Be it a weekly regimen or an occasional indulgence, women cannot ignore the importance of pedicure. It not only makes the bottoms of our toes free of dry skin and calluses but also makes them look healthier, fresher, and prettier. You can find a lot of pedicure salons around that can help make your walking comfortable while taking care of the aesthetic beauty of your feet. They opt for a variety of methods to treat as well as pamper the tootsies of their customers, and’ fish pedicure’ is one of the most interesting ones among them. The technique has earned both popularity and criticism in the last few years, and in this post, we will discuss it in detail. Let’s start:
About fish Pedicure
Like a regular pedicure, the fish pedicure also focuses on making a person’s feet softer and smoother. However, the practice involves submerging the feet of the client in warm water kept in a small tank filled with almost 20 to 150 pieces of tiny (less than 4-inches in size) toothless silver-colored carp called ‘Garra Rufa fish’ (Cypriniformes family) or ‘Doctor Fish’ or ‘Nibble Fish.’ This breed of Dr. Fish species is native to Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Malaysia, Syria, Singapore, Jordan, Iraq, Japan, Iran, etc.. It has propagated in the USA, Europe, and Asia successfully. They are either fed randomly or deprived of enough food so that they can snack on dead human skin. Hence, they nibble the dry and rough skin away from the toes of the person, thereby leaving the feet beautifully exfoliated. While sucking and scraping away the dry skin, the fish gives a feeling of light massage as well as a sensation of relaxation. A session of fish pedicure can last from 10 to 30 minutes based on the client’s client’s preference. The charges also vary from one session to another. (1) (2) (3)
History Of Fish Pedicure
According to The Huffington Post, it was in 2006 when a concept similar to fish pedicure emerged in Asia (precisely, in a fish spa resort in Hakone, Japan) to treat several skin diseases, while other research says that it is a 400-year-old practice originated in Turkey. At that time, Garra Rufa fish was used to smooth rough skin and heal conditions like eczema, psoriasis, etc. However, the practice gradually spread across countries, such as China, Spain, Croatia, France, Hungary, etc., and numerous salons and spas started offering the service. In 2008, the first fish spa opened in Alexandria in the U.S. and launched in the U.K. after two years.
Advantages Of Fish Pedicure
When you let a lot of fish eat up your feet, you do a favor to the skin on your toe. This natural pedicure acts as a simple and effective therapy for our feet in the following ways:
- Exfoliates the skin efficiently by removing the dry and dead skin cells.
- Turns the rough, patchy skin soft, supple, smooth, and healthy.
- Eliminates skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, calluses, warts, etc., caused by repeated pressure, friction, or infection.
- Reveals the healthy layer of cells underneath, returning the skin’s glow.
- Promotes the growth of new cells through the secretion of an enzyme containing dithranol (anthralin).
- Reduces itching, blemishes, dark spots, and scar marks on feet.
- It creates a tickling sensation, which boosts the secretion of a chemical called ‘endorphins’ in our brain and relaxes tired feet.
- It gives a ‘light massage’ feeling, which helps circulate body fluids better.
Disadvantages Of Fish Pedicure
You might want to ask us, ‘Is fish pedicure safe’? The practice has been banned in certain Canadian Provinces and U.S. states, while the U.K. Health Protection Agency has been looking into its safety standards. So, let’s consider a few concerns which people around the world have already raised:
- As the same bunch of fish is used for multiple clients, there are high chances of diseases being passed on from one to another.
- The risk of developing antibiotic-resistant infections increases significantly (especially in people with cuts/abrasions on feet) due to microorganisms in water.
- The mouths of the living fish are not cleaned or sterilized after each session. The fish tanks are also not often cleaned, and the water is not altered frequently enough.
Though no infection or any other kind of illness caused by fish pedicures has yet to be reported, choosing a fish spa/salon that follows all health and safety regulations religiously is always recommended.
Fish pedicure, popular for softer, smoother feet, involves immersing feet in a tank with toothless carp called ‘Garra Rufa’ fish, which nibble away dry skin. Originating in Asia around 2006, it spread globally. Benefits include skin exfoliation, softening, healing of skin conditions, and relaxation. However, concerns include disease transmission, antibiotic resistance, and hygiene. Health agencies are investigating safety standards, and caution is advised when choosing a fish spa.