A young woman lost her toenails when they began to separate from her toes. Doctors were able to discover the reason for why this happened, a fish pedicure she received six months prior.
A Pedicure Gone Wrong
The young woman had partaken in a new way some people claim is rejuvenating for their feet. Fish pedicures involve a person placing their feet in a warm tub of water while having small fish nibble on them. The fish used in this treatment are toothless carp fish, which are plant eaters and eat the dead human skin.
The young woman, who is in her 20’s, stated that after receiving her fish pedicure, her toenails stopped growing and they began to fall off. The woman assumed at first that she had onychomadesis, however, her dermatologist informed her that onychomadesis was not the reason this was happening.
Dr. Sheri Lipner, the woman’s doctor and an assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine, stated that this was most likely a result of fish traumatization to the woman’s toenails. Dr. Lipner continued that her patient’s case could be the first incident where onychomadesis occurred due to a fish pedicure. Dr. Lipner was convinced that her patient has no other previous health issues that would explain what happened with her toenails.
Dr. Lipner also advises people against getting a fish pedicure, as the practice has been banned in 10 states in America due to health concerns.
Severe Health Risks
Health experts have raised their concerns in regards to fish spas since the fish are recycled and used again on various customers. Health experts are also skeptically if the tubs are properly cleaned.
In the United Kingdom, an investigation was conducted by the UK’s Fish Health Inspectorate discovered bacteria outbreak among the fish used in these spas. David Verner-Jeffreys, a senior microbiologist at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in the UK, stated the culprit for the outbreak was streptococcal bacteria, which is found fish like tilapia.
Verner-Jeffreys did comment that the fish spa phase didn’t last long in the U.K.
“I wouldn’t say it necessarily poses a significant risk to humans, but it did illustrate that they may be carrying things which are nasty both to fish and humans. It was a bit of a craze people got excited about, and then they moved on to the next thing,” Verner-Jeffreys stated.