04 July 2018

Onychomadesis - shedding of the toenails - triggered by a fish pedicure

The fish didn't chew the nails off; they just damaged the nail plate, probably near its root.  I found the story at Gizmodo:
According to a case report published by her doctor in JAMA Dermatology, the woman’s toenails stopped growing and started falling off soon after she received a so-called fish pedicure... Six months into her nail troubles, she visited a dermatologist, who ruled out any known causes of onychomadesis, such as major illness or a side effect of certain medications...

“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.”
Photo via The Soul is Bone

addendum for the wordsmiths:  That's a new word for me.  Etymology onycho (nail) + madáō, I fall off”(Greek).  Is there any other English usage of the madáō/madesis term???


  1. I saw the picture and thought this would be another severed feet post...

  2. madáō - madrosis comes to mind.

    can't find anything in english linked to the Greek, but it's cognate in Latin, madeō "Make wet", has a bunch.
    OED: "has been suggested that the Greek words [masto-, breast} are cognate with ancient Greek [madáō, to make wet, to fall off]

    1. Found it -


      Another new word for me. thanx, mahlerite.

  3. All guesses about the cause of her toe nail problems.

    And the entire basis for the American back-lash and subsequent state-wide bans is summed up in "I think it's icky!" There are so many other things that are much grosser that people do everyday (send your toothbrush to a lab...).

    If this story's conjecture is 100% true then you have millions of fish procedures done and a few transfers of foot infections and one lady's toes fell off. Although, if you eliminate the few very nasty places where the infections were actually found, the number goes down to essentially zero again. I call bullocks.


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