Health Care

A Woman Lost Her Toenails After A Fish Pedicure

A Woman Lost Her Toenails After A Fish Pedicure”

Earlier this year, a young woman from NY came to the dermatologists at Weill Cornell Medicine hospital because six of her toenails had begun detaching from her foot for no apparent reason six months prior.

You know the ones we're talking about: The gimmicky pedicure in which you dunk your feet in water and tiny fish nibble away dead skin.

"Being omnivores, when there are insufficient plant sources, they will eat human skin", Shari Lipner, assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University's Weill Cornell Medicine and report's author wrote.

Experts say they're unsure how infections might be spread through fish pedicures.

"While the mechanism of action is not entirely clear, it is likely due to the fish traumatizing the nail matrix", the woman's treating doctor, Dr. Sheri Lipner, told Gizmodo. Dr. Lipner was convinced that her patient has no other previous health issues that would explain what happened with her toenails. The dermatologist said it was most likely linked to the fish pedicure. However, people with onychomadesis usually experience spontaneous regrowth of their nail within 12 weeks, according to a 2017 report in the journal Cutis.

After having the fish pedicure, the woman said her toenails stopped growing and then started falling off.

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"This is not uncommon in women with a Greek foot ... who wear high heels and pinpointed shoes", Tosti said, referring to feet whose second toes are longer than the first, like Greek statues.

Now it's those trendy fish pedicures that are shrouded in horror.

One skin expert not involved with the case said the report raises cause for concern.

As for Lipner's patient, her nails will grow back, though it'll take time.

While Lipner believes that the woman's problems stemmed from the physical impact of the fish biting at the nail, she noted that there have been past reports of infections associated with fish pedicures, too. Additionally, the fish are sometimes recycled from person to person, and a bacterial outbreak among the fish was reported in a 2011 investigation by the UK's Fish Health Inspectorate. They hit their peak in popularity in the U.S. around a decade ago, but have since been banned in at least 10 states, including NY, largely because of health concerns. As a result, people may see deep grooves that run horizontally across their nails - known as Beau lines - or they may see larger gaps where there is no nail, the AAD said. And though proponents of fish pedicures have argued they can properly sanitise the fish and tubs between uses, research has shown that disease-causing bacteria can be readily found in both the tubs and fish used in these spas.



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