Pedicure Fish May Cause Infections
A few years ago, many people flocked to nail salons to try out an unusual new pedicure technique that involved tiny fish literally eating the dead skin cells off of their feet. Years later, experts now warn that these aquatic creatures may carry harmful bacteria that could lead to infection.
Several states have banned the practice after public health agencies expressed their concern, according to Medill News Service. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also advised that the Garra rufa fish - oftentimes referred to as “doctor fish” - may carry bacteria that may lead a customer to develop an infection.
Last year there was an outbreak of strep bacteria in a shipment of doctor fish, prompting the British government to examine what other kinds of bacteria the fish carried. The investigation revealed that the fish carried the following bacteria:
- Aeromonas, which causes gastrointestinal problems and wound infections
- Streptococcus agalactiae, which causes soft tissue and skin infections
- Mycobacteria, which the study reported have been responsible for skin infections in the U.K.
The researchers also discovered that these infections were difficult to cure because they were often resistant to a number of medications.