Guide to fish pedicures
Dry skin and calluses are a common complaint, especially for women. They are typically caused by the skin being repeatedly exposed to excessive pressure or friction. In part the complaint is purely aesthetic – after all no one’s going to give you a romantic foot rub with cracked heels. Yet dry skin and calluses can also cause pain when walking. There are lots of ways you can give your feet a treat, but one popular way is by having a fish pedicure.
What is a fish pedicure?
A fish pedicure involves immersing your feet in a small tank of warm water. Inside the tank are between 20-150 garra rufa fish, which are toothless carp. They are affectionately nicknamed ‘doctor fish’ or ‘nibble fish’. These clever fish suck and scrape away any dead skin, leaving the healthy cells on your feet untouched. If the scraping and sucking puts you off, do not worry. The garra rufa are small, no bigger than four inches, and have no teeth, so they cannot bite. Originally the fish are native to Turkey, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Yet the treatments are popular throughout Europe, Asia and especially in the USA. If you fancy getting a session you can expect it to last between 10-30 minutes, with prices often charged by the minute. Make sure the tank is fitted with UV light filters because these limit bacteria and reduce the chance of any health implications.
What is the purpose of a fish pedicure?
So, why get one? Originally the fish pedicure was not actually a beauty treatment, but was used in Turkey to treat skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and even acne. Sufferers of these conditions lie in full-body tanks or spa pools and allow the fish to eat away affected skin. Although this is not a cure, people do get some temporary relief. If you are interested in getting some treatment you will need to take a trip to a spa as salons do not usually offer this service. Instead, the majority of salons use the fish pedicure as a beauty treatment, removing any dry skin and calluses from the feet. Some salons also accompany the fish pedicure with more traditional treatments, such as a foot massage, scrub or toe polish. People can even choose to dip their hands into the tank, giving the fish something new to feast on.
What are the benefits of a fish pedicure?
There are lots of benefits. When we put repeated pressure on the foot such as jogging, walking barefoot and wearing high heels we can get calluses or dry skin on our feet. That puts an end to our moonlit walks along the beach then. A fish pedicure can remove these dry areas though, leaving skin feeling soft, supple and with renewed levels of sensitivity. This result is one that is difficult to achieve from pedicures alone, and is a very quick and effective solution to unhealthy soles. Therefore a fish pedicure will get rid of unwanted dead skin, save you time and money. Another benefit is laughter. Although not intentional, many people who have fish pedicures cannot help but giggle. The fish are extremely tickly and the fact that this is quite an odd situation often sends people into fits of hysterics. It can be a good idea to take a friend or two along when you get your first fish pedicure.