People with weak immune systems or underlying medical conditions are at risk of infection from fish pedicures, the Health Protection Agency has warned.
The beauty treatment sees customers place their feet in tanks of water containing tiny Garra rufa fish which nibble on dead skin. While the pampering carries a "very low" risk for healthy clients, those with conditions including diabetes and psoriasis have now been advised against it.
The pedicures - which are popular in Asia - have been banned in some US states, including Florida, Texas, New Hampshire and Washington amid fears that infections could spread through open wounds.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) today issued new guidance after a panel found fish tank water contained a number of micro-organisms and that infections could be transmitted either from fish to person (during the nibbling process), water to person (from the bacteria which can multiply in water), or person to person (via water, surrounding surfaces and the fish).