Have you wanted to enjoy baby smooth soles, free of dry skin and rough cuticles? Did the thought of tiny fish tickling your feet filling you with laughter make you want to take off your shoes and dive right in? The answer to this for many was an astounding yes as the first Dr. Fish pedicure spa opened in Virginia. Quickly, over five thousand happy feet had spa owners throughout the United States were looking to acquire the Garra Rufa fish and introduce this new exfoliation and skin healing treatment. The fish used by the spa are tiny toothless fresh water fish which have been used and studied for many years for the treatment of psoriasis. The procedure involves allowing the fish to nibble off the dead skin initially, followed by the standard procedure of pedicure.
This no longer unique pedicure service is quite famous in Turkey and is popular all over Asia. Spa owners argue that the procedure is quite safe and hygienic as the fish are completely harmless and do not cause any infections. Overseas, this treatment is not only popular for pedicures, but many therapeutically use it for their entire body.
The Garra Rufa Fish Pedicure started according to a story, in the early 14th century in Turkey when two brothers found a hot spring in an open field that had small fish swimming in it. They jumped into the hot spring to take a closer look. To their surprise the fish didn’t swim away but gathered around their feet and began to gently nibble their toes. The two brothers went to the hot spring every day. Amazingly, one of the brothers’ who suffered from beriberi began to gradually recover. The news spread like wildfire. More and more people came to this hot spring, enjoying the unique feeling and curing some of their skin diseases.
Garra Rufa Obtisa, is also known as Massage Fish, Doctor Fish, Nibble Fish, Kangal Fish. These Massage Fish kiss human skin tender. and are one type of fish used in these spa pedicures. In Turkey, these fish live and breed in the outdoor pools of some hot spring spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis or dry skin. The fish only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects. The spas are not meant as a permanent cure, but only as a temporary alleviation of symptoms. Patients with psoriasis usually will revisit the spas every few months. Only a fortunate few report a complete cure
Experts who have studied the fish and the positive results in alleviating psoriasis symptoms, have found that this kind of fish can help to remove the dead dry skin on human bodies, aspirate bacteria in pores, release enzymatic secretions and dithranol into the skin which helps the skin to repair and regenerate faster, improve the absorption of mineral substances, and finally reach the goal of curing some diseases.
With the recent concern of nail spa pedicure safety and sanitation, the introduction of the Garra Rufa Fish Pedicure, in the United States, may be like swimming upstream against a strong current. As many states begin to shut down the fish pedicure before the fish get to even see their first feet.
If you are a spa owner who is looking to add this service to your spa menu, or a consumer wanting to experience the joy of happy smooth feet. Spavelous sheds some light on the current status of the state regulations and safety concerns. Adding this to a spa menu may cost anywhere from $10,000 – $40,000. For consumers, the cost is anywhere from $25 – $50 depending on the length of the service. The lower end is for 15 minutes of fish exfoliation.