ADERMATOGLYPHIA or People Without Fingerprints

No fingerprint condition

No fingerprint condition

Today’s topic is pretty interesting. It is especially interesting if you are planning to go into some serious robberies and don’t want to leave your fingerprints behind.

All jokes aside, we have all watched spy movies where the leading protagonist (or antagonist) does “something” to their hands in order to wipe out their fingerprints. In the world of spies this is a pretty valuable and significant technique; however, does that really exist?

Are there people without fingerprints in real life?

ADERMATOGLYPHIA – A Rare Condition where Someone Has No Fingerprint!

Don’t let this strong and complex name scare you; everything will be explained.

So, what is Adermatoglyphia?

Adermatoglyphia is actually a genetic disorder that people who are born without fingerprints have. Their hands look slightly different, but not that much to be honest.

It is well-known that we use our fingerprints as our own, personal registration numbers. Every person on Earth has different fingerprints and that’s why they are so valuable.

Our fingerprints are held in some kind of databases that authorities use. That’s how a person can be completely checked. That’s also why you had to give them your fingerprint while you were applying for your ID card.

Now that we know that, the question arises – what do people who don’t have fingerprints do?

Well, in the beginning, they had plenty of problems.

No Fingerprint Real-Story

Back in 2007, there was a woman that couldn’t enter the U.S. because she didn’t have fingerprints. As you know, all “aliens”, as they call them (people who don’t live in the U.S.) are thoroughly checked.

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So, this woman contacted Dr. Peter Itin. Peter is a dermatologist, very popular in his field. When the woman explained her situation to him he looked into her family members. Pretty soon he found out that there are also 8 women who are related to the mentioned patient who also doesn’t have fingerprints. That was simply the way they were born.

This, of course, clearly shows that the disease adermatoglyphia is transferred by genes.

Doctor Peter Itin was fascinated with this “extremely rare condition”, as he called it, so he gathered his colleagues and conducted studies. He later found out about other families with this disease.

After many failed attempts to understand this strange disease, Peter found out what was behind it all.

As he and his colleagues thought, the disease is indeed transferred by genes. They studied 16 members of one family. Nine members of that family had this disease.

He soon found out that nine members of the family (the ones that had no fingerprints) have a mutated gene, while the other seven had a normal gene that codes a protein called SMARTCARD.

The shorter version of the gene, located in people that are born without fingerprints, interfere with RNA which leads to the protein not being formed correctly. As a result, a person that has this mutation has no fingerprints.

There are plenty questions unanswered, to this day, regarding this strange and incredibly rare disease. One of those questions is – What does protein have to do with all of that in the first place because it is being developed in the womb?

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Adermatoglyphia has no cure at the moment

Although this research hasn’t found a “cure” for this because of its rarity and unable to study more about this, it has managed to scratch the surface and understand the background of the disease. This later helped with forming fingerprints systems and understanding the whole concept better.

If only John Dillinger, one of the most famous and notorious criminals in American history, knew about this. He was one of the first ones to successfully “wipe” out his fingerprints. This procedure, of course, was done by himself and it was very painful.


Well, we can all agree that this topic was extremely interesting. Not many people know about the disease mentioned in this article and not many people know people can be born without fingerprints.

It is certainly pretty strange but pretty interesting as well! So, what did you get from this article that you have read?

Well, you now have basic knowledge of a strange disease for one. For two, you now know that it doesn’t pay off to be a criminal.

Surely, they won’t be able to use the latest features of Smartphones today. The Fingerprint Scanner.

All jokes aside, I hope you have enjoyed the article and I hope you liked it!

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