top of page
FAQ Print Graphic.jpg

Dermatoglyphics FAQ

What you've always wanted to know about fingerprints

The most popular dermatoglyphics related questions around.  Message me if you have other questions!


Dermatoglyphics Applied Behavioral Science is the scientific study of fingerprints that began when one of the most original biologists of his time, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, published his now classic book Fingerprints (1892). Dr. Harold Cummins, the father of American fingerprint analysis later termed this study of epidermal ridge patterns found on palms and feet of humans: Dermatoglyphics, which looks at the epidermal ridges formed in the same intrauterine period when neuronal development also takes places in a fetus.

What types of fingerprint patterns are there?

There are 3 major fingerprint pattern types: Loops, Arches and Whorls. These branch out to make a total of 11 subtypes (with some variations within each subtype): Ulnar Loop, Radial Loop, Simple Arch, Tented Arch, Concentric Whorl, Spiral Whorl, Press Whorl, Imploding Whorl, Composite Whorl, Peacock Eye and Variant Patterns.

What are the scientific fundamentals about fingerprints?

The basic fundamentals of the science of fingerprint are permanence and individuality.

Permanence: Fingerprint ridges are formed during the third to fourth month of fetal development. These ridges consist of individual characteristics called ridge endings, bifurcations, dots and many ridge shape variances. The unit relationship of individual characteristics does not naturally change throughout life until decomposition after death. After formation, an infant's growing fingerprint ridges are much like drawing a face on a balloon with a ball-point pen and then inflating the balloon to see the same face expand relatively uniformly in all directions. Unnatural changes to fingerprint ridges include deep cuts or injuries penetrating all layers of the dermis and epidermis, and some diseases such as leprosy.

Permanent scars, disease damage, and temporary changes such as paper cuts appear as jagged edges and sometimes "puckered" ridge detail in opposition to smooth flowing natural formations. Warts can come and go, but generally push apart an area of friction ridges and can disappear completely when the wart is gone because they are not a part of the friction ridge structure. Look at a wart with a magnifying glass and you will notice that the friction ridges "surround" the wart. Senile atrophy of friction skin due to old age causes the ridges to often almost flatten, causing fingerprints with many creases and poorly defined ridges (creases are also uniquely associated with the overall friction ridge structure but not always permanent). Oddly, newborn infants also often have more creases than clearly defined ridge detail in their barefoot prints. The creases are unique, but change relatively rapidly and often disappear as the infant grows. The best chance of seeing friction skin ridges on newborn infant footprints is to look carefully with a magnifying glass on and near the big toe.

Individuality:  In the over 140 years that fingerprints have been routinely compared worldwide, no two areas of friction skin on any two persons (including identical twins) have been found to contain the same individual characteristics in the same unit relationship. This means that in general, any area of friction skin that you can cover with a dime (and often with just a pencil eraser) on your fingers, palms, or soles of your feet will contain sufficient individual characteristics in a unique unit relationship to enable identification. Recent studies comparing the fingerprints of cloned monkeys showed that they, just like identical twin humans, have completely different fingerprints. When doctors state that twins have the same fingerprints, they are referring to the class characteristics of the general ridge flow, called the fingerprint pattern. These loop, arch and whorl ridge flow patterns are not the individual characteristics used to identify persons.  Before modern computerized systems, fingerprint classification was essential to enable manual filing and retrieval of fingerprints in large repositories.

DNA analysis as commonly practised in forensic science laboratories cannot differentiate between identical twins, but fingerprints have always been able to differentiate identical twins.

What are the applications of dermatoglyphics?

Dermatoglyphics has many practical applications due to its a strong medical science research base. These include identifying left-handed uniqueness, twins studies, genetics and medical disorders.

At Centric Quest, we focus on dermatoglyphics analysis, a quantitative analysis that combine Professor Howard Gardner of Harvard University (1983) renown work Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Updated 2011), to pin-point your personality traits, relational and work style preferences and other relevant strengths that raise effectiveness in your concerned areas.

What can I find out from my fingerprints?

The development in the fingerprints of a person is directly and significantly associated to the development of his/her brain. At the same time, Multiple-Intelligences are closely associated to the development of the brain as well. Investigating fingerprints systematically will therefore determine the forms and the manifestation of different types of intelligences and their advantages.

In business or personal settings, you will then learn to leverage your strengths in tough situations and work on your weaknesses to get desired outcomes. Having clarity in your internal genetically built-in drivers, preferences and talents is the first step of becoming an outstanding communicator and inspirer of those around you.

bottom of page