Fish therapy is something that has been slowly increasingly in popularity among spa goers over the last few years. Sometimes also referred to as a fish pedicure, the treatment involves placing your feet in a tank with a school of Garra Rufa, or “doctor fish”.
These toothless fish will gently eat away the dead skin using a half nibbling-half suckling motion and special enzyme that they produce. The enzyme not only helps to remove the dead skin, but revitalizes the skin that is revealed.
Another benefit to the process is the gentle massage of the mouth against the flesh helps stimulate blood flow and tissue regeneration. In some areas of Asia and Europe, full body settings, or facial tanks are available for this form of therapy. For people who suffer from herpes, a common question comes in regards to how the disease can be transmitted, and if it is safe to enter into public waters.
The Simple Answer is “Yes”
According to most health authorities, transmitting herpes requires intimate contact, and in most settings, such as pools and hot tubs, the possibility of contaminating the waters and spreading the disease to others is nearly impossible. In a spa setting where you are only exposing your feet, the chances of spreading the disease are non existent.
There Are Reasons For “No” As Well
However, it is important to reconsider full body immersions, especially during an active outbreak of sores. Herpes can be transmitted through sharing or handling towels that are used to dry off infected areas and this can present an issue for shared laundry situations.
If you are having a an outbreak it is simply considerate to skip these types of activities and to be aware of the facilities policies regarding infectious diseases. Some spas actually have health measures and standards that require patrons to not use their facilities if they have certain conditions that may potentially pose a health threat to others. While herpes is not a life threatening disease, it can cause severe social and emotional damage.
The best solution of course would be to try to cure herpes. Perhaps the HSV eraser program can help you with that.
The Bottom Line on Fish Therapy and Herpes
When used as part of a skin care regimen, for the feet it is considered safe and fine, so long as it is done under hygienic conditions. The fish themselves cannot be cleaned between customers, which means there is always the inherit risk for cuts and open wounds to become infected according to the Centers for Disease Control.
For facial treatments using these fish, the answer for herpes patients is most definitely not in a shared setting. Oral herpes can be more easily spread than genital herpes and as such it is for the health of others that such a procedure should not be used in a communal establishment. With full body treatments, care should be taken that they not be done during an outbreak and that communal towels are never used. So long as guidelines are followed and care is taken to consider the health and safety of others, fish therapy can be enjoyed but just about anyone, under the right conditions.