Put your foot into a tub of water and let hundreds of fish nibble on the dead skin on your feet. Who thought this was a good idea?
Rough scaly feet is one of those little problems in life for which no one seems to have a good solution. The skin on the bottom of your feet has the thickest outer layer anywhere on your body. It is designed to protect you from the endless trauma of walking. Without that extra thick layer of skin, every little stone that you stepped on would tear right through. The friction from wearing your new Jimmy Choo Zip Gladiator Sandals would cause painful, water-filled blisters on the balls of your feet.
Constant friction from shoes and repeated wetting and drying of your feet lead to excess skin growth — your skin is compensating to keep your feet protected. The result is often thick, scaly, rough skin. Repeated drying out of the skin from wearing sandals can lead to impressivly thick, cracked skin on the heels. Thick yellow rough skin is not only unattractive (no matter how pretty the strappy shoes are), it is uncomfortable. Rough skin catches on your socks and sheets and can give your partner an unintentional exfoliation while lying in bed.
There are no shortage of tools to try to remedy this problem. Ancient civilizations used pumice stones to smooth skin. (Interestingly the shoes they wore look like today’s hot summer sandals, and ancient Romans apparently knew that pretty sandals don’t compensate for ugly feet.)
After thousands of years of using pumice stones, the PedEgg was invented in 2007. The PedEgg is basically a cheese grater mounted on a plastic egg. The blades are designed such that it is difficult to cut yourself, but not impossible, despite their claim that it won’t tear a balloon.
Now there is the fish pedicure. Salons starve these little fish, then put your feet into a bath of tepid water and allow the toothless fish to nibble away at whatever little flakes of dead skin they can get at. Apparently the tingling sensation is rather pleasant. The problem is, there is no way to sterilize fish. (Well, not without cooking them anyway, and cooked fish are not very good at eating). Many states have already banned the practice, and it is unlikely to be available anywhere here in the US. So for now you will have to make do with your PedEgg (you know you have one). Just be sure you sterilize it before you grate any Grana Padano cheese with it. Please.