Why Kangal?

"The health-giving properties of Turkey's natural hot springs have been renowned since antiquity. Many doctors and clinics throughout Turkey have recommended their patients try the Kangal thermal waters as a curative."



Turkish Ministry of Tourism


Scientific researches

Several scientific researches have been conducted over the past decade regarding psoriasis fish treatment in Kangal Thermal Spa Resort.

* In June of 1993, medical doctors and scientists from around the world, held a national symposium at Kangal Hot Spring to study its curative powers.
* In year 2000 a resume about the "doctor fish" of Kangal was published in the Journal of Dermatology regarding a small test group of patients at the spa under the supervision of a dermatologist. It concluded that fish treatment "may be effective and useful for psoriasis patients".
* A more recent study has been conducted by Dr Martin Grassberger, of the Medical University of Vienna, which indicated clear benefits to more than 70 per cent of patients and a mean remission time of over eight months.

Hereunder we kindly present to your attention a summarized list with scientific references and publications based on real observations on the methods of treatment and the consecutive results achieved by the synergy healing effect of the hot thermal springs and the miraculous doctor fish.

  • Concerning fish species: Contributed by Assoc.Prof. Dr. Levent Undar, Science Faculty, Prof.Dr. M. Ali Akpinar and Dr. Atilla Yanikoglu, Internal Medicine Deparment, Medicine Faculty and Biology Deparment of Cumhuriyet University, Sivas - Turkey.

In this study the two main fish species have been classified. Both species are members of the Cyprinidac family acclimatized to a warm environment - "strikers" (Cyprinion macrostomus macrostomus) and "lickers" (Garra rufa obtusa). Both fish are omnivorous, a familiar characteristic of the Cyprinidac family. Due to the high water temperatures, there are insufficient amounts of phytoplankton and zooplanktons in the fish pools. Apparently it is good news for the fish which prefer to feed on the dead skin simply because it is easier to bite off.

  • Regarding Kangal fish and patients: Presented by Assoc.Prof.Dr. Levent Undar, the Faculty of Science, Department of Biology and Medicine Faculty, Dr. M. Ali Akpinar and Dr. Atilla Yanikoglu, Internal Medicine Department of Cumhuriyet University, 58040 Sivas - Turkey.

According to this study the fish strike and lick the psoriatic plaque which has been softened by the water. In its action the fish creates a pleasant feeling of 'micro-massage' also described as gentle tickle on the skin. The delightful tingling feeling in combination with the Jacuzzi effect provided by the thermal pools is believed to have a positive psychological effect on patients with neurologic and rheumatic disorders by generating a perception of wellbeing among them. People who dont suffer from psoriasis disease may also take advantage of the clearing effect of the Kangal fish which removes gently the hyperkeratinized skin areas.

  • The effect of psoriasis fish treatment on patients and the healing approach: Introduced by: Dr. H. Huseyin Polat, Public Health, Prof.Dr. Sedat Ozcelik, Dermatology Department, Dr. Melih Akyol and A. Nevzat Yalcin, Doctor of Clinical Microbiology, Medical Faculty, of Cumhuriyet University, Sivas - Turkey, Dr. Dervis Ozcelik Doctor of Biophysics, Medical Faculty of Cerrahpasa Istanbul University, Istanbul - Turkey and Mr. Mehmet Marufihah.

In 2000, Dr. Sedat Ozcelik and colleagues published the results of their study of the curative powers of the springs in The Journal of Dermatology. For 21 days, 87 patients with psoriasis vulgaris have been assessed by a dermatologist. Results of the study revealed that after treatment at the Kangal Springs, 57.14% of the patients had a complete remission and the rest 42.85% experienced a partial one. The disease assessment has been conducted with the scores of the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). Statistical analyses have been performed with the help of Paired t, Wilcoxon and Kolmogrov Smirnov tests. The analyses for the 21 days treatment showed sensitively better results than the results of the 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 days treatment in the pools. Recurrences have also been studied and longer remission periods (compared to a topical corticosteriod treatment) were noticed by former patients of the Kangal fish hot springs (p < 0.01).

  • The closing scientific report of the panel held by the University of Cumhuriyet:

Psoriasis is a quite frequent skin disease with a chronic and recurrence nature. On every stage of psoriasis recurrence, patient's state of mind plays a crucial role for the ongoing course of treatment. Due to the presence of plentiful studies related to the origin of the disease, many treatment methods have been introduced. For many years Climatotherapy and Spa treatments have been successfully adopted in the treatments process of different diseases. Speaking of this, the Kangal Fish Spa is an intriguing place with its favourable climate, thermal springs and therapeutic water qualities providing a positive psychological effect to patients. The unique combination of fish clearing patient's scales, the natural ultraviolet light delivered by sunrays and the beneficial effect of the selenium available in abundance in the waters has produced some incredible results in the treatment of psoriasis. Having in mind all these aspects, the Kangal Balikli Kaplica Resort has all prerequisites to develop into a globally recognized health care and touristic center.

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Official certificate

The Kangal Balikli Thermal Spa has been awarded with a Certificate by the Turkish Ministry of Health for its exceptional healing advantages against the psoriasis disease. Such an authorization from the government represents an enormous recognition for any health resort in Turkey.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, "The health-giving properties of Turkey's natural hot springs have been renowned since antiquity. Many doctors and clinics throughout Turkey have recommended their patients try the Kangal thermal waters as a curative."


According to the British Association of Dermatologists, the removal of superfluous skin flakes aids sufferers because "it may help topical medications to penetrate, which is why some people may notice some improvement, but we are not aware of any other proven benefits".

A veteran of Kangal for over 20 years, Professor Dr. Sedat Ozcelik has full faith in the spring's abilities: For all the years spent at Balikli Kangal Fish Spring I have conducted a steady observation and research on many patients suffering from psoriasis. I can declare with the utmost conviction that psoriasis sufferers visiting the spring for a period of 1 week minimum to 3 weeks maximum experience a complete clinical recovery from the psoriasis plague. The process of curing involves all kind of important factors that create a synergy treatment effect such as selenium, natural ultraviolet radiation, Zinc effect, Jacuzzi effect and group therapy, short period of recovery, the massage given by the fish, etc. According to Prof. Dr. Ozcelik if a treatment at the Kangal Fish springs under a proper surveillance of a dermatologist can extend the remission period of some patients to 2 years.

Dr Tim Clayton, a consultant dermatologist at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, agrees that the treatment is safe. "I've known of a few patients trying the treatment," he says. "The overall idea that the fish feed on the thickened dead skin cells found on the surface of skin is sound. It is certainly a novel and interesting way of alleviating thickened psoriasis. It's unlikely to be a cure, but may help improve the skin surface. A good holiday and the sunshine also probably helps, since psoriasis can be exacerbated by stress and ultraviolet light can improve the condition - but people should take care to avoid excessive sun exposure due to the risks of skin cancer."

Patients' response

Although the National Psoriasis Foundation is sceptical of the Spring's ability to cure skin diseases, many sufferers report that the Kangal fish offered them relief.

Michael Shortt, from Belfast, suffered from psoriasis and visited the Spring to give the cure a try. He said of his experience in London's Daily Mail: "The first day I went into the indoor pool with the strikers. You can't see them when you get into the water, but suddenly they flock to you and start picking at you to eat the scales of skin. There must have been 30 or 40 on me. It was a weird sensation, like being pecked by tiny birds or pricked with a cocktail stick five times a second. The next day I went into the outdoor pool with the jabbers, who puncture the skin making tiny pinpricks, and the lickers, who then seal the holes by secreting something from their mouths. There were times when I hated them, but now I'm incredibly grateful."

Ayten Ozcelik from Turkey visited the Spring and talked with some of the visitors, whose experiences she documented in Image Magazine. Ayten reported: 'Fatma Akdeniz, a 20-year-old woman from Marmaris, had suffered for ten years from psoriasis. She lost count somewhere along the way of the number of doctors she had been to, but knows that nothing they did was of any help. We saw her as she was about to leave after a 21-day course of treatment in the pools. Incredibly, those tiny fish had succeeded where medical science had so completely failed. Three weeks before, her body right down to the scalp, had been covered with agonizing sores. Now she seemed absolutely healthy.'

Paul 36, from Northern Ireland, has had psoriasis since the age of 14. "I've tried steroid creams, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, you name it." But he felt the spa did make a difference. "I definitely saw an improvement in my skin, but it's hard to say whether it's the water or the fish." Personally speaking, I have an idea that there are easier ways to exfoliate my feet, but probably none half as much fun.

Therese Dillon, a who suffered from severe psoriasis for years explains: "About 60 percent of my body was covered with psoriasis and I had never experienced results like those I got in Turkey..." The 42-year-old Irish woman, who had tried everything to treat it, came across the Sivas spa while on holiday in Turkey. "The first time I got in was very scary - hundreds of the fish came towards me. My legs and back were very bad, and they were all over them. I got straight out. Eventually, I realized the fish were lovely - not at all aggressive." After just four days, "the effects were fantastic - my skin was clean". The results lasted four months.

Samantha Grayston, 38, from Kent, said she returned from her three-week trip to Turkey to find the "doctor fish" treatment had worked and boosted her confidence. She spent six hours a day at the spa near Kangal in eastern Turkey. "My skin is looking absolutely brilliant for the first time ever'. "My skin is smooth. You can still see that I have psoriasis - but it's pink rather than red." Her fiance Graham Smith added: "When she walks out with her shopping, her shoulders are back and her head is up. She's not conscious of anyone looking at her or checking out the redness of the skin. She's actually got a suntan for the first time and she smiles all the time now."

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10 good reasons why visit and apply for treatment at Kangal Fish Thermal Springs:

Patients with chronic, intractable disease tend to seek help from a wide range of alternative sources. But among the most efficient and bizarre is the treatment by the so called doctor fish which can be found in the hot spring pools near Kangal, a small town in Turkey.

Why should you apply for a 21 day treatment at Kangal Thermal Spa?

1- It is possible to completely recover from psoriasis in 21 days. Conducted scientific researches have shown that 57 % of the patients taking the 21 day treatment have fully recovered from some of the mot severe forms of psoriasis vulgaris. Why not being one of them?
2- Completely natural treatment with no side effects and totally safe environment. This is what the Kangal Fish Treatment is. The physical contact of doctor fish has a generous effect on your skin as well as the sun, water, thermal springs and the fresh air. No medications are necessary during the treatment period.
3- Balneotherapy. Including water-based treatments involving natural thermal springs, hot springs and mineral water, this treatment is widely used throughout Europe and Asia. The water is rich in iron aluminate, anions, sulfate, hydrocarbonate, metasilicic acid, nitrate, calcium, magnesium sulfate, chlorine, sodium, magnesium.
4- The selenium effect. antioxidant function of Selenium is more powerful than natural vitamin E and helps to slow down skin aging process removing inflammation with good effect on atopy skin trouble, pimples, eczema, skin discoloration, freckle, inflammation and psoriasis as well as hair loss. Selenium has also the effect of intercepting ultraviolet rays and radiation so it is called "Skin Medicine".
5- Climatotherapy. The environment and natural elements in Kangal, Turkey are said to be especially therapeutic for psoriasis. Sunlight and water are natural therapies that can help improve psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis for many people. Eighty percent of the people who use regular daily doses of sunlight and the direct effect of natural ultraviolet radiation enjoy improvement or clearing of their plaque psoriasis. Water can help soften psoriasis lesions.
6- An ocean of fresh air can be enjoyed due to the high altitude (1650 meters) of the town of Kangal and the surrounding green rural area.
7- Therapeutic massage. In addition to the benefits of hydrotherapy from the hot spring, there is a psychological component to this massage which generates a feeling of wellbeing in patients with neurologic and rheumatic diseases, and with traumatic diseases.
8- Psychological effect. The pleasant massage delivered by the doctor fish, the joy of the sun rays, the Jacuzzi effect of the pools and the experience of being in a totally different environment may also contribute to the way your body responds to treatments and the overall feeling of wellbeing.
9- Clearing effect Exfoliation is a key part of any skin beautifying treatment. Not only the ill, but also the healthy, visit the spring to consult the doctor fish. People with healthy skin also benefit by the fish clearing away hyper-keratinized portions of their skin.
10- Reverse Koebner phenomenon - The Koebner phenomenon, also called the "Koebner response" or the "isomorphic response", refers to skin lesions appearing on lines of trauma, possibly resulting from either a linear exposure or irritation. The fish treatment has surprisingly being noticed to reverse this effect and provide positive healing skin reaction.