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A woman in her 20s reportedly lost all of her toenails after allegedly getting a so-called “fish pedicure,” a treatment touted by many as rejuvenating for a person’s feet.

Fish pedicures involve having small fish nibble on a person’s feet while they soak in a tub of warm or room temperature water. The toothless carp fish – which are plant eaters – voraciously feast on dead human skin.

The article goes on to state the following:

After having the fish pedicure, the woman said her toenails stopped growing and then started falling off. At first the woman thought she might have onychomadesis, a condition known for having similar symptoms; however, a visit to a dermatologist, ruled that out, Gizmodo reported.

“While the mechanism of action is not entirely clear, it is likely due to the fish traumatizing the nail matrix,” Sheri Lipner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University’s Weill Cornell Medicine and the woman’s doctor, told the website.

She said the case could be the first documented instance of onychomadesis ever caused by fish.

“I do not recommend fish pedicures for any medical or aesthetic purpose,” Lipner said. “In addition to onychomadesis, there are also serious infections associated with fish pedicures.”

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