Health officials have warned people about the possible dangers of undergoing a fish pedicure. While the risk of infection is “very low” people with certain conditions such as psoriasis, should avoid the treatments.
The pedicures involve a person submerging their feet in warm water containing the garra rufa fish, which nibble dead dry skin off feet. The treatment is widely available at salons and spas around Ireland. Research has shown that in a spa setting, there is the potential for the transmission of a range of infections, either from fish to person (during the nibbling process), water to person (from the bacteria that can multiply on water) or person to person (via water, surrounding surfaces and fish).
A working group has been established to offer guidance on the treatments and the group insist that the overall risk of infection is “likely to be very low” as long as proper standards of hygiene are adhered to. However, with certain conditions such as psoriasis and diabetes those people are likely to be at an increased risk of infection and so fish pedicures are not recommended for them.
Speaking today, Liam Moloney, Solicitor Naas , commented on the findings, “many of these salons are completely unregulated and do not undergo regular hygiene inspections. Therefore members of the public should be aware of the increased risk of infection for diabetes and psoriasis sufferers. It is important for salons to ensure that clients have no underlying health conditions that could put them at risk. A thorough foot examination should be performed to make sure that clients have no cuts, grazes or existing skin conditions that could spread infection”.
He added, “anyone who experiences any ill effects such as bleeding, swelling, oozing from the skin or pain, heat or redness after the pedicure should immediately contact their GP for advice”.