Fish Spa: Is it safe or unsanitary?

December 3, 2012
Fish spa or fish pedicure is becoming popular nowadays. How does it work? The fish called Garra rufa, consume all the dead skin which in a sense helps in cultivation of healthy skin. This is a native fish in Middle East where fish spas are accepted as treatment for a skin disease known as psoriasis.  Garra rufa is also known as the nibble fish, physio fish, kangal fish or doctor fish.

Some believed that it only cures the symptoms temporarily and the process should be repeated in certain period of time in order to achieve the desired effect.

The popularity of these claims has encouraged the entrepreneurs to establish new business line known as nail salon fish baths. In US, not all states have accepted the idea. In fact, some of the states, banned the fish pedicure because of many reasons such as the following:

1. There's an outbreak of nontuberculous myobacterial infections due to infections left behind by previous customers.
2. The tubs are not properly cleaned.
3. The fish itself cannot be sanitized between customers.
4. Wrong fish was used. There are species of fish that have teeth. They can blood from customers which creates the chance of spreading infections.
5. Fish are deprived of eating real fish food so they can function well by eating skin during the spas. This is believed to be animal cruelty.
6. Garra rufa is not native in US which is possible treat to plant and animal if release into the wild.

In Austria, the treatment is done in a controlled facility not in salon.

In Malaysia, Sampuoton Fish Spa at Petaling Jaya in Malaysia is one of the popular establishments that have fish spa therapy. The video below explains how they do the treatment there.

In Philippines, fish therapy is not only conducted at salons or clinics but also in oceanarium. The fun at Manila Ocean Park doesn't stop at seeing the lovely sharks and sting rays. The tickling experience continues at the fish spa area where hundreds of hungry Garra rufa are waiting to feast on your legs and feet.

Fish Spa at Manila Ocean Park
Is fish spa safe or unsanitary? There are many factors to be considered in order to answer the question.
If you're not comfortable doing it then don't. The benefits of fish spa are good but precautions must be taken in order so as not to worsen the situation.

Have you tried it yourself? I did. 
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aims to share news, updates, information, ideas and experiences about pharmacy practice, health and fitness, entertainment and lifestyle, education, business, and more random thoughts.
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  1. I would love to try it but then again I am a very ticklish person so I don't know hahaha.


    Following this blog sis using Hubby's google account.

  2. I haven't tried pa. I think I should try it first before I say anything about it. :) Mahirap na magcomment if wala talaga akong alam. LOL

  3. Thanks so much for dropping by. Thanks for following too.

  4. No way, dozens of bad reviews flood the internet about this treatment.

  5. I might try it just once - just to experience it.. But I won't stay for too long.. 10 minutes or less would do.. Hehehe..

  6. I've tried it at the Manila Ocean Park and it was so ticklish. LOL! I had fun and once for me is enough :-)

  7. Oh, I would love to try this...I've seen a lot of people tried this before.

  8. I've tried with the tiny doctor fishes. The one on the video are big fishes, I don't think I could survive!!!

  9. I am afraid to try it though just not comfortable I still preferred a foot spa :)

  10. Never try yet, but hopefully I could try one day

  11. that is one thing that i would like to try, it must be very ticklish

  12. First time I tried it was back in 2009 when we first visited Bangkok (we now lived here since 2011) at Siam Ocean World...nakakakiliti, hehehe. Never had the chance to do it again.

  13. I'm ticklish! Haven't tried it. I don't wanna be laughing out loud while having this kind of spa treatment... :D


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