If there’s one thing that makes this spa goddesses blood boil, it’s when people write misinformed nonsense about my favourite subject, spas in the UK. So when I saw all the rubbish being written the other day about fish pedicures, it most certainly activated my irritated button.
Whether or not you fancy the idea of a garra rufa fish pedicure as part of your spa day, and it’s totally up to you, don’t be put off by the scaremongering headlines in a certain British ‘news’ paper. The reports of impending doom and disease that could result from daring to try out a fish pedicure came from a press release that actually bears no resemblance whatsoever to the headlines that screamed out of the front page.
NHS Choices, who should know what they are talking about, said:
“Rather than being an alert, the news is based on a report by the Health Protection Agency that has just set out good practice for ‘fish spas’. While the report did acknowledge that the risk of infections could not be completely ruled out, it is important to view this in context and not be reeled in by fishy headlines.” See what they did there? Groan!
The official advice from the Health Protection Agency to anyone who wants to try a fish pedicure is this:
“On the basis of the evidence identified and the consensus view of experts, the risk of infection as a result of a fish pedicure is likely to be very low”. In the case of some groups of people with certain conditions, though, it’s not recommended, and these are people who:
• have had their legs waxed or shaved in the previous 24 hours (who could have have tiny cuts that increase infection risk)
• have any open cuts, wounds, abrasions or broken skin on the feet or lower legs
• have an infection on the feet (including athlete’s foot or a verruca)
• have psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis affecting the feet or lower legs
• are diabetic (which leads to increased risk of infection)
• have a blood-borne virus such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV
• have an immune deficiency due to illness or medication
• have bleeding disorders or take anticoagulant medication (for example, heparin or warfarin)
So, common sense really. Something SOME UK newspapers are frequently a little short of….