Pesce Feet

I have just booked myself in for a Garra Rufa foot spa and now I am nervous. I love fish but the thought of them nibbling at my skin makes me cringe. However, I have heard it is a great treatment and thought I would give it a go.


It is the fastest growing pampering craze in Britain and now spas are offering dunking whole bodies in tanks for these toothless carp to nibble away at.

Apparently, fish therapy dates back to the 1800’s where spa fish have been natural treatments for skin conditions such as psoriasis. The origins are in the Turkish region and parts of the Middle East where there are naturally occurring hot springs and spa pools. Doctor Fish, as it is known, are renowned for their ability to find and feed on dead or damaged areas of the skin surface, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth.

Has anybody tried it and can they tell me what it i like?

I look forward to all my lovely looking feet.


6 Comments to “Pesce Feet”

  1. Hi Bunty,

    I think the concept may be considered a ‘fad’ in some circles but in reality it is one of the new crueller extremes in the quest for beauty. The fish do not naturally eat the skin etc from our feet, but are essentially starved into this as no plankton etc is made available. The conditions they are forced to live in are far from perfect and even when the utmost care is taken, you need to ask yourself why there is even a need for it? Is a normal foot spa no longer enough?

    It is not humane by any standards, and when it was first introduced, it was very much for psoriasis sufferers and even then, was done under strict and controlled conditions. These fish are now the latest victims of our continuous quest for beauty, so before you decide to go for the pedicure, please think of the harm you are about to cause which you might not have been aware of. Just type in google ‘are fish pedicures cruel’ and see the continuous list of information against it. check one here: It is interesting that many places in the US have chosen to ban it as well. If I were you, I would not go. But ultimately, the choice is yours to make. Read it and decide.

  2. I had this treatment done a couple of years ago in Delhi in a shopping mall and it was not relaxing at all. Some of that is my fault I am extremely extremely tickly on my feet and don’t know why I booked in the first place.

    I think the treatments have been banned in the USA less for cruelty more for hygiene. Does anyone know why?

  3. I have tried this. It was tickly. It was also a bit gross – someone else had their feet in the tank ten minutes before. Surely that’s not long enough for the filter to have killed all the bacteria from the previous person’s feet – YUCK!

    Also, it didn’t even get rid of the hard skin on my feet, so the whole exercise was pointless and expensive. For the same price that I would have paid for a proper pedicure and heel treatment, I got more rough skin from where the fish had only eaten bits of skin.

    I will defintely NOT be doing this again.

  4. This sounds so disgusting but I have to admit I didn’t realise that it could be cruel to the fish – of course it must be as why would they want to eat feet!! Thanks Sitao – I see it all the time in my local shopping mall and am disgustingly curious about it but now I know it’s cruel I will not be doing it ..

  5. Thanks to you all for your advice and comments. I bailed out and didn’t go. I was too squirmish.
    I too did a bit of research onto the hygiene and cruelty side of this. The spa that I booked at fed its fish twice a day and changed the water twice.I agree Bubbly, it seems that in the States it has been banned for hygiene purposes not for cruelty.
    However, it is what you deem cruelty to be. Sitao your point about another beautification method stayed with me. How would I feel if I was using this method to treat a condition, I don’t know, but for now, I think I will stick to a traditional pedicure.

  6. There are great health fears and this practice is being banned in many US states. I have written about the welfare of the fish here I hope it gives you some more information xx

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