So the technical side of it. These little fish called Garra Rufa or Doctor Fish are from the Middle East, Turkey and Syria in particular. Feet are immersed in tanks containing the fish and they exfoliate by feeding on the dead skin (I know). This spa treatment was popularised in Asia originally. All they hype surrounding them still didn’t make it any more appealing to me. The results however were something i longed for.
Jump forward to 2013 and i’m in Turkey. Home of the little vultures. Feet aren’t looking the Mae West. I was out for the day and spotted a place doing the fishy stuff. My friend was up for it, her mother too. I said i’d watch and see what the story with them was. I went along and the place looked fab. We spoke to the man there and he had lots of knowledge about the fish and began telling us all about them. No idea why but right then it seemed like the best idea i had ever had. I blame the air. The man was cleaning the tanks and washed our feet with what smelt like bleach first, It all seemed and smelt very clean. In this particular place there wasn’t little foot tanks there was actual baths. The guy asked did we want to get in. “Sorry. Excuse me, what?”. He points at the bath full of the fish. “in there?” yes he says. No chance mate! He was lucky i was willing to put my ugly trodden hoofs in.
I was so tired that night i fell asleep in my towel with the hairdryer in my hand. I woke up the next day and my foot felt really tight. My feet do swell and with being in the heat and flying i put it down to that and thought no more of it. The following day after a night out i was putting sandals on and it hurt me. My foot had red patches on it, I thought my shoes had just been rubbing. I’d had a few drinks and they were new shoes so. As the day went on the red patches darken and were more like cuts. Still i never thought it was anything other than a holiday hazard. The cuts became sores. More of them and they got bigger too, Id started to clean them and got out the antiseptic cream and plasters. I wore shoes that didn’t touch the sore part and sported maxis to hide the cream. Not a good look. It wasn’t working. It had gotten and started to get really sore too.
I cried on the plane home. Sudocream all over my skirt. My foot had ballooned out. It was huge. Like HUGE! The pressure of it throbbing on the plane was so painful. I got home and says mam will ya look at this. “Oh Kiera that’s Impetigo”, No sorry now. I threw my mother the dirtiest look. Isn’t that something the snotty kid in school that eats the crayons gets? Eww! It couldn’t be. It only got worse and the sores were open and yucky. I wont use any adjectives here don’t worry. Off to the doctors i went. Baring in mind i still didn’t really think much of it. Without giving you my life story, I haven’t got the best immune system so i assumed i’d a little infection. I was right only it wasn’t little. Those 4 letters… MRSA. i’d caught a nasty staph infection from them fudging fish. Forget feeding on my dead skin. My skin was now feeding on itself! The shiny penny dropped, that was the pinch i felt. I got a clip around the ear from my doctor for putting myself in that position with said immune system. He ranted for several minutes about the dangers of these fish pedicures. I couldn’t help think why had i done this, I’d been set against it, My friend was totally fine, her mother too. Just me. Me and my scabby foot. Steroids, Antibiotics, creams, you name it, Yes i have a joking tone but in hindsight i was very lucky. People die from that shit. The bacteria in that water caused this. What else could it be carrying. If i hadn’t had it checked out or if it had spread quicker who knows? I do, i know! Like i said it was being cleaned and filtered and looked so clean. I am still scarred! Not to mention i still get called fishy feet.
I know they are not as popular as they once were. But i still wince when i see pictures on my feeds of people getting them done. Yeah its a bit of craic and a great photo opp but it is so dangerous! Here is the serious bit of me now. Us girls and some blokes too, we trial these products and procedures but there is danger attached. Since then i did my research and so many places have now banned them! You kinda only see them like Asia and the middle East where these things are not governed. Their approach to beauty is on another level.
I hope my waffle here maybe puts off a few who still consider doing this. I am still traumatised but it goes to show you just never know. Why take the chance?
I apologise, the picture is horrible! I wanted to show the affects of this “spa treatment” though. This is the only image i have that i took my from my Timehop. My phone was stolen last year and the day by day documents of the fishy feet were not backed up, Thank god says you. Imagine i had got in the bath like he suggested! Again i don’t want to scare anyone but rather just share my experience.