Getting a pedicure can be a relaxing treatment that leaves your feet refreshed, clean, silky and smooth. There are many types of pedicures to choose from like French pedicures, gel pedicures, hot stone pedicures, spa pedicures, and even fish pedicures.
A fish pedicure involves tiny toothless fish called Garra Rufa which consume the dead skin and calluses on your feet.
The procedure shouldn’t be painful because the Garra Rufa, also known as the doctor fish, don’t have any teeth. Supposedly, there is a tickling sensation, but it does differ from person to person. This type of pedicure is very popular in Europe and locals consider a great therapeutic way to exfoliate.
If you’re curious, I’ll tell you about my experience with fish pedicures.
I saw my first fish pedicure in Greece when I walked into a nail salon to ask more about this type of pedicure. I asked the receptionist about cleanliness because I knew it must be difficult to clean the tanks between customers since harsh chemicals could possibly harm or kill the fish. She reassured me that they check to make sure the client doesn’t have any cuts or abrasions before starting the pedicure but did not mention how they cleaned the tanks between customers. That left me questioning: what if someone hid their cut? Or what if the fish bit too deep and had drawn blood? Then that could potentially transmit blood-borne diseases or bacterial infections to the next customer.
After that conversation, I was hesitant to make an appointment. So I decided to tell them I’d come back the next day after doing some research. At this point, I was still on the fence on whether or not I would want to try it. On one hand, I was skeptical, but on the other, it seemed like a unique experience.
After doing some research, I found out that the reason these fish eat the dead skin off your feet is because they are starving. It’s to the point where they are searching for any sort of nutrients they can get as a survival tactic.
Not to mention, animal rights groups such as PETA have had concerns with these fish being used for spa purposes. The fish are starved to encourage them to eat the dead skin. Moreover, the fish are over-harvested in their natural habitat. That was when I realized that fish pedicures were not for me, and I never ended up going back to the nail salon. So, if you care about animal rights, avoid fish pedicures.
However, if you are still keen on trying a fish pedicure, there are places in the States that offer this treatment. Just remember to make sure to check that the establishment follows basic hygiene standards. Also, remember to rinse any lotion or sunscreen off your feet since that could harm the fish. You should also check for any cuts before and after the pedicure.
How do you feel about this new trend? Knowing all this, would you still try it? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image via Pexels