The Dangers Of Fish Pedicures
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 but spread worldwide. 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 sone of these little vultures. My feet aren’t looking the Mae West and i don’t like it. I was out for the day and we 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 out of sheer curiosity. I went along and the place looked fab, clean. We spoke to the man in charge and he had lots of knowledge about the fish and began telling us all about them. I have 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?” I questioned. Yes he says. Not a chance mate! He was lucky i was willing to put my ugly trodden hoofs in.
The time came and we climbed up and sat on the side, slowly lowering our feet in. The sensation was mental. Like why am i willingly sat here letting slimy fish eat my flesh. Beauty what! The instinct to move your feet away took a lot of getting used to. Some swarmed at certain places, and barely at others. They were feasting on the bad bits i suppose. Sorry are you grossed yet? Only one part of it actually hurt were i felt a big pinch and yelped that one of the critters had bit me. Other than that it was just a weird feeling more than anything. I was happy enough though and it was cheaper than at home. I said ah it was an experience and my feet did look better.
I was so tired that night i fell asleep in a towel with my hairdryer in my hand. I woke up the next day and my foot felt really tight. My feet do swell due to illness, plus flying i just put it down to that and thought no more of it. The following day after a night out i was putting my sandals on and it really hurt. I looked and 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 i wouldn’t have been suprised. As the day went on, the red patches darkened and looked now more like cuts now. Still i never thought it was anything other than a holiday hazard. The cuts became sores. More and more of them and they got bigger too. I had started to clean them and got out the antiseptic cream and plasters out. I wore shoes that didn’t touch the sore part and sported maxis to hide the cream. Not a good look and none of it was working either. It had gotten so much worse and started to get really painful.
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 agony. I got home and says mam will ya look at this. “Oh Kiera that’s Impetigo” she says. 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 won’t use any adjectives here don’t worry. Off to the doctors i went baring in mind that 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 beauty treatments. I couldn’t help think why had i done this, I’d been set against it. My friend was totally fine, her mother too. It was just me. Me and my scabby foot. Steroids, Antibiotics, creams, you name it. Yes i know i have a joking tone but in hindsight i was very lucky. People die from that shit. The bacteria in that water caused had 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 at home.
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 it’s 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 or at least make them do some research themselves. 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 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.