One of the most interesting spa trends to make waves in the Western world over the last several years has been the rather exotic therapy known as a fish pedicure. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read or hear anything about this unconventional pedicure method, then you might naturally assume that it involves the use of oils or other compounds made from fish.
In reality, however, the therapy involves tiny fish chewing on your feet. Of course, when you’re looking for a top-notch pedicure, having these creatures chew and suck on your fet might not be exactly what you have in mind! Nevertheless, it is a trend that has prompted both excitement and concern in many different countries – as well as outright bans in some jurisdictions.
Basically, the fish pedicure is pretty much exactly what the name suggests. It is a pedicure treatment in which you place your feet in water-filled tanks that are filled with dozens and even hundreds of tiny fish. The fish, known as garra rufa, are small carp of Turkish origin. Now they don’t actually have teeth so there is no real danger that they will completely devour you. They do, however, have everything they need to remove those outer layers of dead skin from your feet.
If that sounds frightening to you, you’re not alone. Controversy has followed this therapy since it was first exported from the Middle East. And while some have cited its use in the treatment of conditions like psoriasis, critics are quick to point out that the only successful studies demonstrating that usefulness have occurred in actual medical settings – not at spas.
Other criticism has focused on the actual process itself. The tubs in which the pedicures are performed are never really cleaned to sanitation standards between customers, since the fish would have to be removed to do that. More importantly, the fish cannot be disinfected either. And since the garra rufa is a fairly costly species, spas that use them tend to reuse them over and over. That increases the risk of spreading infection from one customer to the next.
Supporters point to a couple of things in their favor. First, the treatments do work. Once the dead skin is eaten away, it exposes newer, healthier layers of skin. Many people also enjoy the sensation they experience while the fish are at work. Those who swear by these therapies can also fall back on the fact that there have been outbreaks of infection in unsanitary nail salons in the past, and that none of those had anything to do with fish.
As interesting as the fish pedicure might sound, Florida banned it in 2009 over safety concerns. Even without that ban, though, it’s still a little outside our wheelhouse here at Tiffany Beauty Spa. Instead, we offer standard and spa pedicures, as well as treatments using peppermint, silky milk, and Purissima, all of which provide different levels of care for your feet and leave you feeling refreshed and soothed. When you come to us to get the best spa treatment in Fort Lauderdale, you can choose from a wide range of different pedicure options – but being eaten by a fish isn’t one of them.