Over the past few months I've heard a lot about the latest health and beauty craze - fish pedicures. 'It's amazing', 'Fantastic!' and 'My feet felt so soft afterwards' were just some of the comments I'd heard at work . So last week during the Easter holidays it was with great excitement, and just a little trepidation that my daughter and I went off to Manchester to give it a go.
On arriving we were given a basic questionnaire to fill in, we washed our feet and we were taken to our tank.
I was a little nervous, even though I had been told that the fish don't have any teeth. I dipped my feet in and immediately the little black fish swarmed to me. Without really giving it a chance I pulled my feet out, howling with laughter. I didn't feel too silly as my daughter was doing exactly the same thing. After a couple of minutes I managed to chill a little and keep my feet in the tepid water without getting too stressed out, after all this was supposed to be a relaxing treat!
The big question on everyone's lips who has never had it done is, 'What does it feel like?' Well, it felt kind of like an electrical buzzing over the main areas of my feet, much stronger on the softer skin of my instep and it did tickle when they went between my toes but I didn't find it entirely relaxing.
Afterwards we were given a dollop of moisturiser and a towel. And with great excitement I felt my feet and they felt... soft.
That's all, soft. As soft as any feet would be after being soaked for 15 minutes then coated in moisturiser. Later on that evening I checked my feet and they were just as they were before the fish had their lunch on me.
Then there are the health and safety issues to consider.
Experts are worried that the latest beauty craze could spread infection and disease. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) says the practice is the subject of a major investigation. It has been revealed the pedicures using the garra rufa fish – which have been banned in 14 states in the U.S. – could spread infection from person to person through open wounds. Salons say they use UV-lit tanks which are constantly filtered to keep them clear of disease. The HPA began investigating after being contacted by environmental health officers. An agency spokesman said: ‘The HPA will examine the most up-to-date evidence of any possible risks associated with garra rufa fish pedicures.’
So, was spending £10 for 15 minutes of foot nibbling worth it? No, not for me. It was a novelty worth trying once but I wouldn't bother again.
Have you experienced fish pedicures or some other unusual health and beauty treatment? If so, let me know what you thought of it.