The incredible Doctor Fish spa

Would you pay to have your limbs “eaten alive” by an army of little hungry fish? If you’re crazy enough to answer positively to a question like that, you might want to try a Doctor Fish spa.


Doctor Fish spas and skin treatment facilities are becoming more and more popular in countries like Japan, China, Turkey and across Europe. They use an amazing species of fish known as Garra rufa as a cosmetic beautifying treatment and as a cure for a variety of skin diseases. Garra rufa can be found in river basins around the Northern and Central Middle East, in countries like Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, but it is now artificially bred in outdoor pools specifically for the spas.


The so-called Doctor Fish spas first appeared in Turkey, where people suffering from a terrible skin disease called psoriasis, from all around the world started coming for treatment. Psoriasis sufferers develop raised red patches on their body covered by grey, scaly skin, which is sore or very itchy. Fortunately the Garra rufa love to nibble on dead and diseased skin and as soon as the patients insert their limbs in the water, an army of these little guys start eating away the skin that’s been softened by the warm water. Doctor Fish can survive in waters as hot as 43 degrees Celsius, but nutrients can’t and their not fed either, so when somebody dips their feet in their pool, it’s a real treat.


Specialists say Doctor Fish are not a cure for psoriasis, as the disease is influenced by many endogenous factors, but there have been cases when patients have been completely cured after several treatment sessions. But, in recent years, Doctor Fish spas have opened in Japan, China, Malaysia, South Korea or Singapore as local attraction and cosmetic facilities and less as skin disease facilities. If you enjoy taking care of your skin, you know that exfoliation is a pretty strong treatment that can only be performed once a year and only by a specialist. That’s because powerful chemicals are used, but with the help of the ravenous Doctor Fish you can say goodbye to your old skin and hello to a new healthy layer, smooth as a baby’s.


If you’re worried about the fish biting you, don’t. Those who have tried it say the gummy mouths of the Doctor Fish on your limbs feel ticklish at most. There’s also little risk of infection as the spa rules state everyone must bring their own slippers and towels and keep a distance from each-other while in the pool.

Most guys out there probably aren’t into skin-care, but a trip to one of these exclusive Doctor Fish spas is worth it just to see how these little guys operate if not to get a natural exfoliating treatment.

17 Comments for "The incredible Doctor Fish spa"

Jim says on September 5th, 2008 at 3:36 am:

I understand that in the US they have fish pedicures, but only allow one person at a time, and they use fresh water after each treatment.

Thai Hotel Expert says on October 2nd, 2008 at 8:49 am:

This is so cool .. I wish we can try it’s amazing if it’s actually can cure psoriasis but I guess we just don’t know yet.

Brandon M. Sergent says on December 30th, 2008 at 11:20 pm:

I bet that feels awesome. I wonder if they eat thier dead. I wonder how hard it is to open one of these in the states.

Hydroxatone says on April 14th, 2009 at 1:20 pm:

I think you should write more about this topic…

nano says on December 29th, 2009 at 9:20 pm:

i have psoriasis i wish to go to some place like this because they told me it’s good for my case i wish to send for me the address for this spa and i will thanks you soo much

Susan Wallace-Wood says on January 5th, 2010 at 5:40 am:

As far as i know there is no cure for psoriasais as yet. Mybrother has it and we both tried Dr Fish in Malaysia. It was fun and the fish did nibble the dry skin but alas the psoriasais was still there. It didn’t hurt one little bit ,just like tickling . The one we tried you just sat on the edge of the pool with your feet in the water upto the middle of your calves.
Just for the pure entertainment it was worth it.

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. says on January 14th, 2010 at 1:18 am:

Psoriasis is often linked to dairy consumption. Leaving it out strictly might help a lot.

Sometimes other nutritional factors play a role, like gluten and alcohol. Fish, as much fun as they are, will do nothing to revert the underlying problem.

All the best!

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D, physician, author.

John says on January 19th, 2010 at 1:41 pm:

Is there a Garra Ruffa Fish Spa in Australia?

Fatima says on February 15th, 2010 at 11:33 am:

I would like to also know if there is a Fish spa in Australia…I just got back from Malaysia and enjoyed the experience of the Fish spa!!! it was awesome!

Henri says on March 22nd, 2010 at 10:48 am:

@Alexa Fleckenstein M.D.

Having suffered from psoriasis for near over 20 years now I have tried a host of treatment including the most “harsh” available to me in the netherlands which is, or was, Dithranol. After that treatment, lasting 10 weeks in the hospital, I was “clean” for about 2 months. After the treatment with the fish, 8 hours a day in the water for 2 weeks, I was clean for near over 6 months. Both treatments are no CURE but when it comes to eliminating the symptoms for a period of time I know which one is the more effective one.

Mark & Jo says on March 23rd, 2010 at 8:07 am:

Hi we have just been to Penang and visited a Fish Spa and was totally blown away. We am seriously looking into starting one in Australia. Does anyone know if the importation of the fish has become possible?

mat says on June 30th, 2010 at 10:00 am:

hi, can anyone tell me if there is a fish spa in Australia? thanks.

BUGGY BUGGER says on July 15th, 2010 at 4:20 am:


Alanaa says on August 19th, 2010 at 9:23 pm:

How much is it?
and how old do you have to be?

Psoriasis Fish Treatment says on October 12th, 2010 at 4:57 pm:

Is there any package?


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