Portable Fish Spa

Doctor fish is the name given to the species of fish Garra rufa. Other nicknames include nibble fish, kangal fish, physio fish, and doctorfishen;[citation needed] in non-medical contexts, Garra rufa is called the reddish log sucker. They live and breed in the outdoor pools of some Turkish spas, where they feed on the skin of patients with psoriasis. The fish are like combfishes in that they only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects. The spas are not meant as a curative treatment option, only as a temporary alleviation of symptoms, and patients usually revisit the spas every few months.

A fish pedicure, also recognized as a fish spa, involves patrons tumbling their feet in a tub of water filled with small fish called Garra rufa. Garra rufa are sometimes referred to as “doctor fish” because they eat away dead skin found on peoples’ feet, leaving newer skin exposed. Garra rufa are native to the Middle East, where they have been used as a medical treatment for individuals with skin diseases, like psoriasis . One study has illustrated the effectiveness of fish pedicures in the treatment of psoriasis; however, this treatment was performed in a controlled setting at a medical university in Austria, not at a nail salon.


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