Dermatoglyphics are furrows in the skin of the digital pads, palms, and soles which can be cleanly and permanently recorded on specially treated paper by use of initially invisible inks which then can become indelible.
The resultant prints can be classified according to the patterns formed. There are three such basic patterns, namely, loops, arches, and whorls. The normal palm has ten areas where these patterns are individually distinctive marks. Significant variations in these patterns may signify disposition to, or presence of, dermatologic or more or less generalized disease.
Methods of measuring characteristics of dermatoglyphics are described and illustrated. A list of diseases in which significant dermatoglyphic alterations occur is included.
The printing of the dermatoglyphics of fingertips and palms is a simple and inexpensive research tool and clinical test.
Gibbs RC. Fundamentals of Dermatoglyphics. Arch Dermatol. 1967;96(6):721-725. doi:10.1001/archderm.1967.01610060115023