Friday, November 10, 2017

Why You Should Never Feed Your Feet to the Fishies (-A Fish Pedicure Story)

Hey there! Anastasia of Healing Hands here. I just got back from a wonderful anniversary trip with my husband around Europe. 

Six countries in two weeks left us both a little worn out, but it was sooooooo worth it.

It was relaxing, rejuvenating, and at times a bit quirky.

Case in point:

On our trip, I was surprised to see “fish pedicures” advertised in Slovenia and Croatia.  I recalled reading about it a while back somewhere in the foggy depths of my brain. 

Basically you place your feet in a big tub filled with the toothless Garra rufa fish (native to the Middle East) and they nibble away at the dead skin on your feet.

No, I am not making this up!

As tempted as I was to try it, there was a certain “ewww!” factor that, coupled with our tight schedule, did not permit me to do so. 

I did have my husband Erik take a few pics, thinking it might make for an interesting social media or blog post.

However, right after taking the photos, I looked it up here on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and am REALLY glad I didn’t get one – the fish have to be starved in order to eat dead skin! 

I personally would never want to be party to any act that supports animal cruelty. (I've been vegetarian for most of my adult life and recently went vegan, except for when traveling).

When Good Fish Go Bad 

Also according to the CDC website, "CDC is not aware of any published reports on illnesses resulting from fish pedicures. Nail salon foot baths, however, have caused outbreaks of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections that left infected pedicure customers with boils and scars."

Oh dear.

It gets worse.

They go on to explain:

"Each state has the authority to ban fish pedicures. Currently, over 10 states have banned the use of fish pedicures.

Most of the bans are based on at least one of the following reasons:
  • The fish pedicure tubs cannot be sufficiently cleaned between customers when the fish are present.
  • The fish themselves cannot be disinfected or sanitized between customers. Due to the cost of the fish, salon owners are likely to use the same fish multiple times with different customers, which increases the risk of spreading infection.
  • Chinese Chinchin, another species of fish that is often mislabeled as Garra rufa and used in fish pedicures, grows teeth and can draw blood, increasing the risk of infection.
  • According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Garra rufa could pose a threat to native plant and animal life if released into the wild because the fish is not native to the United States.
  • Fish pedicures do not meet the legal definition of a pedicure.
  • Regulations specifying that fish at a salon must be contained in an aquarium.
  • The fish must be starved to eat skin, which might be considered animal cruelty."


So... intriguing, but no thank you. I'd advise to just get a simple good old-fashioned foot massage instead!

If you'd like to come in and get an amazing massage (also for your footsies but without the fish...) come over to our contact page and book your appointment today

See you then!

Best wishes,

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