U.S. Center For Disease Control and Prevention Frowns On The Fish Pedicure

If you haven’t re-considered that fish pedicure appointment, now might be the time.

The procedure, which sprang to popularity in 2008 is now being frowned upon by not only state heath agencies, but also by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The fish pedicures, in which the technician eschew the pumice and razors associated with removing calluses in favor of dunking your tootsies into a bath filled with “doctor fish” (i.e. tiny toothless carp) who then proceed to eat away at the dead skin, it seems can lead to infection due to bacteria associated with the fish species that can effect not only the fish, but also humans. On Wednesday, the federal agency published a report by U.K.’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, examining the types of bacteria associated with Garra rufa, the inch-long toothless carp that nibbles away at the foots dead skin, and identified several strains of bacteria, including one that causes wound infections and gastrointestinal problems in humans, and another recognized as responsible for skin infections in some pedicure clients in a U.K. outbreak in April 2011.

This isn’t entirely new news, as previous public-health official warnings have led 14 states to pan the beauty practice, including Florida, Texas and California, but the specification of some of the specific bacteria does put one more serious nail in the coffin of this beauty practice.


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