Instead of having your feet scrubbed to get rid of dead skin cells, how about a fish pedicure? This is a practice that first became popular in Turkey before moving to other parts of Asia and on to the US where fish feed on the dead skins cells on your feet. Supposedly, it’s therapeutic although most people trying it seem to describe a mildly uncomfortable tickling sensation.
You will first be taken into the back of the shop to cleanse your feet and told to clean your feet very carefully to avoid infection. The fish they use are called Garra rufa.
A fish pedicure involves immersing your feet in a small tank of warm water. Inside the tank are between 20-150 garra rufa fish, which are toothless carp – affectionately nicknamed ‘doctor fish’ or ‘nibble fish’. These four-inch fishes suck and scrape away any dead skin, leaving the healthy cells on your feet untouched. If the scraping and sucking puts you off, do not worry. The garra rufa are small, no bigger than four inches, and have no teeth, so they cannot bite.
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