Something's fishy in France - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Something's fishy in France

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It's not something often found on a beauty salon price list, but a pedicure is taking Paris by storm. It's been done in New York and Asia... and now the French are Soaking their feet in a warm pool of water with a couple of hundred of fish.

The creatures - thankfully toothless - nibble away at dead skin on the feet, leaving them silky smooth, in a treatment commonly used in Turkey and some parts of Asia to treat skin conditions. And now Parisians can try it for themselves - herbal tea and magazine in hand - at a salon in the French capital.

And clients' reactions were positive - once they'd got over the tickling.

"First of all, lots of shrieking, surprise and tickling, which I found unbearable. But little by little you get used to it and by now you almost forget that the ends of your feet are being gently nibbled! And in the end it's not so bad. Quite the opposite," said Francine, who had come from Marseille with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter especially to try out the treatment.

And there are advantages over conventional treatments:

"They really go around your nails. I find that normal treatments don't manage to do that. They go between your toes, under the soles, they go everywhere! It's not just a nail treatment like a manicure," said Francine's daughter-in-law Veronique.

Salon owner Rida Boughanmi told Reuters Television that the fish are better for the skin than a normal pedicure:

"The difference between this and a traditional treatment is that normally there's a scrubbing stage which you do with a file, and here we do that with little fish which eat the dead skin. There is a difference in terms of the results which is that when you file the skin with a file the epidermis is irritated and it grows back more quickly, whereas with the fish it's much more natural and so it takes much longer for dead skin to grow back," he explained.

It's not just women trying out the new treatment, either. Pedicures may not be a traditionally masculine domain but the lack of polish and scented lotions means this one definitely scores man points.

"You feel like you're out fishing! Here it's only the rod that's missing, you know. You can go down here," said Olof from Sweden.

A complete "fish pedicure" costs 49 euro and takes about 60 minutes, while a 20 minute foot soak in the fish bath costs 35 euro.

Asian treatment using fish which eat dead foot skin comes to a Paris beauty salon.

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