Doctor Fish Pedicure? Choose Wisely & Take Care
January 20, 2016
It has been introduced very recently, known as ichthyotherapy, where little “garrarufa” fishes feed on the dead and unwanted skin on your feet offering a natural pedicure method. It was an instantaneous hit since it was an all-natural way to get rid of exfoliates over your feet and is a lot more effective than artificial chemical treatment. However, some agencies and health experts have been warning the people regarding the plausible infections that can spread through the fishes, infected water tank and the water itself as people have to dip their feet into the tank for the process to occur. This procedure contains the risk of transmission of diseases like Hepatitis C or HIV through open wounds from one person to another in the tank. This increases the concerns over properly replacing the water between every sitting and using only one person per tank. This must be taken care when booking your next fish pedicure therapy session at your favorite salon. You need to first discover if they comply with all the necessary and mandatory disinfecting procedures before serving their customers.
The treatment originated from Turkey, where they have been used for over 100 years to treat skin infections and diseases such as psoriasis that results from an over accumulation of dead skin cells resulting in the multiplication of fungi that can cause skin infections. The temperature of the water is usually very high making it devoid of any nutrients that can feed the fishes and naturally it was found that they have developed an insatiable appetite for dead skin. This procedure known as “doctor fish” was popularized by the USA and soon grew elsewhere only due to its novelty. It was very recently that increasing concerns around this procedure resulted in many states even banning this procedure.
The whole process is very creative and natural and that’s why it became a fashion so attractive that every salon and spa wanted to have “garrarufa”.
The boards of 14 states’ cosmetology in the USA have joined hands to ban this procedure with immediate effect making it illegal since there are numerous concerns regarding the sanitization of the method itself. As the infections can spread through the tank, water and even through the fish it has serious sanitation issues. It is impossible to disinfect the fish, even though your salon takes extreme care to change the lukewarm water and the tub. So, it will only be useful if the entire kit is changed between a sitting and all the fishes are disposed of. This also arises a concern regarding the proper disposal of these fishes since infected fishes can spread the bacteria in the stream from where they are collected which means that they have to be killed after the session. A whole lot of this is very impractical to carry out in a salon, which is why it is being opposed by many.
Yet, you must take care before opting for this therapy if at all your salon offers this.