Garra rufa is a freshwater fish found in many different habitats such as lakes, rivers, ponds and even small streams. The fish is native to the Middle East (especially around the Tigris-Euphrates basin), but is found as far north as some rivers in southern Turkey.
Their primary food of choice are plants and detritus, but it is their liking for nibbling on dead skin that has made this fish famous. Today they can be found in spas and health centers around the world to help treat skin disorders. This has given them the popular name "Dr. Fish", after helping many patients with disorders such as psoriasis, neurodermatitis and eczema.
The fish only consume the dead skin areas but with such intensity that they can even break blisters. Healthy skin is left untouched. The genus Garra are also called "suckermouths" because their mouth, which is facing down, or ventrally oriented, is adapted for grazing on algae.