Summer is in full swing, and that means it’s time to kick off the confines of your shoes and slip into something a little more comfortable’namely, a pair of super-cute sandals. When it comes to getting your feet sandal-ready, there’s no beating a good pedicure. But would you get a pedicure from a fish?
Before visions of razor-toothed piranhas go swimming through your head, the fish we’re talking about are called Garra rufa‘tiny, toothless fish that exfoliate your feet by snacking on your dead skin. Originally found in Turkey, Garra rufa’or "doctor fish"’were believed to help heal skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. The fishy foot treatment has been a hit in Asia and Europe for years, but has recently been popping up at spas in North America, too.
Though Garra rufa treatments are available in some facilities in Edmonton and Quebec, Ontario spas may have a hard time getting around health regulations, according to a report in the Toronto Star. Why the ban on fish? The treatment is a potential health hazard, says Ontario Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joanne Woodward Fraser.
Unlike nail clippers and cuticle cutters, you can’t exactly toss a tank full of fish in an autoclave to zap any bacteria that they may have been picked up from previous clients. ‘Fish used for pedicure, they can’t be disinfected or sterilized without causing harm to the fish,’ Woodward Fraser told the Star. "Using the same fish to clean the skin of multiple spa clients could lead to the spread of infection." And the Ontario Ministry of Health isn’t alone in its concern’the question of sanitation has led the treatment to be banned in 14 states in the U.S. But when it comes to beauty, there will always be people who are willing to take the risk (right, Heidi Montag?).
What do you think of this controversial foot treatment? Would you try it?