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Biology, Uncategorized

Will your fingerprints grow back?

Okay so someone in my family grated their fingerprint off. That’s right, it was enough of a chunk that they had to take the piece of fingertip to the hospital with them. So, will it grow back?

Yes, but it might have a scar that becomes part of the fingerprint. Fingerprint mutilation seems to be a common theme in tv and movie criminals but this requires some fairly deep damage. Generally speaking though it just modifies the fingerprint with different scars.

There are a few other ways that people can lose their fingerprints. Apparently some chemotherapy drugs will cause it, as will various rashes and some diseases. People with certain jobs, like bricklaying, can wear down their fingerprints making them difficult to see (or scan) but stop the wear and your fingerprints should return.

The last one is age, as you age your skin becomes less elastic. The ridges get thicker and the spaces between get thinner. This can make fingerprints more difficult to read.

So, you can temporarily lose your fingerprints but they should regenerate.

 

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lose-your-fingerprints/

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About Peyto

I am passionate about making science, sustainability, and sport accessible through engaging information and activities. Peyto is a reference to Bill Peyto who was an outfitter, trapper, and eventually a park warden in Banff National Park. Peyto Lake and Peyto Glacier are both named after him. He is also a distant relative of mine.

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