Thanks to my friend Jen for highlighting this unusual “health story.” Apparently a type of fish (called “doctor fish” – not sure how I feel about that) found in Turkish hot springs thrive on dead human skin. They’ve been used in the past to treat psoriasis, a condition that produces skin cell overgrowth. And now, an enterprising salon has imported these fish to nibble off dead skin found on pedicure seekers’ feet.
Images of the movie “Piranha” came to mind for me until I read the fine print – these fish have no teeth, but use a kind of suction action to feed. Also, the silvery creatures are the size of minnows.
Some clients say that the process tickles, and it feels as if their feet are being “kissed” by hundreds of fishies. The salon owners claim that the fish have doubled in size since they were first unleashed on American spa-goers.
I suppose this is an “organic” way to live in a symbiotic relationship with nature’s creatures - but as a physician, I can only imagine all the potential fungus and wart viruses thriving in the warm fishy waters. [Shudder]
I’m going to stick with my pumice stone.