Dermatoglyphics: in health and disease - a review

Gh. Mohd. Bhat, M. Arif Mukhdoomi, Bahir Ahmed Shah, Mohd Saleem Ittoo


Dermatoglyphics is the study of finger print patterns and the term was coined by Harold Cummins in 1926. Finger prints are imprints of epidermal ridges, which are formed in early embryonic life, during 10th to 16th week of intrauterine life and remain permanent during whole life. Dermatoglyphic patterns have polygenic inheritance and are affected by environmental factors in the uterus. Finger print patterns are mainly of three types: arches whorls and loops; though there are more than 100 ridge characteristics, called Galton’s details, in a single rolled finger print. Dermatoglyphics is not only used in the identification of an individual but also serves as a mirror of one’s potential and talent. In this review, we will be discussing Dermatoglyphics and its important role in the diagnosis of chromosomal disorders and other diseases which have some genetic bases.


Dermatoglyphics, Finger prints, Arch, Whorl, Loop

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