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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Flesh-Eating Fish Latest Pedicure Trend

July 21, 2008 01:31 PM
by Isabel Cowles
A Virginia salon offers a popular Asian spa treatment, in which so-called “doctor fish” nibble away at the feet’s dead skin.

30-Second Summary

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The use of garra rufa, a type of carp known as “doctor fish,” has recently become a popular treatment at a Virginia nail salon. The unique pedicure involves dunking feet into a tub of water filled with the fish, which eat away dead skin.

Yvonne Hair and Nails salon, owned by John Ho, has been offering pedicures involving hungry fish for four months. Says Ho, "This is a good treatment for everyone who likes to have nice feet." About 100 fish are used in each footbath.

Ho decided to use carp in his salon due to sanitation issues surrounding the use of razors. In the tanks, the carp have only dead skin as a source of sustenance. But, because they have no teeth, the fish are unable to bite live flesh.

It’s a little ticklish, actually,” said one customer.

Although Ho claims to be the first American salon owner to use carp, the practice has been spreading through spas and salons in Asia. “The fish, as many spa goers say ‘kiss the skin,’ ridding it of all affected and dead skin areas, leaving the healthy skin untouched to continue to grow and repair.” Health Spa Guru reports.

The doctor fish pedicure is just one of the many unusual treatments available at trendy spas around the world.

Headline Link: Nibbling carp perfect for pedicures

Background: Flesh-eating fish popular at upscale Asian spas

Video: Doctor fish pedicure

Related Topic: Other unique spa treatments

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