Zoonotic Disease Pathogens in Fish Used for Pedicure
PDF Version [PDF - 205 KB - 3 pages]
D. W. Verner-Jeffreys et al.
“Doctor” fish might not be such good doctors after all. These fish are used for the increasingly popular spa treatment called fish pedicures. During these sessions, spa patrons immerse their feet in water, allowing the live fish to feed on dead skin, mainly for cosmetic reasons. However, examinations of doctor fish destined for these spas found that they can carry harmful bacteria. Thus, although reports of human infection after fish pedicures are few, there may be some risks. Spa patrons who have underlying medical conditions (such as diabetes, immunosuppression, or even simple breaks in the skin) are already discouraged from taking such treatments. However, spas that offer fish pedicures should also consider using only disease-free fish reared in controlled facilities under high standards of husbandry and welfare.