Are Fish Pedicures Safe?

Kim Kardashian freaked out during her icky fish pedicureThe other day, while channel surfing on TV during the end-of-summer repeat doldrums, I came across an old episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians that caught my attention. On this episode, the whole family (even Bruce Jenner’s kids!!) had gone on a fabulous Greek getaway.

While in Greece, the girls made a YOLO (you only live once) pact and decided to do all sorts of crazy things, including getting a fish pedicure. You know, I didn’t pause when they wanted to jump off the side of their chartered yacht into waters of unknown depth, but as I saw Kim shrieking while her feet sat in a bowl of fish nibbling at her dead skin cells, I thought: really? This may be “in” right now, but it can’t be good for your feet, can it?

I like staying on top of trends, and as I began to do a bit more research, I realized that fish-pedicures are actually ‘a thing’ right now. When getting a fish pedicure, you place your feet in a spa bath filled with garra ruffa or doctor fish, a variety of toothless carp that is supposed to eat your dead skin cells and eliminate the razors that traditional pedicures use to do the same job.

While they have been popular abroad for quite a while now, fish pedicures first showed up in this country in 2008 at a spa in Virginia. Since that time, people have begun testing these little carp, and have discovered that they carry lots of potentially deadly bacteria, including group B strep, which can cause pneumonia and dangerous bone infections. At least 10 states have banned spas from offering the service, and many more may follow suit.

You want my final thought on this type of beauty treatment? Those fish poop where you’re soaking your feet and that’s gross on top of being dangerous; just suck it up and get the razor treatment if you really need your feet exfoliated. And if any spa service has left you experiencing foot pain, make an appointment with your Houston podiatrist to rule out a potentially serious foot infection. 

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment