I’m sure you’ve heard the hubbub about these fish pedicures, during which tiny, toothless fish eat the dead skin off your feet. (Gnarly, right?) Well, Mai Caldwell, owner of Zen Luxury Nail & Beauty Bar in Frisco, did her research and purchased 600 of the little guys to bring us a relaxing, upscale “Zen” version of this ancient Asian tradition. For an extra $15, you can spend 15 minutes with your feet in this beautiful vessel, feet resting on smooth river rocks, while the fish go to work. Here’s the lowdown: There are two types of fish–chin chin from China and garra rufa from Turkey–that perform the ritual. The chin chins eat the dead skin, while the garra rufas inject an enzyme called dithranol to promote healthy skin growth. (In fact, the garra rufa fish have been used to treat such skin ailments as eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.) Some say it tickles, but I think it feels much more like a very subtle, soothing electro-current in your feet. The fish only attack dead skin, and they can get into the little nooks and crannies–say, between your toes–that a normal pedicure can’t reach. Once they’re done, the fish get taken to the hospital tank for recovery, where they spend about a day; then they get moved to the relaxation tank for eight to 12 hours. Once they’re good and rested, they get put in the service tank, ready to do their duty. (Caldwell takes very good care of her fish!)
Really, the process makes the pedicurist’s job much easier, because he doesn’t have to spend too much time smoothing callouses. Instead, he can spend more time giving you a hot-rock massage. And that’s why we really get pedicures, isn’t it ladies?