Fish Pedicures Causes Nails to Fall Off!

Recent news came out about a seemingly healthy girl in her 20’s whose toenails gradually began looking disfigured and falling off.  She waited over 6 months before seeking the help of a dermatologist who was baffled by her condition. After much questioning, they traced issue back to a spa where she got a pedicure given by small fishes.  That’s right – fishes! Some salons have started offering treatments performed by a type of fish known as Garra rufa that eat away at the dead skin on your feet.  It is believed that this is what led to the girl’s case of Onychomadesis – which causes the nails to stop growing and loosen from the nail bed.


It is no wonder that the practice of using live fish for pedicures has been banned in 14 states including Florida.  Laws mandate that tools and equipment be sanitized after each use but the reality is that there’s no way easy way sterilize the fish between customers.

Most nails salons generally do a great job of cleaning their equipment however we do get some infections and ingrown nails caused by them as well.  Here are some tips you can use to prevent a visit to the podiatrist:

  • While you’re waiting for your turn, see if the salonists are properly cleaning their equipment and chairs in between customers.
  • Don’t allow them to dig deep into the corners of your nail folds.  This is the perfect opportunity for dirty tools to be introduce bacteria into your skin.
  • Be careful letting them cut out ingrown nails.  I would estimate about 25% of our ingrown nails that come in are a result of a failed attempt at a nail salon.
  • If the salon looks dirty, it probably is dirty.  RUN!

If you have have an ingrown nail or have discolored and disfigured toenails – it is good idea to come see us before it gets out of hand.  We see problems like this all the time so don’t hesitate to call us at 813-875-0555.  We have same day appointments so you don’t have to suffer for another day.

One more thing. Wesley Chapel – the best podiatrists in Tampa are coming your way.  We are opening another location in early August 2018 to better serve the people of North Tampa.  Same great doctors. Same great care.