What is a Fish Pedicure?

A fish pedicure, also known as a fish spa, is a beauty treatment where small fish, typically a species known as Garra rufa or “doctor fish”, are used to remove dead skin cells and calluses from a person’s feet.

The process typically involves:

  1. Soaking: The client’s feet are first soaked in warm water to soften the skin.
  2. Fish Tank: The client then places their feet into a tank or basin filled with these small fish.
  3. Feeding: The fish feed on the dead skin cells and calluses present on the client’s feet. They have a natural tendency to nibble at rough and dead skin, which is believed to help exfoliate the feet.
  4. Relaxation: Clients usually sit back and relax while the fish do their work. Some people find the sensation of the fish nibbling on their feet to be ticklish.
  5. Rinse: After the treatment, the feet are rinsed and dried.

Fish pedicures gained popularity in some parts of the world as a novel and potentially natural way to exfoliate the skin on the feet. However, there have been concerns about hygiene and safety associated with this practice. In many places, including some U.S. states and European countries, fish pedicures have been banned or restricted due to concerns about the transmission of infections and diseases, as it can be difficult to maintain proper sanitation of the water and fish between clients.

There are ethical concerns about the treatment of the fish used in these pedicures, as they may experience stress or health issues in captivity. As a result, fish pedicures have become a controversial and less common beauty treatment in recent years, with alternative methods for foot care and exfoliation being preferred by many individuals.