A pedicure is usually a very relaxing, enjoyable process that results in beautifully sculpted feet. During the best pedicures, there’s something relaxing about having a professional gently scrub off dead skin and revitalize the foot into a soft, smooth surface. But one highly unusual technique might have you on edge before the procedure even begins!
These pedicurists aren’t humans, but fish—small “doctor” fish from Asia that love to dine on dead skin. Normally, this skin comes from animals that live in their natural watery habitat, but when placed in beauty salons, the fish are just as happy to nibble away on paying customers. It’s not painful, because the fish have no teeth. But the tickle factor is just as intense as you would expect, and most people simply don’t like the idea of fish eating their skin. This method has been popular in Asian countries for hundreds of years, and has been appearing in beauty salons around the U.S. in the over the last few years. Proponents say that it is a natural way to cure skin problems, and that the fish efficiently do a great cleaning job.
Risks to Health and Environment
Even the best pedicures given by fish are risky. Ten states have made them illegal, citing the danger of having fish “serve” multiple customers without—well, without brushing their teeth! Disease transmission is a real risk, especially when combined with the possibility of insufficient cleaning of the water tanks.
The U.S. has learned by experience that importing animals from outside the country is a bad idea. If the pedicurist fish escape or are released into the wild by beauty salons, they could upset the natural balance in ponds, lakes, and rivers across the nation. This is one major concern of the states that have decided to keep fish out of the pedicure business.
The Old-Fashioned Ways
In our opinion, the best pedicures are those administered by humans, using safe, clean techniques. Fish nibbles are acceptable when wading in a mountain stream, but sitting in the pedicure chair? Not so much. At Athena Salon, you can choose from three different pedicures, none of which include fish. Let us give your feet a human touch, and you’ll walk out the door looking and feeling great.