New Delhi: All of us love to pamper ourselves with every possible way even if that means letting a herd of small fishes nibble away the skin of your feet. Fish pedicure or Fish spa is the latest thing which is creating buzz in beauty world. 

Imagine that a herd of little fishes sucking the dead skins of your feet and soothing your pressure points while you relax. This is the most exotic feeling which you can have ever. Soothing and relaxing fish pedicure is the natural way to pamper your feet.

Garra Rufa or Doctor Fish often known as Nibble Fish, Kangal Fish, imported from Turkish spa, is used to chomp away the dead cells of your skin, leaving your skin supple.

Being originated from Turkey, the little creatures are grown in the outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis.

The process of removing dead skin from feet is painless because Dr Fish is toothless. It is also said that the fish can stimulate acupuncture points, relax the body and remove fatigue. Besides this process is aloes proved helpful reducing foot odour.

Fish pedicure procedure

Customers are requested to dip their feet in water tanks that contain the doctor fish. They should keep their feet immersed in the tank for 15 to 30 minutes after which a routine pedicure session is carried out. During this period, the fish nibbles away the dead skin using their lips, leaving your feet shiny and soft. The routine pedicure session consists of feet massage, scrubbing, nail trimming and at last nail painting.

Is it really safe?

Health Protection Agency reports say that people undergoing fish pedicure are prone to develop bacterial infections.

The government's Health Protection Agency said that people with diabetes, psoriasis or weak immune systems should avoid it completely.

“People may develop bacterial, viral and fungal infection due to this spa. If the water tank is not properly sterilized or the water is not changed within every 2-3 hours the infection risk ups,” said Dr. Rohit Batra.

The report also stated that a person might catch infection in three ways -

1)    From a fish or a fish tank

2)    From tank water

3)    from another person

If the fish that are used for the treatment are affected with any bacterial disease, the bacterial infection can be communicated to the person who is undergoing the spa therapy. “If the fish is affected by bacterial disease like tuberculosis, the person who is undergoing the spa can be caught by the same,” said skin specialist Dr Rohit Batra.

If a person undergoing this pedicure treatment has any kind of cut in his feet then his body infection can be passed on to the other one if the water is not changed. If a user is infected with a blood-borne virus like HIV or hepatitis and bleeds in the water, there is a risk of infection to others.

According to HPA report, within 24 hours of waxing your leg, you should not undergo fish pedicure. Besides, if you have any cuts or any form of dermatitis you are not advised to have bizarre pedicure therapy.

However, the HPA says that overall risk of infection is likely to be very low, if the spa operates good standards of hygiene. “If a client has any cut or wound in his/her feet, we don’t allow him or her to have this therapy as the person is prone to infections. Before starting the spa process, we clean the feet of our clients with medicated soaps,” said the J. Chanda, owner of a famous fish spa.

While talking about the hygiene factor, he said that in his spa he always uses luke warm medicated water as bacteria cannot survive at high temperature. “The chance of infection is very low. In order to maintain proper hygiene besides using medicated water…,” Chanda said.

(Deblina Roy/JPN)