Flesh-Eating Fish: The Good and The Bad

  • By RenewAlliance, Inc.
  • 03 Dec, 2015

Fish spa pedicures are all the rage – but are they safe?

Doctor Fish Feet Pedicure
Dead skin-eating fish called Garra rufa, or "Doctor Fish" are a popular beauty trend.

Flesh-eating fish might sound like something out of a horror film, but they’re now part of a popular beauty trend. Garra rufa are a type of carp commonly referred to as “doctor fish”. A fish spa pedicure involves putting your feet in a footbath with warm freshwater and as many as 100 live Garra rufa fish. The fish nibble away dead, callused skin from your feet. Treatments typically take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

A fish spa pedicure is painless and is in fact quite relaxing. The Garra rufa fish are about the size of minnows and have no teeth, so they cannot bite flesh. When they gently suck on and nibble dry skin, it creates a tingling sensation. The treatment reveals the soft, new skin underneath and makes your feet feel refreshed.

Garra rufa fish come from natural river basins in the Northern and Central Middle East. People in Turkey have long known about their healing properties. In the early 1800s, people in Turkey began visiting springs that contained these healing fish, which are said to be effective in treating eczema and psoriasis.

Fish pedicures have become ubiquitous at nail salons and spas around the globe. The primary form of sustenance for these fish is dead skin, but in some spas, the fish are also fed a special fish food formula as a supplement. 

Due to health risks and potential for spreading infections, many states in the US have banned the use of fish in foot spas.

The Downside of Fish Spas

Despite their worldwide popularity, doctor fish have their fair share of critics. Due to health risks and the potential to spread infections, many states in the US have banned the use of fish in foot spas. The fish may carry bacteria that cause skin and soft tissue infections.
Although the risk of infection is very low, the possibility of fish spa pedicures spreading illnesses like HIV and Hepatitis C cannot be entirely excluded either. People with open sores or skin cuts, an underlying medical condition like diabetes or a compromised immune system should avoid fish spa pedicures altogether. The following are some reasons why fish spas are falling out of favor:

  • Footbaths containing fish can’t be cleaned properly between treatments and the same fish are used multiple times. 
  • The fish aren’t sanitized between treatments, so they can spread infections.
  • The Chinese Chinchin fish is another species of fish that is often mistaken for Garra rufa and used in foot spas – Chinchin fish have teeth and draw blood, increasing the risk of infection .
  • Garra rufa fish may threaten native plants and wildlife if they are released into the wild.
  • In order to get the fish to eat dead skin, they are inhumanely starved.
  • The fish deposit their waste in the water where your feet are soaking.
There have been no published reports in the United States about illnesses arising from fish spa pedicures, but fish-free footbaths at nail salons have been implicated in mycobacterial infection outbreaks, leaving customers with boils and scars. If you want soft, beautiful feet without the health risks or ick factor, your best bet is to treat your feet at home.  
For soft beautiful feet without the health risks, treat your feet at home.
Use sea salt for soaking and a pumice stone for scrubbing your dead skin away.
Soak your feet in warm water for 30 minutes prior to exfoliating so that the dead skin comes off more easily. Use a foot file or pumice stone to scrub the dead skin away. Massage foot cream into your feet and then put a pair of socks on to lock the moisture in. If you do this two to three times per week, you can keep your feet soft and smooth without fish pecking away at your feet.

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By RenewAlliance, Inc. 13 Dec, 2016

Are you wondering how to get rid of your zits? While there are a number of over-the-counter remedies available for acne, many times breakouts persist even after treatment. Once you get rid of one zit, acne may continue to crop up, making you feel like an insecure teenager again.

A surprisingly effective way to treat acne is with hydrolyzed collagen. We’ve received feedback from Taut® customers who have purchased Taut® Premium Collagen  Drinks that their acne has gone away and the scars have faded. This new discovery from customers have prompted us to dig further into the science of hydrolyzed collagen and its power to heal acne from the inside of our skin.

By RenewAlliance, Inc. 30 Sep, 2016

Are you concern with thinning hair or hair loss? You are not alone. 

Besides wrinkles and sagging skin, hair loss and thinning hair are  the biggest concern for women and men. 

What you should know is, everyone sheds hair to some degree, but if you feel like your hair is shedding at an abnormal rate, you might be suffering from hair loss.

Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not a disease that only affects the guys. Women actually make up 40% of hair loss sufferers, according to the American Hair Loss Association . Hair loss can be absolutely devastating for women. Losing your crowning glory may make you feel unattractive and hurt your self-esteem.

Collagen drinks are a boon for hair loss sufferers who are looking for ways to combat shedding and grow thicker, fuller hair. 

Collagen production in your body starts to decline as you age, and this makes your hair more vulnerable to breakage and loss. Taking a collagen supplement can help to replace lost collagen and increase your body’s hair-building proteins.


The Difference Between Hair Shedding and Hair Loss

 It’s normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day. If you’ve been noticing more hairs on your hairbrush or pillow than usual, you might be suffering from telogen effluvium, which is characterized by excessive hair shedding. There are various factors that can cause telogen effluvium , including the following:

  • High stress levels
  • Giving birth
  • Losing 20 or more pounds
  • Undergoing surgery
  • Recovering from an illness, particularly one accompanied by a high fever

In most cases, your hair starts to grow back a few months after the stressful event has passed. Within six to nine months, the hair regains its usual thickness. This type of hair shedding is different from hair loss, which occurs when your hair stops growing altogether. The most common causes of hair loss include the following:

Some medications and treatments

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Harsh hair care products
  • Hairstyles that pull on the hair
  • Poor nutrition

If you’re suffering from hair loss, your hair will not grow back until you address the underlying cause. 

The good news is, you can  help prevent and treat hair loss by making a collagen supplement a part of your daily regimen.


The Connection Between Collagen and Hair Loss

 In February of 2016, a team of researchers in Japan discovered that decreasing collagen levels near hair follicle stem cells is linked to hair loss. The lack of this particular type of collagen, type XVII collagen, leads to the damage of hair follicle DNA. Scientists observed this phenomenon in mice that were 18 months old, which is the age at which mice start to lose their hair. Older mice have fewer, thinner hair follicles than younger mice. The study showed that hair loss was less common in aging mice that continued to produce collagen.

In mice that lack type XVII collagen, the damaged stem cells turn into skin cells and are sloughed off like dandruff. This leads to hair follicle shrinkage and hair loss. Scientists believe that the same mechanism applies to humans.

In a separate study of the human scalp, the Japanese researchers found that the hair follicles of women in their 50s and older were smaller than the hair follicles of women in their 30s and 40s. Scientists are excited about these findings because it could help them find the cure for baldness.


Collagen: The Secret Ingredient Offering Hope for Hair Loss

Collagen is well known for helping to restore a youthful complexion , but its benefits are more than skin deep. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body that is essential to healthy skin, hair, and nails. Collagen is the building block of the hair and surrounds each strand, so it is key to your hair’s quality and structurally reinforces it. 

Hair is primarily made up of keratin protein , which your body produces most effectively when the blood supplies amino acids. To increase the supply of amino acids in your blood, you can take collagen supplements, which are absorbed into your small intestine. Hair follicle cells use these amino acids to produce keratin protein.

Collagen also increases blood circulation in your body. An increase in blood flow to your scalp is a great way to promote scalp and hair health. It ensures that your hair follicles get the nutrients they need and helps your hair grow faster.

As you age, your hair may become dry and coarse. Collagen can be used to treat dry, brittle hair by increasing the hair’s moisture levels and repairing split ends. Collagen can also reduce the appearance of gray hairs.


Prevent Hair Loss and Make Your Hair Thicker with a Collagen Drink

Multiple Taut® Premium Collagen Supplement users have commented that their hair feels much thicker, smoother, and shinier after taking the supplement. 

Taut Premium 13,000mg hydrolyze Collagen is formulated with patented technology and anti-aging ingredients most effective for delivering into the dermis layer of our skin, and kick-start the rebuilding process.

Within just weeks, you too can experience thicker fuller hair,  youthful skin, and stronger nails with Taut Premium Collagen . 

By RenewAlliance, Inc. 02 Sep, 2016

Anyone who’s interested in maintaining a youthful complexion and reducing wrinkles has likely heard of collagen supplements. Collagen is a protein that serves as a key building block in connective animal tissue. It is the most abundant protein in the human body.

The dermis, or inner layer of the skin, is made up of mostly collagen, which gives the skin its resilience, strength, and texture. Aging leads to the breakdown of collagen, causing wrinkles, sagging skin, and rough texture. By the time we reach 30 years of age, we stop producing collagen and our body loses collagen at a rate of 1-2% each year.

There are two types of supplements that stimulate collagen growth for skin: collagen builders consisting of key essential amino acids and ingestible hydrolyzed collagen.

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