Fish That Eat Dead Skin

Garra rufa

10 years ago, small fish munching away at your feet may seem like a scene from a scary film. Today, people enjoy the experience of these little animals consuming the fragments of their feet. Stalls and even day spas concentrating on fish health club therapy now populate shopping center, pedestrian sidewalks and tourist attractions. Below, we are going to look at how fish consuming dead skin may not be all that it is declared to be.

What Does Fish Eating Dead Skin Mean?

The heroes of this story are the Garrarufa fish, small scavengers that enjoy drawing and nibbling on dead skin. They grow in the freshwater basins of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. These toothless animals are placed in tank filled with warm freshwater. When the customer immerses their feet in this water, these fish get to work and exfoliate the skin.

Is Letting Fish Eat Dead Skin Really Helpful?

Suppliers may claim fantastic benefits and consumers expect fascinating modifications to their skin. Nevertheless, these miracles have yet to be proven.

Doctor fish eats skin from human hand

Garra rufa, also called doctor fish, nibble fish, kangal fish, and bonefish (in New England) is a little types of cyprinid fish that is native to rivers, streams, ponds and lakes in the Anatolia and Middle East.

What Are the Benefits of Fish That Eat Dead Skin

Some tall claims made by suppliers of this service. These claims consist of the capability to eliminate bacteria and reduce foot odour, destroy a fungal infection on the foot called athlete’s foot, assistance improve blood flow, make the feet soft and supple, and cause the body to unwind through a technique similar to acupuncture, however none of these benefits have actually been clinically proven.

These fish, also called doctor fish, just help remove dead skin from the feet. You can merely get the exact same impacts from regular feet scabs.

It Isn’t Gonna Help

Pedicure using the Garrarufa fish is touted to offer relief for people struggling with eczema or psoriasis. These claims are mostly unproven and sometimes this procedure could worsen the disease.

People with eczema have actually raised objections to the unethical discounts that represent fish pedicures as a remedy for this disease. The Chief Executive of the National Eczema Society, Margaret Cox has expressed shock at the concept. Inning accordance with her, the procedure can cause more damage as eczema patients do not have adequate skin to begin with. She believes that a fish pedicure can further improve the risk of infection.

This disease can cause the event of unusual spots of skin that are scaly and red. Many claims have actually been made that this condition can be dealt with if fish consuming dead skin away. However the Psoriasis Association challenge this. They claim that patients can easily capture infections after such a pedicure session due to their weak body immune systems and the existence of sores on their skin. The only take advantage of fish day spa therapy, they say, is the exfoliation of the feet.

How Safe Fish Eating Dead Skin Is?

Having fish delight in the dead skin on your toes can be comparable to obtaining a pair of stinking sweat-drenched socks. It is not safe and might even cause lots of dangers, which way exceed its declared benefits.


The water in the aquarium can be a breeding ground for a wide range of microorganisms. These tiny beings can quickly move infections between various clients.

  • Exacting standards of hygiene are required to carry out a well-meaning fish health spa but even then the risk of infection is ever present.
  • These fish can not be cleansed and their cost makes it difficult to change them for every single procedure.
  • The Health Protection Agency has advised people with impaired body immune systems to prevent fish pedicures. People with medical conditions like psoriasis and diabetes likewise run a high risk of contracting an infection.

All these elements add to a greater opportunity of infection by this treatment, when compared with other approaches of exfoliating feet.

Other Considerations

The Garrarufa fish do not grow teeth and hence do not permeate the skin, that make them appropriate for feet exfoliating. But Garrarufa fish costs a lot, which drive some vendors to use alternate species for the same function. These replacements can grow teeth and cause a customer to bleed, increasing the opportunity of an infection.
Forcing a fish to feed upon dead skin might problem animal enthusiasts, as this procedure would require these fish to be starved.

In the United States, the Fish and Wildlife Service thinks about the Garrarufa fish a danger if enabled into the wild because this foreigner might damage the local plants and animals.
Who Shouldn’t Use Fish to Eat off Dead Skin

The Health Protection Agency have advanced suggestions that fish consuming dead skin is not ideal for people who are vulnerable to infection or pose an infection risk. This list includes people who:

  • Have an infection on their feet;
  • Have open wounds or damaged skin on the lower portion of their legs;
  • Have skin diseases like psoriasis, dermatitis or eczema on their lower legs or feet;
  • Are infected by virulent viruses like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV;
  • Have actually shaved or waxed their legs recently, as it is extremely probable that small nicks were left on their feet;
  • Are suffering from diabetes, as they are extremely vulnerable to infections;
  • Experience a deficient body immune system;
  • Take anticoagulant drugs or suffer from diseases that cause them to bleed around the foot quickly.

What to Do If I Do Want Fish Eating Dead Skin off

If you really wish to have a fish pedicure, there are ways to do it in a safe way. It is essential to discover a place that follows the following guidelines:

  • Company deal sufficient information about potential medical risks and conditions that can increase the chances of an infection.
  • Customizeds should carefully examine feet prior to and after the treatment to ensure the absence of cuts and infections, and maintain a log of these checks.
  • If bleeding occurs in the tank, steps need to be required to sanitize the tank. There are ways to do this in a way that enables the fish to be reused.
  • Prior to putting the customer’s feet in the tank, they must be effectively rinsed to reduce the opportunities of micro-organisms getting in the fish tank.
  • Consumers must be advised to visit their doctor if any adverse results are noticed.

Last Update - September 25, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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