The fish pedicure has become the latest in a long line of cosmetic procedures to hit the high street. The treatment, which involves immersing your feet in a tank full of Garra Rufa fish, is now available all around the country and is proving to be incredibly popular.
There are fears, however, that the treatment may not be entirely safe, with some health professionals claiming that infections could be passed from person to person due to open wounds. There is no licensing or training process necessary for someone to set up a fish pedicure business and it is this that has people worried.
I went and tried out the procedure for myself, and you can see the results in the video below:
The Garra Rufa fish, or Doctor fish as they are also known, eat away any dead skin on the feet. It is only the dead skin they are interested in and it is impossible for them to break the skin as they have no teeth.
Despite this, insurance company Lockyers has recently launched a special type of insurance to cover fish pedicures. Most salons or beauty parlours still only carry standard public liability insurance, which does not cover infections and diseases. The new ‘fish pedicure insurance‘ will add this extra layer of protection. Kirsty Symonds, manager of Aqua Sanctuary in Strood (who deal exclusively in fish pedicures) does not believe this is necessary. She said:
“Feet are washed before they go into the tank and we check them to make sure nobody has any verucas or infections. The water in the tank is changed every day and the water is filtered. We also put in treatment and healthy bacteria to make sure the water is clean.”
So is this just a lot of worry about nothing? The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has pledged to further investigate the matter, and guidelines will be released once it has been thoroughly looked in to.
It is very likely that the fish pedicure will simply be a fad, eventually being replaced by the lastest treatment to be made available. Click on the images below to see a few of the stranger fads that have not lasted the test of time: