Frequently Asked Questions
Can I catch anything?
All skin areas are screened by our trained staff and washed prior to treatment, to maintain the highest standard of hygiene. You can also enjoy your own individual tank.
NB. If you have conditions such as verruca, athletes foot, fungal toe-nails or any other potential infectious conditions unfortunately we cannot allw you to use the fish spa, but we can offer advice and alternative therapies.
For those of you who had considered Dr Fish treatments, but were put off by recent press - may I reassure you that my Salon has been inspected again since the press release and is operating well within the recommended guidelines.
The HPA document was to safeguard the public against unscrupulous people who are not qualified to perform these treatments; who have no concern for your safety or animal welfare.
A Registered nurse with much experience I can assess suitablility of clients for treatment. I set up my salon for people with eczema, psoriasis and diabetes as a therapy - if somebody has skin that is NOT intact or inflamed they cannot have the treatment yet - but IT IS POSITIVELY BENEFICIAL.
Throughout the entire time the salon has been in operation I have taken advice from professional aquarists - in order to maintain the Garra rufa in optimum conditions.
In the salon we have copies of both the HPA doc. and the animal welfare doc. for clients to read/examine.
What type of fish are they?
Garra Rufa fish are a type of loach found In the rivers in Northern Turkey, Syria and Iraq - common name Red Log sucker/Dr Fish.
How long has this therapy ‘Ichthyotherapy’ been used?
For over 400 hundred years!
Does it hurt?
Garra Rufa fish do not have any teeth, so they use a sucking action to remove damaged and dead skin cells. Most people say it feels like tingling or like bubbles around your feet.
NB: For the same reason the garra cannot remove or corns calluses, they will soften in the spa tank and the staff will give you simple instruction on their removal.
Does it tickle?
It does tickle, but not for long, the intensity wears off very quickly, and the fish sucking just feels like dull pins and needles/ or like bubble jets.
Will I feel any different after the treatment?
Yes, you certainly will. The deep relaxation brought about by the sucking motion of either the hands or feet, is rather like reflexology and acupuncture all in one.
Will my skin feel any different?
It most certainly will – and we can assure you there is nothing in the water to bring about this change except the sucking of the ‘Dr Fish’, they secrete an enzyme that promotes very soft healthy tissue renewal where they have removed dead skin.
Do they only feed on dead skin?
We give our fish tropical fish food at the end of each ‘working’ day and throughout the weekend – this is to maintain their optimum nutritional status. In their natural environment they would also eat algae from the rocks and feed on plants.
Do the fish eat continuously?
They probably would attempt to – they are scavenger fish, but we rest them between treatments.
Is the water cold?
No, the water temperature is maintained at 28-29 degrees centigrade.
How do the fish get off at the end of the treatment?
They simply slide off back into the water – there is no need to shake them off, this causes the fish distress.
Will they cure my dermatology problems? (i.e.. skin disorders)
Not cure, but will definitely aid better healing. The Garra Rufa secrete enzymes in their saliva containing a substance similar to Dithranol (which is in many dermatological skin preparations) This enzyme promotes good healthy tissues to develop in place of scaly/flaky skin.
How old do I have to be to have the treatment?
Our policy is that you have to be 8 or over, unless you have a skin disorder, then it is at the discretion of the Manage.
I have diabetes…can I still have the treatment?
Certainly, the fish sucking the soles of your feet is positively beneficial – it will stimulate better circulation. There is no way you can contract any kind of infection - infections are simply unable to use the tanks.
I take medication… can I still have the treatment?
Having a Garra Rufa treatment is not affected by medications / neither will it interfere with them.
Can I still have Garra Rufa treatments if I am pregnant?
Yes, having a Garra Rufa treatment will not affect you either getting pregnant, during pregnancy or stimulate contractions (If this were the case I would have queues of overdue mothers waiting to get in the tanks!)
Can I have treatments regularly?
Because this treatment is very safe and very relaxing it can be enjoyed as often as you like.
What are the white gritty specs on the floor of the tanks?
They are NOT skin! The white crystals in the tank are ammonia converting crystals, they are there to keep the water healthy for the fish, sometimes they make there way through the filtering system.
How many fish are in each tank?
In order to keep the fish healthy and the clients happy we try to keep the optimum number of fish in the tanks ( approx. 85 -125 given the size of our individual spa tanks and the size of the fish).
How big do the fish grow?
They grow to a maximum size of about 5-6 cms.
How long do they live?
They can live up to 5-6 years in optimum conditions.
Do we do manicures?
Yes we will do manicures, and yes we use the same tanks. Having investigated the hand tanks, they will only accommodate 20 - 30 fish per tank for the volume of water; therefore it is better to use the large tanks to perform the task more efficiently with a greater number of fish per hand to carry out the treatment.
We do also do manicures and pedicures without Dr Fish!
for those who are a little worried by the procedure.