Do Fish Spas Work?

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The new spa trend sweeping the nation is a surprising one, but many people swear by its transformative powers. The fish pedicure, initially perceived by many as a silly novelty treatment, has become increasingly popular, promising to give you a smoother, prettier pair of feet after just a short treatment. But does it really work, and should you get one?

What is a fish pedicure?

The little creatures ready to nibble on your toes are called Garra Rufa fish, and they belong to the carp family. Their gums are what you feel eating away at your soles, with the hope of removing dead, rough skin, leaving behind the healthy skin that you’d rather expose. This treatment has been around for a long time in Asia and many have sung its praises, claiming it exfoliates and heals the skin while treating certain conditions like eczema. Many in the USA now agree; it seems these critters really do distinguish between dead and healthy skin and clean up your tired feet, all without touching your toenail polish.

 What does it feel like?

The sensation of the fish pedicure may not be something you’re used to, but it’s not a nasty one. The primary feeling is one of tickling, with some uncomfortable moments when the fish bite down harder, but is pleasant overall, once you get past the initial weirdness of the situation.

Is it safe?

The tank is filtered throughout the day, and your feet should be checked before beginning in case of any sores or injuries on your feet that may make it unsafe for you personally. The attendant will also wash your feet to make sure they’re clean and free from lotions.

As far as safety concerns with this practice, the jury is still out. Some states have ruled that infections could be spread through the fish, and have banned this treatment outright. If you’re anxious about germs or suffer from ongoing foot or skin conditions, you may want to stick with your normal pedicure routine. For those who are looking for something a little more adventurous, however, the fish pedicure can be a fun and tickly new way to exfoliate.

Sarah Pinkerton

3 Comments to Do Fish Spas Work?

  1. Did you see that episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians where Kim freaks out during a fish pedicure? Or are you still too highbrow for that show, sis? Hahaha.

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