Let fishes nibble at your feet. The fish pedicure now comes to the city

Letting a few hundred fish feed on your feet might sound slightly gruesome. But not if they are “doctor fish”, a kind of toothless fish that eat up dead skin. Used extensively in pedicures and spas around the world, these fish have now come to the city.

Laura Salon and Spa at Panampilly Nagar have introduced Dr. Fish Pedicure, a delightful technique to give your feet the much-desired pampering. All you have to do is clean your feet and sink them into a tank. Mini schools of fish then swarm around your feet, nibbling on them. Known as Garra Rufa, these fish are used for treating skin diseases, as they consume only the dead or affected parts of the skin.

Healthy for the skin

Leo Alphons, owner of the salon, says the technique helps improve blood circulation and leaves the skin soft, healthy and rejuvenated. The tingling sensation caused by the fish sucking on the feet would be relaxing, as the feet have thousands of nerve endings. Unlike the conventional pedicure, where the beautician scrubs and picks at your toes, here, it is the fish that do the work.

The fish that are imported from Singapore, are bred in a large plant in Mumbai. They are flown to Kochi in plastic bags. “These fish need a lot of care,” says Leo. Even a slight change in flight timings could be detrimental to them, he says. They have to be kept in a temperature-controlled aquarium with UV filters. Leo uses about 600 Garra Rufa for the pedicure at his salon at Panampilly Nagar. His salon at Oberon Mall has a two-foot pool, which can accommodate more than 1,000 fish. Leo has 2,000 Garra Rufa fish in his aquarium. The 30-minute session includes a 15-minute fish pedicure followed by a foot massage by a professional. It is priced at Rs. 600 a session. However, a special offer of Rs. 300 a session is on till December.