How ‘Fish Pedicure’ Can Lead to Serious Toenail Problems
Even though a ‘Fish Pedicure’ may sound trendy, it could pose serious health risks – here’s why
Not long ago, a woman in New York developed an unusual toenail problem after having a ‘fish pedicure.’
The woman went to the doctor after seeing that her toenails don’t look normal – it was a problem that she’d had for about six months. Even though she was not in pain, her toenails seemed to have breaks, so that the bottom part of the nails separated from the top part.
The patient did not have any risk factors for developing toenail problems – such as injuries or family history of nail disorders; the only thing that could have been the cause seemed to be a ‘fish pedicure’ that she had a few months before the nail problems started.
She was diagnosed with onychomadesis, a condition in which the tissue under the nail, responsible for producing cells that allow the nail to grow separates from the nail. It occurs when something causes nails to stop growing.
As a result, people might see deep grooves running horizontally across the nails (also known as Beau lines). Even more, they may notice larger gaps where there is no nail.
In the end, the condition causes the nail to fall off. Even so, patients suffering from this condition experience spontaneous regrowth of their nails within 12 weeks.
What’s the connection with fish pedicures?
During such a procedure, people immerse their feet in a tub of water that contains freshwater fish named Garra rufa, native to the Middle East. They usually eat plankton, but if this is not available, they will eat dead human skin.
The popularity of this procedure peaked somewhere around 10 years ago, but is extremely popular even today.
However, there are some hygiene problems related to these pedicures. For instance, when the fish are in the tubs, they can’t be properly cleaned between customers. Even more, the fish themselves can’t be sanitized between the pedicure sessions, which means that they might spread infections from one client to the other.
So, if you’re considering going to such a pedicure treatment, you might want to think twice.