A fish pedicure involves patrons dipping their feet in a tub of water filled with small fish called Garra rufa. Garra rufa eat the dead skin, leaving newer skin exposed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not aware of any published reports on illnesses resulting from fish pedicures. However fish pedicures are not permitted in some states, including Illinois. Reasons for banning fish pedicures include:
- The fish pedicure tubs cannot be sufficiently cleaned between customers.
- Live fish cannot be disinfected or sanitized.
- Chinchin, another species of fish that is often mislabeled as Garra rufa, grows teeth and can draw blood, increasing the risk of infection.