Fish Pedicure – Gimmick, Gross Or Great?

The fish pedicure is apparently one of the latest spa treatment trends around the world. I didn't know this was a 'thing' until my husband spotted a fish pedicure kiosk in a mall in Mumbai, India. A few months later we moved to Mumbai and I decided I had to try it for the novelty value.   I didn't feel at all squeamish about it...until I actually put my feet in the tank.

The fish swarming around my feet.

Fish pedicures have been popping up in spas and salons in the United States and Europe over the last few years. Instead of having calluses and dry skin removed with razor blades, the spa customer dips her (or his) feet in a tank full of 'doctor fish.' These tiny, toothless fish remove the dead skin by eating it, which seemed weird and cool to me.   It was only after I put my feet in the tank and the fish swarmed around my feet and up my ankles that I started to feel a little grossed out. Nevertheless, I wanted to try this thing and after a few minutes I got used to the slightly ticklish sensation.

The finished product. I chose orange for the San Francisco Giants!

Ultimately, this was worth doing for the experience, but the results were no better than a regular pedicure. The technician still had to pumice my feet after 15 minutes in the fish tank. On the other hand, I was paying in Indian Rupees and the grand total for the entire pedicure came out to about seven dollars - probably the cheapest pedicure I've ever had. The fish pedicure is banned in ten states and it is not recommended for people with skin allergies or compromised immune systems, but according this article the risk of contracting an illness remains low.