Thailand has a unique way to exfoliating one’s feet. On this episode we’ll uncover the bizarre experience of the fish pedicure.
Increasing in popularity over the years, the fish pedicure originated in Turkey but is also has deep roots in Syria, Iran and Iraq. This craze started to spread across Europe starting in 2008 and has expanded in popularity in Asia. Thailand has seen a massive influx of businesses starting up, one can find these places in malls, street kiosks, tourist hotspots. Currently in Thailand there are 1341 registered fish spas and over 3000 unregistered spas.
How does it work? Inside the tank are toothless garra rufa fish sometimes called doctor fish. These little guys will suck the dead skin tissue off your foot. Being toothless, there is no biting sensation just many tiny sucking mouths. The moment your feet hits the water, the fish will swarm you and start chowing down. The sensation feels like a mix of sucking and tapping but with 100 fish doing it at the same time. At first it’s an alarming experience, many people will find it highly ticklish. The garra rufa will target the smelliest, sweatiest parts of your feet first then start to work their way up the leg. In Thailand it’ll cost you between 200-300 Thai baht or around $8 for a 30 minute session.
The president of the Dermatological Society of Thailand says these fish spas don’t come without risk though, both the fish and water are able to cause infection. They point out that in a medical facility instruments used on a patient are sterilized after every use which doesn’t happen with these fish spas. This risk of infection has caused 14 US states to ban the fish pedicure.
Not only in Thailand, are fish pedicures popular, they are booming in the UK now, prices aren’t cheap though in the UK running around $80 a session. Just the same as in Thailand, UK health officials are cautious these fish spas may be doing more harm than good. Often tanks have a filtration system and uv lights to prevent the spread of disease but it seems there is no definitive answer if real risk is present at fish spas.
Check out some of our other videos:
Top 10 Fruits You’ve Never Heard Of Part 2
Top 10 Fruits You’ve Never Heard Of
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