Fish Pedicures and The PedEgg For Scaly Feet


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.

Photo: Deckchua

11 thoughts on “Fish Pedicures and The PedEgg For Scaly Feet”

  1. What strikes me is that using fish to eat dead skin isn’t new. I remember about ten years ago watching a news report about a place where they have pools full of these fish that people can swim in and let the fish eat dead skin all over their bodies. The idea was that it was a treatment for eczema and psoriasis. Having tried everything for the dark, dry skin on my elbows and knees, including rubbing them with lemons and in one desperate attempt, taking the PedEgg to them (OUCH!) I’d be willing to try the fishes.

  2. That is seriously gross. And unethical towards the fishies.

    By the way, I’m very impressed that as a guy, you know about Jimmy Choo Zip Gladiators. Well done!

  3. I am yet to try that where I’m residing now. There is a fish park here where that is offered.

  4. I have to say I’m a bit shocked people are so grossed out by this. In a world where there’s facials made from things like bird poop and – “laboratory created” sperm, whatever that is – why all the uproar over fish? Especially since, like I said, this isn’t a new thing.

    Okay, using them for feet is new. But people have used them for years for various skin problems.

    Anyway, those metal tools aren’t that sterile either. Nor are the foot spas. I got a bad infection from a pedicure and now refuse to have them done. My sister-in-law actually lost her toenail due to an infection from a pedicure. And I should point out she’s a type 1 diabetic so that made it even more critical!

  5. yea these practices have been tried for many years..with or without success for various far as foot is concern pumice stones is the best and easy and cheap..

    hahah no way to sterilize fish oh funny… but yea Jami is somewhat right nothing is sterilize.. why…? because atleast we might not die from skin disease or infection so we people take is loosely.. Its our responsibility to go to a licensed practioners or expert not just the roadside spas and clinic …

    If you take prophylaxis before any procedure then you are always at the safe side.

  6. Taking care of your feet can be easy, I find that everyday scrubs in the shower make a difference, and then moisturizing after can keep the dry scaly feet at bay. Having fish swimming around your feet eating the dead skin may seem disgusting to some, I think that it may feel relaxing. If you are not prepared to do the daily routine of maintaining your feet this can be an alternative, no teeth no harm done.

  7. @Jami
    The fact for one that the fist are STARVED, and there is no way to sanitize it hello did you read the whole article!!????? Do you want the same fish that ate on someones fungus foot to come over and mow on your elbows?? that is nasty!!!

  8. greg clark says:

    I live in Thailand. Had m first little fishy experience today. Hundreds of of small fish nibbled my feet and did a great job cleaning them and getting rid of the dead skin and bacteria. It tickles at first but then I got used to it. I always have problems with my feet so I plan to do this regularly. I paid them approx. 6 dollars or 200 thai baht for 30 minutes.

  9. I received an email today from my daughter who is serving a Christian LDS mission in Udon Thani Thailand. She wrote about this crazy thing she did today getting her ‘feet nibbled on by these little fishies’! She said it was very ticklish at first, but then was quite relaxing and she loved it! We had to laugh– I think it’s great and would be quite an experience!

  10. I dont understand what the big deal is… why would the government feel they should protect us from these little fish. A person can swim in a lake anytime – hello.. lake fish are not sterilized either.

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