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Fish Pedicure is very popular in Turkey, their home country, as well as in other Middle Eastern countries. A native of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the Garra rufa fish are found in the region. Fish may allow in certain parts of the US.

A popular reason for its popularity is that the fish can exfoliate and soften the feet in a pain-free manner. It tickles but do not hurt. 

Nonetheless, these pedicures are not just harmful, but also damaging to the environment. This is why they are actually banned in many US states and parts of Canada and Europe.

What actually is Fish Pedicure:

The service involves immersing the feet in a tub of water containing small fish called Garra Rufa for the duration of a fish pedicure. It is sometimes called “doctor fish” because it consumes dead skin from people’s feet, revealing newer skin beneath.

Traditionally, Garra rufa is used as a medicinal treatment for people with psoriasis, a skin disease.

Here is a video that describes the procedure of Fish Pedicure:

Pros and Cons of Fish Pedicure:

According to fish pedicures, they also exfoliate rough patches and reduce calluses on the feet.

Although a human-performed pedicure in a salon will achieve the same result, using a pumice stone or foot scrub at home will also achieve the same effect. 

There are more risks associated with fish pedicures. Treatment with ichthyotherapy or Garra Rufa reduces psoriasis by 72%. However, The other treatments can also do this without risks.

It is prohibit in these places:

At least 14 states have prohibited fish pedicures, including:

  • Maine
  • New York
  • California
  • Washington
  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • Masachusetts

Additionally, they are banned in parts of Mexico, Europe, and Canada.

Safety measures of this type of pedicure:

Various states have the authority to prohibit fish pedicures.

Reasons for the bans include the following:

  • In the case of fish pedicure tubs, it is impossible to adequately clean them between clients.
  • Neither the fish nor the tubs can be disinfect or sanitize between customers. It is common for salon owners to use the same fish many times and spread infections due to the cost of the fish.
  • Chinese Chinchins, a species of fish traded as Garra rufa in fish pedicures, grow teeth and can draw blood, which increases the risk of infection.
  • In the United States, the fish is not native, so its release into the wild could pose a threat to native plants and animals.
    • Fish pedicures do not qualify as pedicures in legal terms.
    • The state may require salons to maintain aquariums where they keep fish.
    • To get the fish to eat the skin, they must be starved, which is animal cruelty.

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