I had a truly ‘I’m a celebrity…get me out of here’ moment recently, when I dunked my feet in a tank of skin-eating fish. Yes, that’s right, I had a fish pedicure.
|The poor fish…
Otherwise known as Dr Fish, Garra Ruffa fish feed off dead, dry skin (nice), therefore act as unwitting dermatologists. Originated in the Middle East, the fish pedicure has taken the world by storm.
While I’d known about the fish pedicure phenomena for years – in fact I’d first seen it featured on Ugly Betty – it was the first time I’d took the plunge.
And I have to say, it was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had. I visited Appy Feet, in Manchester’s Arndale Centre, and was immediately struck by how popular the place way, there were about 12 tanks, which were barely empty, as a constant stream of families, couples and groups of friends came to dip their toes in for fifteen minutes.
My original enthusiasm turned to nervous apprehension when I saw the tank full of what looked like tiny eels. I cautiously dipped my feet in, only to shriek and immediately remove them as I felt the fish gather at my soles. I wanted to back out but felt rather dramatic and silly, so took the plunge again.
So what was it like? Well, the fish didn’t hurt as they nibbled, I would liken the feeling to Jacuzzi bubbles. However, for the first ten minutes, I literally couldn’t look down. It’s psychological – seeing the fish in action is what put me off. If I didn’t look, it was tolerable.
Some people shared my dread, while others found it more relaxing. One thing was for sure, it was a different experience. I understand why fish pedicures are used during hen parties and pamper sessions – it’s fun with others. I was glad I was with a friend, or I would have looked a bit silly shrieking by myself.
Once my ‘experience’ was over, I checked my feet and found that they were silky soft and smooth, so the fish had done something
. But after last week’s pedicure at Urban Retreat
, I had a bit of a head start, as my feet were already pretty primed. I think that someone with more issues with dry skin and cracked heels would see greater results.
Overall, I think the fish pedicure is great for someone with either particularly dry skin, or even for a group of friends who want a pamper with a difference. Though it wasn’t for me, I think it falls into one of those ‘definitely try once’ categories. One thing’s for sure, it’s not an experience I’ll forget in a hurry.