Fish pedicures? What in Sam Hill is that all that about? I knew fish had fingers – I didn’t know they had feet! Seems I’ve got the wrong end of the stick though...or should that be fishing rod?
Doctor fish is the name given to two species of fish: Garra rufa and Cyprinion macrostomus. Other nicknames include nibble fish, kangal fish, physio fish and doctorfishen; in non-medical contexts, Garra rufa is better known as the reddish log sucker and is a type of toothless carp. They live and breed in the outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. The fish are like combfishes in that they only nibble the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects. Sounds disgusting, if I’m honest with you...
The spas are not meant as a curative treatment option, only as a temporary alleviation of symptoms, and patients usually revisit the spas every few months.
In 2010 the first UK spa opened in Sheffield to help treat patients suffering from various skin disorders, including psoriasis as mentioned above and eczema. There’s one in The Mall in Middlesbrough – hardly a spa location really!
In the US, however, 14 states have banned their use over health and safety concerns of having the same fish clean the skin of multiple customers, thereby increasing the risk of cross-infections. Now that makes sense...
Podiatry can be a very high earning career and was listed by Forbes as the 15th best paid profession in the United States. Personally I can't stand feet - no pun intended.
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