A fish pedicure involves a tiny Asian fish called the Garra Rufa. It feasts on a client's toes to get rid of any dead skin. This may sound barbaric, but Eastern countries have been practicing this treatment for thousands of years. The fish have no teeth and they tickle clients more than anything. The research began with a shipment of the Garra Rufa from Indonesia, which was intercepted and treated at a UK airport for disease. Scientists from the UK Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the fish were carrying a variety of harmful bacteria that were not easily treated. For example, a strand of Vibrio vulnificus was found. It can make open wounds break out and infect people with the lethal disease, Septicemia.
We brought you the news in May that Cindy Vong in Gilbert, Arizona has teamed up with the Goldwater Institute to sue the Arizona Board of Cosmetology over being barred from offering fish pedicures as a service in her salon. New research has shown that the ever popular fish pedicures may not be as safe as people once thought. The researchers of UK Center for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences have recently performed a study on the fish used in these treatments and their susceptibility to carry harmful bacteria.