Filed under: Spas
In the last year, the amount of spas offering the service of small fish to nibble off dead skin has been rising. About two years ago, people here in the U.S. first learned about the "doctor fish" used at some spas in China and other places to eat away dead skin. Fish pedicures have become a hot trend but many states are deciding to outlaw them. The Wall Street Journal reports that at least 14 states have already outlawed the procedure. Some salon owners, who bought fish and tanks, only to have them outlawed in their state are angry.
The core issue seems to be that there is no way to sanitize a fish the way you might sanitize other tools. And the fish can't be discarded after one use. The lack of sterility concerns some people while others think it is no big deal as long as each procedure is done in a separate tank and the water is kept clean. The fish are fairly expensive. The first person to offer the treatment in the U.S., John Ho paid $40,000 for his 10,000 fish. That doesn't include the cost of tanks and care.
Each state is coming to terms with the issue separately and creating their own regulations. The rules will likely shift as time goes on much as they have for other cosmetic treatments.