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Doctor Fish Pedicures: Top 5 Questions & Answers

Updated on October 11, 2015

Doctor Fish Pedicures: Top 5 Questions & Answers

The Doctor Fish Pedicure could be one of the most fascinating, yet disgusting new beauty treatments to surface in the U.S. in 2008. A special breed of fish called “Garra Rufa” actually feed off your dead skin cells, while you sit back and dangle your feet in a pool of these swimming marvels.

I’ve researched Doctor Fish Pedicures and have recapped below, the top 5 questions and answers that YOU want to know about this unusual treatment.

1) How does a Doctor Fish Pedicure compare to a traditional pedicure? When you receive a traditional pedicure treatment a loofa, sponge or file is used to slough off the dead skin and calluses from your feet. This is usually followed by warm oil massage and moisturizing lotion.

When you receive a Doctor Fish Pedicure, hundreds of toothless fish use their powerful sucking lips, to literally suck away your dead skin, unveiling your healthy, soft skin that lies beneath. In addition to the nickname “Doctor Fish”, the Garra Rufas are also called “nibble fish” and “little dermatologists”.

2) What does a Doctor Fish Pedicure feel like? When you first dip your feet in the pool of Doctor Fish, many describe the sensation as tingly or like being tickled. After a few minutes, you get used to the fish touching you and it begins to feel more like a gentle massage.

3) How much does a Doctor Fish Pedicure cost? The cost of a Fish Pedicure varies from salon to salon and state to state, but ranges from $30 to $45 for a 15-20 minute session. Most salons offer traditional pedicure options, example toenail shaping and polish, in addition to the fish nibbling section.

Doctor Fish Pedicure
Doctor Fish Pedicure

4) In addition to softer skin, what other benefits can I receive from a Doctor Fish Pedicure? Some fish pedicure enthusiasts believe that the fish can stimulate acupuncture points in your feet which help to regulate your nervous system, relax your body and release fatigue. Others state that the fish help to remove obstructions from your pores and promote better blood circulation.

The concept of using these fish to treat skin disorders originated in Turkey then spread to Asia and across the Globe. In addition to being used to treat dry skin, the Garra Rufa have been used to treat skin disorders including Psoriasis, Eczema and Dermatitis.

Like many skin treatments, the fish provide a temporary cure to treat skin conditions so spa goers need to repeat the treatment every few months to maintain the effect.

5) Where can I get a Doctor Fish Pedicure? There are salons across the United States that offer doctor fish pedicures.

  • As a first step, Google "Doctor Fish Pedicure AND your location" and see what listings are provided.
  • The website Doctor Fish Massage provides links and information to about ten sites across the U.S. Click here for more info.

Not Everyone Likes Doctor Fish Pedicures

Not everyone likes Doctor Fish Pedicures. In October 2008, Fish Pedicures were outlawed in the state of Washington. The Washington Department of Licensing stated that they do not feel the practice is sanitary. "You can clean the tank, you can clean the water, but there's no guarantee that the fish aren't carrying something from the previous customer." Read more about this Washington ruling here.

In other states, salons offering Fish Pedicures were asked to move away from using a large pool of fish, feeding on several clients at the same time (see video below) to single pools, only used by one client at a time. Again, to make the process more sanitary.

These Fish Pedicures do sound a little fishy to me. I think I’ll stick with the tried and true, human kind for now!

Watch a Live Doctor Fish Pedicure!

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    • _DANE_YOUSSEF_ profile image

      _DANE_YOUSSEF_ 4 years ago from California

      by Dane Youssef

      Now this seems like an inspired little find!

      I’ve seen news reports revealing the dangerous unsanitary procedures that go on in a lot of major salons nowadays.

      These beauty parlors are so popular nowadays, there’s legions of women who come traipsing through there by the dozens. And feet are practically the dirtiest part of the body. So all the effort that goes into cleaning them, scraping all the filth off–the germs collecting and joining and forming diseases.

      Real new viruses. Like leprosy. Women actually getting painful leg boils, open wounds with oozing pustules, burning red-infections–some leading to nessicary amputation, even an actual death in one case.

      Such a high-profile tragedy and wake-up call was featured in “Death By Pedicure, the dirty secrets of nail salons,” by DR. Robert Spalding.

      It seems as though nowadays, organic inventions are coming out every ten seconds. Soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, soda, popsicles, cereal, chips and everything else all made from natural rainforest elements.

      All these all-natural bohemian hippie stores are constantly popping up and bringing us into the future and into the age of good health.

      This fish Pedi seems like a real find. Like the Ped Egg that came out into the world but a short time ago.

      Women are going to love this. Especially women who prefer bohemian products. I imagine a lot of professional starlets are going to try it, fall in love with it and really promote the hell out of it. Become spokeswomen for the “doctor fish.”

      Asians are using fish like crazy the same way that people used to use leeches for all-medicinal purposes eons ago. The only difference is, the fish actually work! Now this… is a real discovery.

      To quote Yakoff Smirnoff, “In Turkey and some Asian countries, Fish eat YOU!”

      --Hoping You'll All Be Swimming With The Fishies (in a good way), Dane Youssef

    • profile image

      IcesWeasy 4 years ago

      We used to receive on top of life although these days I have developed some sort of amount of resistance.

    • profile image

      raghuram 4 years ago

      We “HYD FISH SUPPLIERS” are operating our business in Tropical, Wild Caught Fish in India,

      We are SUPPLIER, CONSULTANT, ADVICER FOR FISH SPA, we supply Original Garra Rufa Fish (Doctor / Spa Fish) in

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    • profile image

      ranjujoshi 5 years ago

      I WANT to open Docter fish therapy in my city patiala so guide me about this. Thank you

    • profile image

      raghuram 6 years ago

      contacy me for garrarufa fish in hydetrabad..9949990991

    • profile image

      m rafiq14 7 years ago

      These are just a few options I have come up with that give mainly the same results for Nashvillians, with the exception of Diversity Builder. I'm sure there are more things out there. If you have any other ideas that may be helpful, please leave them in the comments section. Every little bit helps. Thank you

    • profile image

      Raghunandan Devarshetty 7 years ago


      I am looking for psoriasis fish treatment in Hyderabad.

      I am severely suffering from it.

      Can somebody help me out in finding the phone no. or address.




    • Jasnav profile image

      Jasnav 7 years ago

      Have tried out the procedure, and it is actually great. Despite all the objections, it is really interesting.

      It feels ticklish at first with the little fish nibbling away at your feet. But you get used to it pretty fast.

      And the fun of seeing your clear, pink skin emerge from within is so, so good!

      Luckily for us in India the cost is almost one-tenth of that in the US, so its a luxury we can afford to enjoy!

    • profile image

      VivekSri 7 years ago

      Real fascinating hub, and a good piece of study. Hope that feels great. Will try someday.

    • profile image

      crazy crazy 7 years ago

      First, I felt like a small bite, then like a suck, bunch of small fish sucking, good feeling. I want to be in the tub naked let all fish suck me all over, hey hey :) i think that feels real goodd. what if these fish tickles penis or nipples, may be a fish sex, may come sooon....ha ha...

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 8 years ago from the short journey

      It's the "something from a previous customer" that keeps me from going for this. Years ago, in the heat of the Florida wilds, somewhere in the middle of nowhere my husband and I (very young and very stupid) took off our shoes and dangled them a cool lake. In just a few minutes I felt a tickling on my feet and little minnows were swarming them--funny at first. Every time I see news on this pedicure I think of mine way back when...when a gator or a moccasin or a copperhead or a piraña or or rabid whatever or any number of stuff and such could have ended our pilgrim journey. We climbed back in the old 61 Jeep Willys after we realized our idiocy, but I've often wondered if these pedicure fish have to be Asian.

    • profile image

      anand 8 years ago

      Thank u for providing me the useful information. Actually i work for O2spa in hyderabad,India as a manager to this fish spa & fish therapy.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I like the idea. Seems natural to me.

    • profile image

      SarahPalinWannabee 8 years ago

      Doctor Fish pedicures are very popular in Asia. Perhaps the use the fish for the pedicure then make sushi!

    • Reynolds_Writing profile image

      Reynolds_Writing 8 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks for the feedback.. Good idea to stay with the traditional Patricia!

    • profile image

      patricialensing 8 years ago

      Interesting hub! I'd never heard of Doctor Fish Pedicures until I read this. I agree with you.. I think I'll stick to the traditional fish free pedicures.