Flesh-eating fish surface at Batley Carr salon

FISH FOOD: Lilac Rooms owners Abi Walsh and Claire Mulligan, her daughter Lili Tyrrell, and reporter Lauren Ballinger, back, enjoying Garra Rufa treatment. (d10011147)
FISH FOOD: Lilac Rooms owners Abi Walsh and Claire Mulligan, her daughter Lili Tyrrell, and reporter Lauren Ballinger, back, enjoying Garra Rufa treatment. (d10011147)

WHAT would you say if you were offered the chance to stick your feet in a tank of 150 flesh-eating fish?

Most people would probably run a mile picturing Piranhas chomping at their toes with their razor sharp jaws.

But a salon in Batley Carr is offering thie fishy service as a beauty therapy - which owner Claire Mulligan says is good for circulation and gives a feeling of wellbeing, as well as providing relief for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

The Lilac Rooms in Bradford Road is thought to be the first salon in Kirklees to offer the service, where tiny Garra Rufa fish, also known as doctor fish, gently nibble away dead skin from the feet, leaving them feeling smooth and refreshed.

Ms Mulligan, who runs the salon with business partner Abigail Walsh said: “They have rough lips which act like a pumice stone. They have been specially flown in from Turkey where the treatment has been used for thousands of years. It feels like a gentle tapping - it’s not painful in any way.

“The fish are fed tropical fish food every day and they also clean other fish, which is why they like to nibble skin.

“There is quite a bit of maintenance - they have to be cleaned every day and the filters have to be changed weekly.

“The fish live five to seven years but they only grow to about 5cm in their tank.”

Ms Mulligan, who has been working as a beauty therapist for 14 years, said she wanted to create a relaxing atmosphere where people could have the treatment alone or have fish parties. She added: “You can have the treatment as often as you like, and it’s suitable for everyone - even if you’re ticklish!”