In the last few years, numerous articles have been published in the international press about the unique fish spa experience and its benefits. Below you can find a list of links with relevant articles from reputable sources:

The Guardian
The Times Magazine
The Independent
New Scientist
The Inquirer
Associated Press

Ichthyotherapy has also triggered an immense scientific interest, and there has already been a significant academic research in this field. The summaries of two scientific papers from the University of Vienna and the Cumhuriyet University are presented below. They have both been published in reputable academic journals. In the diagrams below you can see some of the results of the first research work

  • 1. Oxford Journals

Grassberger M and Hoch W (2006) Ichthyotherapy as Alternative Treatment for Patients with Psoriasis: A Pilot Study, Advance Access Publication, 3(4)483–488.


Ichthyotherapy (therapy with the so-called ‘Doctorfish of Kangal’, Garra rufa) has been shown to be effective in patients with psoriasis in the Kangal hot springs in Turkey. This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of ichthyotherapy in combination with short-term ultraviolet A sunbed radiation in the treatment of psoriasis under controlled conditions. We retrospectively analyzed 67 patients diagnosed with psoriasis who underwent 3 weeks of ichthyotherapy at an outpatient treatment facility in Lower Austria between 2002 and 2004. Main outcome measures are as follows: overall relative reduction in Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score; proportion of patients with an improvement in their PASI score of 75% (PASI-75) and 50% (PASI-50); patient-reported outcomes assessed with a custom questionnaire; and patient follow-up with a questionnaire sent out in March 2005. Safety was evaluated by reviewing adverse events and vital signs. Overall there was a 71.7% reduction in PASI score compared to baseline (P < 0.0001). Of the 67 patients studied, 31 (46.3%) achieved PASI-75 and 61 patients (91%) achieved at least PASI-50. Patients reported substantial satisfaction with the treatment. The reported mean remission period was 8.58 months [95%confidence interval (CI) 6.05–11.11]. A total of 87.5% of patients reported a more favorable outcome with ichthyotherapy, when asked to compare ichthyotherapy to other previously tried therapies. Sixty-five percent stated that after the relapse their symptoms were less severe than before treatment. There were no significant adverse events. The benefit demonstrated in this study along with the favorable safety profile suggests that ichthyotherapy could provide a viable treatment option for patients with psoriasis

  • 2. The Journal Of Dermatology

Ozcelik S, Polat HH, Akyol M, Yalcin AN, Ozcelik D and Marufihah M (2000) Kangal hot spring with fish and psoriasis treatment, The Journal Of Dermatology, 27: 386-390

The effect of “Kangal Hot Spring with Fish” in the treatment of psoriasis is investigated. The study was carried out on 87 patients with psoriasis vulgaris and the patients were evaluated by a dermatologist for 21 days. The evaluation of the disease was performed using PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) scores. Recurrences were investigated in the patient population, who had been previously treated in the same hot spring. The first examination scores were significantly higher than the scores of the 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 21 days after treatment ( p< 0.01).Longer remission periods, when compared to the topical corticosteriod treatment, expressed by the 35 patients previously treated in the hot spring ( p<0.01).Spa therapy under observation of a dermatologist may be effective and useful for psoriasis vulgaris patients.