Are Fish Spas Safe in SE Asia

Are Fish Spas Safe in SE Asia

Fish Eating Spas

Fish Massage Safe or Dangerous

a girls feet are surrounded by fish in a tank, Are Fish Spas Safe

What Happens at Fish Spas

When people put their feet into a tank the fish eat dead skin off of your legs and feet. Are these fish spas safe?  This is supposed to be good for the skin. The fish may be enjoying their meal of dead skin from us humans legs and feet, but it does sound gross. Turkish toothless carp are what the spas use in their tanks. The fish spas in Thailand and other countries are a very common sight.

Are Fish Spas Safe: Fish Spas are International

Are fish spas safe in SE Asia, Thailand, Cambodia, UK and United States along with other countries.  The small fish that the spas use are called Garra rufa, and some refer to them as “doctor fish” which is a type of toothless carp originally from Turkey. After the fish eat away the dead skin, newer skin is exposed. This is supposed to be good for your skin, but is it sanitary?

Fish massage tanks, Are Fish Spas Safe

Group of people with their feet in the Fish Spas in Thailand.

Fish Nibbles on Legs and Feet

I personally have not tried Fish pedicures in Thailand.  I’m not thrilled with the idea of feeling of small carp nibbling on my legs and feet. This was my first thoughts since I first saw the practice after first arriving in SE Asia. I never liked getting nibbled on in a lake by small fish and now I’m going to pay for it? I don’t think so after hearing about a lady with an infection. 

Fever and Chills from Foot Massage

One day I was in the hotel lobby and I took notice when I overheard a husband talk about his wife who had a fish massage. She was in her Siem Reap hotel room with a fever. My first thought was that she had Dengue fever. A few days later I heard that she no longer had a fever and was feeling better.  Her husband thought she was fighting an infection she got from the fish tank. She had a cut on her leg, and had a fish massage the night before she came down with the fever.

Infections and Disease

People who put their feet into a tank with any kind of infection, or disease can spread it to the next person. The water may not clean, or the fish could pass on the disease or infection to another person. Health official are now worried about he spread of infections, and even the spread of HIV.

Fish Spas Say its Safe

Fish massage salons defend their practice because they say they use filters and UV lights to kill any organisms.  Some of the salons are prohibited by law in some locations. Please be aware of the problems you may have if you try out fish massages. Do you trust your fish massage spa? How well do you know them or trust them? 

© 2015 Travel Food & Health Magazine online

Author: TL

Editor & Chief, professional photographer who's passionate about fine arts, travel and food photography. Traveling in SE Asia currently. Thomas Levine Photography sells photo stock, products designed with his images, and educates others on how to take great photographs. Travel Food & Health is Tom's way of sharing the world. Geared for both travelers or arm chair travelers.

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