a-like fish. And a fish spa is definitely an unusual and relaxing feel, where your skin will look and feel better after the exfoliating efforts of doctor fish.