A woman ended up needing all the toes in one of her feet amputated after treating herself to a fish pedicure on holiday in Thailand.
Victoria Curthoys decided to try out the popular treatment which promises to remove dead skin but after years of severe sickness, hospital trips and tests, she was told she had an infection in her foot that was eating away at her bones.
She eventually needed all of her toes removed to stop the water-born disease from spreading.
What was meant to be a treat on holiday in Thailand turned into a nightmare for Victoria who needed her toes amputated (Picture: MDWfeatures)Victoria, 29, from Perth, Australia, initially contracted a bone infection in her toes after treading on broken glass in 2006.
Doctors decided to amputate to stop the infection spreading and she recovered.
Novichok suspects deny poison plot insisting they were in UK to visit StonehengeFour years later, while on holiday in Thailand in 2010, Victoria visited a fish spa after seeing the rising popularity of the unique treatment.
It involves freshwater fish feeding off dead skin particles to reveal fresh new skin underneath.
But Victoria did not realise that the water in the tank she used was infected with a water-born disease found in Thailand which had got through her previous surgery wounds.
After suffering from constant fevers and sickness when she returned home, doctors eventually diagnosed her with osteomyelitis – a bone infection.
Victoria posts photos of her foot online to warn others of the dangers (Picture: MDWfeatures)Her big toe was amputated fully in 2012, but it didn’t fully get rid of the disease – which led to her four remaining toes being removed over the next five years.
‘When I was in Thailand I decided to use a fish spa. I thought nothing of it as I’d watched the owner set up the system and it looked very clean, but how wrong I was,’ Victoria said.
‘I ended up getting another bone infection in my big toe and it took doctors over a year to figure out what type of bug I had.
‘By the time they’d realised what it was, my entire toe bone had been eaten away and I’d been suffering from sickness the whole time.’
Doctors removed Victoria’s last toe in November 2017 and since then she has been posting photos of her amputated foot to warn others against the dangers of fish spas.
‘I can honestly say that my foot has never been as healthy as it is now. Now I can put pressure on my foot,’ said Victoria.
‘At the end of the day I’ve seen people with far worse injuries and life-altering illnesses, so I consider myself lucky.
Victoria’s foot after having her big and second toe amputated (Picture: MDWfeatures)‘By taking photos of my feet and posting them on Instagram I hope to build more confidence in myself and to have a positive impact on others who might not be happy with how their foot or leg looks after amputation.’
In July, a report published by doctors in the journal JAMA Dermatology, described a woman in her 20s whose toenails fell off after a similar fish pedicure.
She is believed to have contracted an infection called onychomadesis from a fish pedicure.
Fish pedicures pose a risk of transmitting infections as the fish are often used on more than one customer.
Tanks are often not correctly sanitised, and disease-causing bacteria can be found in the water and in the fish.
To find out more about Victoria’s amputation recovery follow her Instagram @terrifically-toeless.
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