Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fish Pedicures

Fish pedicures are foot soaks in a tub that contains small fish called garra rufa or doctor fish. The small fish are a species of carp. They are toothless and nibble on the dead skin on the feet. This is a replacement of the traditional razor treatment previously used to remove dead skin. Razor treatments have been deemed unsanitary by many states’ regulations.

This spa treatment is new to the United States. They have begun offering them in spas in the Washington D.C. area. Fish pedicures were initially used in Turkey and have become popular in some Asian countries. In March 2006, a few Japanese resorts and spas began to offer doctor fish spa treatments which include foot and hand soaks.

Clients report that the fish pedicures cause a tickle or tingling sensation as if the foot is asleep. After the feet are soaked in the tank containing about one hundred little carp, a traditional pedicure is administered to finish the foot care regimen. The cost of the fish pedicures range from $35 to $50.

Garra rufa are native to hot springs in Turkey. Since the doctor fish live in warm water that does not support plant life, they are accustomed to eating whatever is available. They eat the dry, dead skin on the feet, but do not harm healthy tissue. Garra rufa are different from the tench fish known as “doctor fish” in the U.K.

Doctor fish have been used to treat psoriasis and rheumatism. Immersing the body in a pool of small fish can provide a natural exfoliation treatment of the exposed and submerged skin.
People have visited the hot springs of the Kangal district in Turkey for treatment of psoriasis, abscesses, and skin conditions. Some people who have significant build up of dry skin have experienced minor bleeding while bathing in the hot springs. However, the minerals of the spring water are said to promote healing.


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