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.