Girl with her Feet in a Fish tank Spa

Fish Spa Safety

Fish Spa Safety

Fish Spa Health

Soaking your feet in a tank of water where other’s have put their tired dusty dirty scraped up legs into? Sure, people put their feet into a tank and fish snack on your dead skin cells on your legs and feet (get the picture); Fish Spa Safety: Are these fish spas safe?  This is supposed to be good for the skin? The fish may be enjoying their meal of dead skin from us humans while we get a massage? (Symbiosis) legs and feet, but sorry, it sounds gross! Turkish toothless carp are what the spas use in their tanks. The fish spas in Thailand and other countries are a very common sight. There are fish spa dangers that travelers need to know about to make a decision whether to try it or not.

We’re Only Human (two views)

What is it about feet? That’s a complicated answer and it’s different for everyone. From, “don’t touch my foot” to, “ahhhh, yes, do that again”! One view is to relax and enjoy the journey. The other, could this end our journey? I travel a lot, I know that we must think out our trip with safety in mind.

Woman Loses Toes from Fish Pedicure (CNN)

(CNN)After a young woman’s toenails started to separate from her toes, a doctor finally zeroed in on the reason: a fish pedicure, according to a report published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

Six months prior, the woman had dunked her feet in a tub of water filled with tiny fish called Garra rufa that will eat dead human skin when no plankton are around. It wasn’t until later on that she noticed her nails beginning to shed. CNN

Are Fish Spas Safe: Fish Spas are International

Fish Spa Safety – are fish spas safe in SE Asia? Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, UK and United States along with other countries have fish eating spas.  The small fish that the spas use are called Garra rufa, and some refer to them as “doctor fish” which is a type of toothless carp originally from Turkey. After the fish eat away the dead skin, newer skin is exposed. This is supposed to be good for your skin, but is it sanitary?

Fish Tank Spa with Feet in the Tank in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Fish spa safety, fish spa health,

Fish Nibbles – Legs and Feet

I personally have not tried Fish pedicures in Thailand.  I’m not too keen about feeling small carp nibbling on my legs and feet. When I was a kid I hated it when I felt small fish nibbling on my legs when I was swimming or wading, and now I’m going to pay for it? I don’t think so after hearing about a lady that got an infection from a fish spa. As far as Fish Spa Safety, infections are very possible even months after a spa treatment. If you have an open sore, you’re susceptible to an infection because you are exposed to bacteria from the tank, from the fish, or from another person who just had their legs and feet in the same water. How fast does that water get purified again with their filters and how through is the cleaning.

Another thing to think about if you have a small crack in your skin or around a toe nail. You may not know you do, and that crack in your skin can be the opening for bacteria to enter and cause an infection. The thing to think about is, do you want to potentially ruin your holiday because of a Fish Spa?

Fever and Chills from Fish Spa Massage

What happened was while I was in a hotel lobby, I took notice when I overheard a husband talk about his wife who had a fish massage. While he was talking, she was in her Siem Reap hotel room with a fever. My first thought was that she had Dengue fever. A few days later I heard that she no longer had a fever and was feeling better. Her husband thought she was fighting an infection she got from the fish tank. She had a cut on her leg before using the fish spa then that night she came down with the fever. The issue became fish spa safety because of her sudden sickness.

Infections and Disease

People who put their feet into a tank with any kind of infection, or disease can spread it to the next person. The water may not clean, or the fish could pass on the disease or infection to another person. Health officials are now worried that infections can spread in a community tank of water. Many kinds of infections can spread, even the spread of HIV. These fish spa dangers to be aware of.

Fish Spas Safety – Fish Spa Health

Fish massage salons defend their practice because they say they use filters and UV lights to kill any organisms.  Some of the salons are prohibited by law in some locations. In SE Asia, there are few laws.

Please be aware of the problems you may have if you try out fish massages. If you have any open wounds don’t do it. Sometimes we have small cracks in the skin and we don’t even realize it. Go for a regular massage if your in SE Asia. It’s cheap and a lot safer and I would think much more relaxing. Do you trust the spa that offers fish massage? How well do you know them?

Row of Lounge Chairs Receiving Massages in Thailand
Tourists Getting Massages in an Alley in Bangkok

© 2018 Travel Food & Health Magazine online

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.