Fish Feet

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Still, people swear by them. You've probably heard the old wives tale that a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's mouth, but no one said anything about fish.

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Patel, adding that this means the fish "theoretically pose a risk of spreading skin infections between clients. Klein reiterated that concern about "sanitation, cleanliness, and also potential spread of disease and infection.


Klein, some reports have shown the fish to carry certain strains of the streptococcus bacteria and may also carry other bacteria in their transport water as well. Even if you can overlook the fact that the same fish are nibbling on multiple people's feet and what that might mean for spreading disease, you also have to think about the tub you're putting your feet in. If you've ever owned fish, or know someone who owns fish, you know that their tanks get need to be cleaned fairly regularly. This is due in part to the fact that fish don't exactly have a litter box.

While these "doctor fish" are nibbling on your feet, they're also going to the bathroom. All that waste is floating around your feet.

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Patel noted that even when no customer is using the tub, "the spa tubs can't be sufficiently cleaned between treatments since the fish are present in them. Despite the fact that these pedicures have been used for treating psoriasis, Dr. Patel advised that patients who are immunocompromised or have psoriasis, diabetes, and other medical conditions should avoid fish spa pedicures because they are at increased risk for skin infections in general.

Klein agreed, saying, "In general, I do not recommend fish pedicures and highly discourage them for patients with weakened immune systems e. While the CDC notes that they are not aware of any published reports on infections or illnesses from fish spa pedicures, even typical nail salon foot baths have been linked to outbreaks of infections.

Fish Spa (Feet)

So if you're already predisposed to infections due to another medical condition, you're probably better off taking Dr. Patel and Dr. Klein's advice: Skip the fish spa pedicure altogether. If after all this you're still interested in trying a fish spa pedicure, you may have to travel to do it. While the risks and benefits of the treatment are still being debated, the CDC explains that each state controls their own regulations about fish spa pedicures, and at least ten of them have banned the practice outright.

Fish Pedicure Infections - ABC News

Interestingly, this isn't just because of the potential health concerns for patrons or the welfare concerns for the fish, though the CDC notes those are also considerations. Because the Garra rufa fish are not native to the United States, but rather native to Turkey, Jordan, Iran, and other parts of Eurasia, they pose a risk to wildlife ecosystems. According to a report from the U. Fish and Wildlife Service , while no evidence had been found at that time that the fish had been introduced into American ecosystems, the size and diet of the fish mean they could be in competition with native wildlife should they be introduced.

This is because such wounds are entry points for micro-organisms to potentially enter your body. It might not be smoother, softer feet you're bringing home. In fact, your holiday souvenirs could inadvertently include bacterial and fungal infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC in the US conceded that the fish pedicure tubs cannot be sufficiently cleaned between customers when the fish are present. Fish pedicure risk 'very low' Tuesday 18 October What exactly is a fish pedicure? What did the report examine?

Celebs love them

What did the report find? The report considered three main ways that a person might catch an infection: from a fish or a fish tank from tank water from another person via surfaces, such as floors Within these areas they considered the different types of infections that might occur. Blood-borne viruses Viruses such as HIV and hepatitis are carried in the blood and, in theory, could be transmitted through tank water if someone with a cut or abrasion were to use a tank containing traces of blood from an infected person with cuts.

Parasites Fish-borne parasites, such as tapeworms and flukes, can be caught by humans if they eat undercooked fish. So are fish pedicures safe?

Fish pedicure risk 'very low'

What recommendations does the HPA make? Groups not recommended to have a fish pedicure The agency also says fish pedicures are not recommended for people that may increase the risk of infection or pose an infection risk to other clients. Clients should have their feet examined both before and after treatment to make sure they are free from cuts and infections.

Staff should log that these checks have been performed. Feet should be thoroughly washed and rinsed before a pedicure to minimise the number of micro-organisms transferred into the tank.

If there is evidence that bleeding has occurred during a session the tank should be drained and cleaned thoroughly. The HPA has drawn up thorough guidelines on how to disinfect tanks in a fish-friendly way. After 48 hours in a holding tank the fish can be reused.