Posted in Beauty, Health, news

Woman Loses her Toenails After Fish Pedicure

Image above from Women’s Health

An unnamed woman in her 20’s lost all of her toenails after treating herself to a fish pedicure.

After her spa treatment, she eventually developed onychomadesis, a condition in which the nail separates from the nail matrix.

nail matrix.png
 Image from Wikipedia

Toenails grow 1 mm a month on average, hence can take 1 – 1 1/2 years to grow back if lost.

Fish pedicures use a small, toothless carp known as Garra rufa, and although usually vegetarian, they like to nibble dead skin off humans. They’re known as “doctor fish” for their debriding activity and in the Middle East have been used to treat scaly skin conditions such as psoriasis.

However, according to the CDC, nail salon foot baths have been linked to nontuberculous mycobacterial infections or other infections that can enter the skin.

The fish are not sterile and are usually reused, hence infections from one customer can be spread to another.

Fish pedicures are banned in 10 states including Texas, Florida, Washington, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Other fish species, such as ChinChin, are substituted for Garra Rufa, and being able to grow teeth, may leave customers with lacerations and bleeding.

And if that hasn’t grossed you out, keep in mind salon tubs cannot be properly disinfected while fish are present.

My vote, opt for a Loofah…..


Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada



Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, Author

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