A look at the North East's first Garra Ruffa fish spa

PUBLISHED: 15:08 25 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:28 20 February 2013

The ‘doctor’ fish in action

The ‘doctor’ fish in action

The North East's first Garra Ruffa fish spa could be the first step back to healthier feet<br/>Words by Sue Campbell

Not everyone likes the idea of someone touching their feet. For a lot of people its a real turnoff. But how about if its not a human hand approaching your toes, but a fish

It sounds a bit, well, fishy. But fish pedicures and manicures have been popular in Asia, Europe and part of the United States for some time and it hit London a little while ago, although the first one in the UK was said to have been in Sheffield.

And now its come to several locations in the North East, one being Newcastles Foot Love at Forth Street Arches near Central Station.

Tiny Garra Ruffa fish, or doctor fish as they are called, are a type of toothless carp which nibble on the dead skin which forms on the feet and in between the toes.

Lisa Collins spotted a gap in the market on Tyneside for an alternative therapy and opened the new fish spa to help rejuvenate tired feet or ease the pain of those suffering from uncomfortable skin conditions like psoriasis.

People can come to Foot Love to sit back, relax and stick their feet in a pool of water and enjoy what is described as a tickling sensation as the silvery black fish nibble away at tough skin flakes.

Customers are said to emerge after a few minutes of this treatment with smoother, softer skin. An initial 15 minute treatment session costs just 10 for what is a very unusual personal pamper.

Lisa, whos a social worker by training said: The treatment is already extremely popular in salons in New York, France and other European countries.

Its relaxing, inexpensive and customers will find that their feet will feel lovely and smooth after treatment. The fish also excrete a substance called dithranol, which helps to rejuvenate the skin.

It may not be for everyone, but lots of people have put their toes in the water already.

For more information go to www.footlovespa.com

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