Fish pedicures: A brief overview

A form of cosmetic procedure known as a “fish pedicure” involves soaking feet in water while a particular kind of toothless fish consumes dead skin.

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What are pedicures for fish?

A sort of foot therapy called a “fish pedicure” tries to give patients smooth skin. They are often referred to as ichthyotherapy or fish spa treatments.

A person gets a pedicure while soaking their feet in a basin of water that contains small Garra rufa, or “doctor fish.” The person’s feet will have dead skin eaten by the fish.

It is feasible to bathe in naturally occurring G. rufa-containing waters in some places. The Middle East is the native home of this freshwater fish. Some people in Turkey reside in hot springs that are now well-known as health resorts.

What goes into a fish pedicure?

The first step in a fish pedicure is to rinse one’s feet with warm water. After that, they put their feet into a water tank containing G. rufa fish. They submerge their feet in the aquarium of fish, letting the fish eat the dead skin off their toes, heels, and soles.

The individual then takes their feet out of the tank, and a spa worker uses a towel to dry them. The technician may also do additional pedicure procedures, such filing or cutting the toenails, and remove any leftover dead skin.

Possibile advantages of fish pedicures

Fish pedicures, like regular pedicures, exfoliate the feet and help reduce calluses. This can make the skin feel softer and enhance the foot’s look. According to some, G. rufa can also aid in the treatment of skin diseases like psoriasis.

Psoriasis symptoms considerably improved when participants in a tiny, earlier study examined the health benefits of soaking in Turkey’s Kangal Fish Spring twice a day for 21 days. In comparison to topical steroids, the therapy resulted in longer periods of remission.

But since this was such a tiny trial, the reason why swimming in these springs was beneficial remains unknown to the investigators. While the G. rufa fish could be to blame, other elements like sun exposure or mineral exposure from the spring water could also be important.

Safety Issues

1. Personal cleanliness

Usually, the water in the fish tank is not changed on a regular basis. Sharing a tank with several people would only make matters worse, forcing you to make compromises in terms of sanitation and hygiene. This means that infections might spread quickly, especially if you have bruising or an open wound.

2. Fish Exchange

Doctor fish are similar to the toothed and biting Chinchin fish species. Therefore, you run the risk of getting bitten if the staff at your spa makes the incorrect species choice for your basin. This might lead to diseases.

3. Potential For The Spread Of Illness

The spread of illnesses like hepatitis C poses the greatest risk. Through the Garra rufa fish, pathogenic germs can convey the illness from one person to another. Consumers who have open wounds and sores, long-term health issues like diabetes, or immunological illnesses like HIV and AIDS are more vulnerable to infection from fish pedicures.

Onychomadesis, which results in the discoloration and loss of toenails, can also be brought on by a fish pedicure. The fish’s pressure on the nails is probably what caused this damage (4). According to a different research, onychomadesis makes up 8% of nail infections globally and is a prevalent illness in the United States. Recurrence rates for onychomadesis are very significant, ranging from 5% to 50%, even with therapy. Excruciating pain or disfigured nails might also result from waiting for treatment.

Commonly Asked Questions

Are fish pedicures really effective?

Yes, fish pedicures eliminate dead skin, lessen itching, and prevent calluses from forming. But the fish tanks aren’t changed out very often, which raises the possibility of infection (5). So before you decide to do something, give it some serious thought and use prudence.

From whence did the fish pedicure come?

According to legend, fish pedicures first appeared in Turkey and are now quite common in many Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern nations.

Are pedicures for fish cruel?

Indeed, the Garra rufa fish undergo starvation in order for them to consume the dead skin during the manicure. They also carry a number of health hazards. For this reason, some US states as well as some regions of Canada have outlawed fish pedicures.