A foot nibbling frenzy

That headline is of course up there purely to irritate people who like SEO.

So anyway, I was on holiday in Center Parcs the other week and something caught my family’s eye – the chance to try this remove-your-dead-skin-by-attacking-it-with-fish thing. These are not my feet in the picture, by the way – I was the noddy on the end of the camera, and it’s a phone photo so not all that great artistically, but you get the idea.

Before I tell you much about it, though, let’s take a couple of basics into account. The fish are nibbling the dead skin off your feet because this is how they survive – OK, but some less reputable establishments starve them so they nibble more off. This is a bad idea as it is simply cruel. Second, if you’re thinking about this, you need to ask how often the water is changed. It’s a small tub of liquid so any minor infections anyone before you has had will be transferred. You have to offset this against the fact that the fish will need the water to have matured a bit – they can’t survive long in completely fresh water, it needs to have the right chemical balance. Feel free to ask your “therapist” about all of these things and if they’re evasive don’t give them your money.

The Center Parcs version looked OK so I stuck my feet in, ten quid for ten minutes. Tickly as hell at first, then not unpleasant except for all the kids walking past and pointing, going “eurgh”.

And yes, some of the dead skin on my extremities did indeed go away. The woman in charge said I’d need to top up every month or so if I wanted completely soft feet (further research suggests actually a half-hour session is better for a first one, topped up by ten minute bursts once a month). I’m not going to bother – I don’t need soft feet particularly and if my family hadn’t been doing it I probably wouldn’t have bothered even the once. But if softer skin is your thing, subject to all the cautionary stuff above i’d recommend it.

Later that day I had the second men’s facial of my life. Last time it made a positive difference. If I’m honest, after the advice and help I’ve had at The Valet including hot towel shaves every other month or so, it didn’t make such an impact this time. I gather I turned up clean, so all the scrubbing and stuff you get in a facial was a little redundant. It’s a good idea to take an hour or so of time for yourself occasionally – but another time I think I’ll stick with a hot towel shave.


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