Saturday, October 20, 2007

Get nibbled for a clear, smooth skin

Jerry Tay Hock Kee says his skin feels smoother and lighter after each one-hour session at Dr Fish Spa.
Jerry Tay Hock Kee says his skin feels smoother and lighter after each one-hour session at Dr Fish Spa.

MALACCA: Suffering from dry skin? Meet some skin specialists from Turkey who will nibble them off you.

Before you get the wrong idea, these are no ordinary doctors but a rare breed of fish which is creating waves here with their ability to remove dead skin.

This treatment is available at Dr Fish Spa, where customers with dry skin relax in a pool filled with warm water as little Garra Rufa fish numbering in the thousands feed on the dead skin.

"The fish, measuring between two and four centimetres each, are nature's answer to having smooth, clear and rejuvenated skin," said Dr Fish Spa owner Cecilia Choong.

Dr Fish Spa opened its doors on Sept 15 last year and within weeks, word of its unique therapy had spread to Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang.
"I read about the Garra Rufa while surfing the Internet. I enquired about the toothless fish and found that they have been used for hundreds of years in Turkey to combat dry skin problems," said Choong.

She said fish spas had mushroomed in Japan and Korea after news about the Garra Rufa spread.

Dr Fish Spa has six pools and hygiene is a priority at all times.

"We change the water after each session and our advanced water filtration system monitors the bacteria, smell and pH levels to ensure the customers get the best and most hygienic spa treatment."

Each fish "works" at the spa for between nine months and a year. This is because as the fish gets bigger, the stronger is its suction power and this can cause discomfort to some people.

"I had freckles on my face but after allowing Dr Fish to treat me, the freckles turned lighter and are not as visible on my face anymore," said Choong, adding that the treatment could also lighten skin pigmentation.

"The fish even got rid of my corn and cracked heels."

One of the spa's customers, Jerry Tay Hock Kee, 45, said he enjoyed having the fish nibble on his skin as it was not painful.

"The fish are toothless and they use their suction power to remove the dead skin.

"Once I step out of the pool after an one-hour session, I can feel that my skin is lighter and smoother."

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