Fish Pedicure can Cause Skin Infections

Until now the well known fish pedicures are considered as a bizarre beauty ritual. But new studies reveal that they are potentially dangerous.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a new report which examined the types of bacteria associated with Doctor Fish (Garra rufa), the fish used in fish pedicure. This toothless fish consumes the affected and dead areas of the skin and leaves the healthy skin to grow.

Doctor fish are freshwater fish and naturally inhabit river basins. These are widely used in the health and beauty industries for ichthyotherapy. They are also used to control psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions.

As part of this treatment, patients immerse their body part in the spas to allow the fish to feed the dead skin. But this treatment gives only temporary cure. After some time, patients will be forced to revisit the spas.

However, ichthyotherapy is reportedly banned in United States because of the sanitary concerns. A survey showed that some fishes are affected with diseases confirmed signs of exophthalmia and of hemorrhage around the gills, mouth, and abdomen.

Histopathologic examinations identified bacterial infections with small gram-positive cocci, mostly in the kidneys, spleen, and liver.

All of you know that water is a well known source of bacterial skin infections in humans. It can cause wound infections and primary septicemia resulting in high mortality rates, especially in persons with liver disease, diabetes, or impaired immune function.

Therefore, fish pedicure can cause risk of dangerous skin and soft-tissue infections for people with open sores, skin cuts and diabetic patients. Use of pumice stone is advisable rather than fish pedicure.

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