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Fish pedicures: Beneficial or just a fad?

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Fish pedicures: Beneficial or just a fad?

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Spa pedicures are a common part of most women’s beauty routine. Part of the pedicure involves removing dead skin and calluses from your feet.

This is usually done by buffing with a scraper or a pumice stone. Depending on how sensitive your feet are, this process can be uncomfortable.

A fish pedicure involves dipping your feet in a tub of water that contains little fish known as garra rufa or “doctor fish”. These fish nibble away at the dead skin on your feet, leaving new soft skin.

In the wild, these fish survive by eating the dead scales of other living fish; therefore, this is a similar environment for them. These fish do not have teeth thus the process is soothing.

What to expect

When you arrive, your beautician should inspect your feet for cuts and wounds. If you have bruises, wait for your feet to heal before you try this treatment. Your feet will then be cleaned before being immersed in a foot spa that contains about 100 fish.

Once you put your feet in, the fish will flock to the areas that contain dead skin. There should be no pain but the fish feel ticklish on your feet. The process takes about 20 minutes.

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After this, your feet will be rinsed off and your regular pedicure can continue. Fish pedicures are said to improve circulation and activate acupuncture points.

In Kenya, there are few salons that provide this treatment with the price ranging from Sh1,000 to Sh2,000.

Pros and cons

• The fish must be starved so that they can eat human skin. If provided with other food, they will not eat dead skin.

• You cannot sanitize or disinfect the fish, therefore, there is a risk of transferring an infection from one customer to another.

• Fish are expensive; therefore, it is more likely that the salon will use the same fish on multiple customers.

Avoid fish pedicures if you are diabetic, have bruises on your feet, pregnant or have compromised immunity.

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