Dr. Fish come to Manitoba salons
It is the latest tool in esthetics and it is called Dr. Fish.
Little carp fish eat dead skin and they are being used in nail salons all over the world.
Now the tiny fish have made there way to Manitoba.
A pedicure is usually so relaxing the procedure can really take a bite out of life's everyday stresses, but this new procedure takes a bite literally.
"It's awesome! It's kind of between a massage and an electric current I feel them nibbling but it doesn't hurt at all," explains Marla Guest as she has the Dr. Fish procedure done.
Guest is getting a Dr. Fish pedicure at LA Nails.
Tiny carp are eating or sucking away dead skin.
They are widely used in nail salons in Asia and the procedure has been growing in popularity in the U.S. and Canada.
"I didn't know if it would ever come to Manitoba and when I saw it I just had to come," says Guest.
La Nails owner Andy Guach brought in the fish about five months ago.
He says once the Dr. Fish are done with you, the dead skin on your feet is gone.
Guach says the fish can also help alleviate difficult to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
"It's easier to come out and it makes you very smooth," explains Guach.
However the Dr. Fish procedure is not without controversy.
Many states including Texas and Florida have banned the use of Dr. Fish in nail salons saying the technique may be unsanitary.
Guach says the same water is never used twice and the fish are moved to a clean aquarium for the next customer.
"I worry about fish having residue of other people's feet and being transferred from one person to the next in the gills if anything gets trapped in the gills of the fish," says Shirli East of MC College.
Shirli East teaches future estheticians how to give pedicures safely and sanitarily.
She says once the esthetician is done tools should be thrown out or sanitized in a solution.
East says you cannot do that with fish.
"You're dealing with skin; you're dealing with blood, with body fluids that you need to make sure you're taking all of the steps and precautions necessary so that you're not passing anything from one client to the next," adds East.
The province regulates those who practice esthetics but not the tools or procedures they use.
The Dr. Fish is considered an industry tool, so it is allowed in Manitoba.
Controversy or not, customers like Marla Guest are singing its praises.
"It's just awesome, you should try it," giggles Guest.
The province says public health inspectors will only visit salons if they receive a complaint.
Right now there is no legislation regulating the use of fish in nail salons, and there are no plans to bring in any new rules.
With a report from CTV's Rachel Lagac�