As if you needed more reasons not to get a pedicure in which TINY FISH EAT DEAD SKIN OFF YOUR FEET WHILE YOUR FEET REMAIN ON YOU, the CDC confirmed recently that it’s gross. Also, risk of bacterial infection is high for both person and fish.
The federal agency published a report by the U.K.’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, which examined the types of bacteria associated with Garra rufa, an inch-long carp often referred to as “doctor fish,” the one used to eat your dead skin off at beauty salons. Ugh:
“Our study identified some of the species of bacteria associated with this fish species, including some that can cause infections in both fish and humans,” lead researcher David Verner-Jeffreys told a wire service.
Water, he added, is a fertile breeding ground for all manner of nasties. Couple that with bacteria living on fish scales or waste and the tiniest cut could make the risk of infection a reality. In April 2011, a bacterial outbreak among 6,000 G. rufa imported from Indonesia to British salons and spas revealed colonies of Streptococcus agalactiae, a group of bacteria that can lead to sepsis, meningitis, or pneumonia.
In the last few years, the prevalence of “fish pedicures” has soared, with salons in North America and the UK offering patrons the chance to let doctor fish go to town on their callouses. Only a few states have banned the practice outright.
Has anyone ever done this?