Fish spa pedicures have emerged as one of the hottest trends in nail care. But the question remains: is this safe? And Is it painful? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at this cutting-edge nail care option.

What Kind of Fish?

Most of the little creatures used for these types of pedicures are either Garra Ruffa or Turkish fish, all tiny and long with gums that nibble at your feet. The fish are simply used to target dead or tough skin such as calluses and even corns. 

Is It Safe?

Seemingly so. According to several nail techs and experts from Yvonne’s Day Spa in Alexandra, VAwhich specializes in the treatmentthe fish spa pedicure is completely safe, and could be beneficial for those with skin disorders. And according to a statement released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012, “There were no published reports on illnesses resulting from fish pedicures.”

However, nail salon foot baths, which may or may not be sufficiently cleaned between patrons, could cause infections (like all pedicure treatments have the potential to do).

However, if any of the following describes you,  then you should not have a fish pedicure:

  • Have a fish-related phobia.
  • Are diabetic and/or have diabetic-related foot problems.
  • Don’t like your feet to be touched or are extremely ticklish.
  • Have any sores, warts, wounds or injuries to your feet or toenails.

How Does It Feel?

“It’s more than just little fish swimming at your feet,” noted Brittani Adams, a customer in the DC Metro area, who recently tried the pedicure for the first time. “It’s actually therapeutic, and you’d be surprised how much dead skin will be removed once it’s all over with!”

The Cost

Most salons prices may range from $45-$95 per fish pedicure. Susan, a nail expert from Yvonne’s Day Spa, noted that on average, customers opt for a 20-minute treatment that cost about $75 for the session. This is nearly double the price of your standard pedicure, but experts confirm the intense service is worth the cost, as it can repair even the hardest of heels for the long term.

In the end, trying a fish pedicure is a personal decision. But it seems like a nail trend worth exploring, even if you’re not a Pisces!

For more information, visit or call Yvonne Salon

-Je’Coven Norwood