Posts Tagged ‘Doctor fish’

Fish Ate My Feet: Follow Up

March 25, 2010

Last month I posted a story about a downtown Bangkok fish tank filled with fish that would (for a small fee) obligingly graze dead skin on one’s feet and provide a soothing massage. A lot of fun!

I have since learned that the species is called Garra Rufa and originates in Turkey where it can be found thriving in thermal springs with temperatures of up to 42 degrees C. Also known as nibble fish or Kangal, the fish, which are toothless, secrete a saliva that is beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis and dermatitis. Allied prisoners building the infamous bridge over the river Kwai used them to clean ulcers. Kangal, the Turkish town where they were first discovered (allegedly) is now a health spa.

FISH ADVISORY: Cheapskate icythiotherapists sometimes resort to using ‘lookalike’ chin chin tilapia which can at times eat a lot more than dead skin.  To avoid wounds, make sure you dangle your feet in Garra Rufa waters!

If you would like your own personal pedicure the fish and tanks are commercially available (you can also rent them for parties if you live in Singapore).

Wikipedia, as usual, can let you know more but the most informative site I’ve found on my fishing trip is

%d bloggers like this: