The Chairperson of the Parliament’s Welfare Committee has formally inquired with Health Minister, Willum Þór Þórsson, about his plans to regulate the use of fillers and substances that dissolve them. Her concerns were prompted by an investigative report aired on Kompás this past Monday.
The “Wild West” of fillers
In an interview with Vísir yesterday, Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, Chair of the Parliament’s Welfare Committee, expressed her concerns about the use of fillers, a topic recently highlighted by the investigative news programme Kompás. The programme described the unregulated use of fillers as the “Wild West,” interviewing an Icelandic woman who suffered life-threatening complications from a misinformed treatment.
As noted by Kompás, in Iceland, substances are being used illicitly for cosmetic procedures, and there’s no oversight of unqualified individuals who often operate under misleading job titles.
“Even though one might have noticed on the streets, young girls with rather broad and large lips, knowing that substances were obviously being injected, the extent of this ‘Wild West’ situation was surprising,” Bjarkey commented.
Seeking clarity on potential regulations
Bjarkey hopes that the discussion won’t fade in the coming days now that it has started.
What are fillers?
As noted by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, dermal fillers are “gel-like substances that are injected beneath the skin to restore lost volume, smooth lines and soften creases, or enhance facial contours.”
Fillers, especially those made of hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring substance in the body), can be dissolved using an enzyme called hyaluronidase.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the potential dangers of fillers include acne-like skin eruptions, asymmetry in the treated areas, bleeding from the injection site, bruising, damage to the skin leading to wounds and possible scarring, infection at the injection site, formation of lumps, the filler being felt under the skin, skin necrosis which involves ulceration or loss of skin due to disrupted blood flow, itchy skin rashes, skin redness, swelling, and the under- or over-correction of wrinkles.
“In very rare cases, the filler may accidentally be injected into your blood vessels instead of under your skin. This can block blood flow. What happens if your blood flow is blocked will vary depending on where the block is. If your skin is affected, you might have skin loss or wounds. If your eye is affected, you might lose your eyesight or go blind.”