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Fish spa may spread HIV, hepatitis B, expert warns

2014-01-30 09:52 Ecns.cn Web Editor: Gu Liping
This file photo shows people are enjoying fish spa. (Photo source: cnnb.com.cn)

This file photo shows people are enjoying fish spa. (Photo source: cnnb.com.cn)

(ECNS) -- Fish spas are creating something of a splash in many areas, but health experts have warned the pedicures may spread blood diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B, a news website reported.

The Ningbo-based cnnb.com.cn said many salons are offering such a spa, where customers dunk their feet in a tank of water and tiny fish nibble away their dead skin.

A staffer at a salon said the tropical fish, measuring two or three centimeters in length, come from Turkey and they feed on horny tissue of human skin. This is a good treatment for people who choose to have nice skin, and it is a trendy in Japan and South Korea, she added.

But Wang Jiahua, a dermatologist at a local hospital, said there are risks of infection, citing a patient whose legs became hot and swollen days after his first fish pedicure.

Wounds may be left on the skin after fish bites, and fish tank water contains micro-organisms, Wang said, adding that problems could arise from bacteria being transmitted by the fish from the spa water itself or from one customer to another if the water is not changed.

Wang suggested a 29-day interval between fish pedicures and daubing antibiotic ointment to protect skin where wounds are found.


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