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Friday, April 30, 2010

Fish spa anyone?

I recalled the last time I watched Ugly Betty, the evil lady Valmar (actress Vanessa Williams) bought some Garra Rufas so that she can get a silky soft legs to seduce the big boss. That was interesting. A friend of mine told me that we have this fish spa in Malaysia too. Have anyone tried this fish treatment before? How does it feel? What about people with bad skin leg problem (not psoriasis.. but more like.. athlete's foot? Do you think it can cure or lessen the problem?

Garra Rufa or doctor fish is a species of freshwater fish which breeds in the river basins of the Northern and Central Middle East, mainly in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It is also called the doctor fish, because of the role it plays in healing persons affected with psoriasis.

Garra Rufa is often called the Nibble fish, Kangal fish, and Doctorfishen. In non-medical terms the fish is also called Reddish Log Sucker. Really? Log sucker?

Majority of Turkish spas breed the doctor fish in an outdoor pool, where they feed on an unusual diet- the skin of psoriasis affected patients. Just like the Comb fish, the Doctor fish devours the affected and dead areas of the skin, while leaving the healthy skin to grow.

Though, the spas are not meant to be a treatment center, patients come here regularly for temporary cure of the symptoms. In spite of the unpredictable nature of the disease, some patients have experienced complete cure as a result of their repeated exposure to the doctor fish.

There are claims that there were some people trying to pass off fake Garra Rufa fish (Chin Chin fish) for real the thing. The Garra Rufa is actually a slender little fish with a mouth like a bottom feeder fish. These fish actually come from Turkey and are said to be able to live in warm water of up to 35 degrees. Apparently these little fish actually nibbles on the dead skin and has some compounds in its saliva which actually help skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.

The fake Garra Rufa or Chin Chin Yu, on the other hand is wide and is said to belong to the Tilapia or carp family. These fish are apparently starved so when you put your foot into the water, it’s food to them and so naturally they start nibbling on whatever dead and flaky skin you have. This then gives the illusion of smooth skin once you’re done with the treatment but it doesn’t have any real benefits. In fact, from what I read, it seems like you might be no better off compared to using a pumice stone!


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