Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.


The integumentary patterns on the surface of the fingertips, palms, and soles.
The study of these patterns.



a branch of human morphology that studies the skin relief of the palms and soles, where the skin is covered with patterns of numerous ridges (papillary lines). Ridges and patterns are also found in simians, lemurs, and certain other mammals. The ridges are linear thickenings both within and on the surface of the epidermis. They begin to develop in the human fetus by the third month, but they do not appear on the surface of the skin until the 18th week. The papillary lines and patterns do not change with age, nor are they affected by surrounding conditions. They exhibit considerable individual variability; many of their particular features are transmitted by heredity.

The results of dermatoglyphics are therefore used widely in criminology, forensic medicine (in cases of disputed paternity), and clinical medicine (for early diagnosis of certain chromosomal diseases). Extensive study of skin patterns has revealed right-left, sexual, and territorial differences, which are used in anthropology, for example, to detect kinship between various human groups and to study the bilateral symmetry of the body. Skin patterns are also used in comparative anatomical studies of man and the primates and in anthropological genetics (familial and twin studies).


Gladkova, T. D. Kozhnye uzory kisti i stopy obez’ian i cheloveka. Moscow, 1966.
Cummins, H. and C. Midlo. Finger Prints, Palms, and Soles [2nd ed.]. New York, 1961.


References in periodicals archive ?
Dermatoglyphics in deaf mutes, an early diagnostic tool.
Therefore, there are some suggestive changes in dermatoglyphics pattern in palms of [beta]-Thalassemia patients.
Dermatoglyphics prints of the 100 (Male-67, Female-33) patients diagnosed as Tuberculosis (Sputum Positive) were taken from TB and Chest Department of New Medical College Hospital, Kota and 100 were normal individuals (Male-66, Female-34), were studied in Department of Anatomy of Govt.
Geipel (1935) (19) showed in a series of 381 Germans, the absence of significant correlation between dermatoglyphics and blood groups.
Plato CC, Cereglino JJ, Steinberg FS (1975): 'The Dermatoglyphics of American Caucasian' Am J Phy Antrhop, 42: 192-210.
With regard to high incidence of MI, the knowledge of dermatoglyphics in patients with MI can be utilized to find out genetic correlation.
Hence, dermatoglyphics can be regarded as a useful and effective method for the early diagnosis and initial screening of some diseases.
The analysis of dermatoglyphic characteristics was performed by three experts trained in the Bioscience Laboratory of Human Movement (LABiMh-UFRJ).
Two of the longest dictionary-listed isograms, for example, are the 15-letter DERMATOGLYPHICS (listed in both The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's Third New International) and UNCOPYRIGHTABLE (in The Oxford English Dictionary).