Fish have probably been taking the occasional nibble out of whatever toes come their way since time immemorial. But it was in 2008 that we first heard about fish deliberately being used for that purpose. Popular in Asia, the fish pedicure has clients placing their feet into a special tub containing small carp that eat away dead skin. Following a flurry of media coverage about a Virginia salon that offered the controversial service, the practice was quickly denounced by industry leaders on the grounds that it’s unsanitary. Many state boards followed suit, banning the service.

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