“Popularity of fish pedicures fuels health and animal welfare concerns”…or do they?
One of the fastest-growing beauty treatments in Britain, fish pedicures – during which tiny toothless carp smooth down feet by eating dead skin – has come under new scrutiny from health experts and animal rights campaigners.
The number of UK outlets offering pedicures with Garra rufa – fish that lift off hard skin and, through an enzyme in their saliva, diathanol, are thought to heal conditions such as psoriasis and eczema – is growing rapidly. As the craze catches on, beauty salons are already starting to move on to full body immersion tanks.
But even for those who can get past the “ick” factor, the treatment is not without controversy.
A spokesperson for the the Health Protection Agency said that, while it did not expect to be enforcing a ban in the UK and believed the risk of catching an infection from a fish foot spa to be “very small”, it was looking at publishing guidelines for the public.
The HPA and Health Protection Scotland are also currently unaware of any cases of infection associated with the use of fish spa pedicures in the UK.
“However, following a number of inquiries to the HPA from local environmental health officers, the HPA, Health Protection Scotland and the Health and Safety Laboratory are currently examining the most up-to-date evidence and will publish practical advice to help both salons and the public to minimise any possible risk in due course.”
Afroblush does not intend to dismiss the alarm raised by animal rights groups over the conditions in which the fish are kept, but we do feel that better guidelines for users and providers of fish spas will lead to better care of our feet and our fish. But for the time being Fish Spa’s for the win!