Squeamish? This may not be the treatment for you. This “pedicure” invites spagoers to soak their feet in a tank full of guppy-like toothless fish called garra rufa, which feed on dead skin. This bizarre practice has become somewhat of a fad; originating in Turkey, where the fish are naturally found in the river basins, it has been subsequently progressing throughout Asia and some parts of Europe. The feeding isn’t supposed to hurt — it can be extremely ticklish, in fact – and is intended to make the feet smooth, soft, and callus-free. However, the use of Garra rufa as a spa treatment is debated, as many cosmetology regulators believe the practice is unsanitary and can cause the spread of infection. More than 10 states have banned the practice for a variety of reasons, including the inability to sanitize live fish and the ethical justifications behind forcing the fish to feed on dead skin.
On a vacation to Greece in April 2013, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian recorded their experience with fish pedicures. Though Kourtney acted calm and collected, Kim’s squeals showed that she was not a fan.
Where to find it:
A chain called Doctor Fish, which specializes in fish pedicures, has several locations throughout the United States but has yet to open up shop in New England.