Skin Treatment Done the Fishy Way

A little known type of spa skin treatment is gaining world-wide attention for its quirky way in handling skin care. Instead of spas having pedicurists and therapists, they have something else take care of your skin for you–fish.

That’s right, fish. Or more specifically, doctor fish, scientifically named Cyprinion macrostomus, or Garra Rufa. In other parts of the world they can be known as nibble fish, kangal fish, or doctorfishen. These fish were originally intended to eat the affected skin of people suffering from psoriasis, a type of chronic autoimmune disease. Psoriasis causes the immune system to send out faulty signals to the body that speeds up the growth of skin, causing a person to have excess dead skin. Patients would periodically go to fish spas, which were originally located in Turkey, and have the doctor fish eat away their dead skin.

Now, though, skin care enthusiasts have realized that doctor fish can also be used not just to treat patients of psoriasis, but for skin treatment as well. The first fish spas opened in Japan and in Croatia in 2006. Bathers would pay the spas and have the fish clean them by eating away the dead skin cells all throughout their bodies. There are also fish foot spas that offer “fish pedicure” services to clients. Fish pedicures remove calluses and corns, and help soften the skin of a patient’s feet.

When a person undergoes a fish pedicure, he is required to immerse your foot in a shallow pool of water that contains a school of doctor fish. Some spas can offer to have a client serviced by different sizes of fish according to their preference. These can range from small fish for those with sensitive and soft skin to much larger sizes of fish for those who have harder skin.

There are no actual documented medical benefits of having a school of fish nibble away at your body. However, going to a spa has its own health benefits. Going to a spa helps to make you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Also, fish pedicures remove corns, calluses, and heel cracks which can lead to more serious foot problems in the future.

This method of skin treatment has been around for a long time. The first known spa that used doctor fish for therapy can be found in the hot springs of Kangal, a small town in Turkey. This has been around centuries. Seeing as this has been practiced for a long time, many people today have taken advantage of its benefits. You should try it too.


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