Salon now offering fishy foot treatment

A SALON in Colchester has become one of the first places in Essex to offer its customers a foot treatment in which a school of hungry fish eat away any dead skin.

A fish tank containing 170 garra rufa fish has been installed at the Wilde Luv Hair Salon in LA Fitness in Clarenden Way.

The tiny fish, which are also known as doctor fish, gently exfoliate the feet and between the toes when immersed in water by nibbling on the dead skin.

Owner of the salon Wendy Bowman said: “We’ve had so much interest in the fish already, just from word of mouth, so I’m hoping that we’ll get a lot of people who want to give the treatment a go.

“My daughter first had the idea three months ago when she saw a television programme about the fish. I wasn’t so sure, but then I saw it at the V Festival and had a go. It was really relaxing and worked, so I thought why not!”

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Once the feet are in the water the fish, which are a type of toothless carp, start to suck at the dead skin and bacteria.

The treatment is already popular in Asia, Europe and the United States and is used to ease the pain of those suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis, as well as an alternative to a pedicure.

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Garra rufa fish are gradually becoming more common in the UK, but this is the first time the treatment has come to Colchester and possibly Essex.

Customer Charlotte Cranfield said: “It feels a lot like bubbles on your feet – it’s very nice and not how I thought.

“I don’t usually like having a pedicure because it’s quite rough the way they get rid of the dead skin, but this is very comfortable.”

The fish live in a tank of water kept at room temperature and are fed a small amount of fish food in the evening to complement their diet of dead skin. The water is kept clean using filters.

The treatment costs �1 for one minute and a typical session would last about 20 minutes, in which time the fish can get rid of three layers of dead skin.

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