What is Dermatoglyphics?


Dermatoglyphics is the scientific study of the patterns on the fingers and hands. People have been studying each other's palms and hands for centuries and many cultures have a history of believing that the features on the hands can provide insights into someone's character or future. Dermatoglyphics takes a more scientific approach, looking for features which are associated with certain disorders. A number of claims are made about dermatoglyphics, some of which are true, some of which are less so.

The formation of the hands begins very early on in fetal development. As a result, people with congenital abnormalities, especially severe ones, often develop unusual or abnormaldermatoglyphics. Children with trisomy 21, for example, tend to have broad hands with stubby fingers, and certain types of formations in their fingerprints are especially common. Doctors can sometimes use dermatoglyphics as a diagnostic tool to identify congenital abnormalities, and the errors in fetal development which contribute to abnormal dermatoglyphics are also a topic of scientific interest.


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