Can fingerprints change during a lifetime? ©iStock

Can fingerprints change during a lifetime?

Any would-be criminals should think twice before trying to change their fingerprints.

Asked by: Alex Round, London

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The pattern of loops and whorls on your fingerprints was fixed three months before you were born. You can scar your fingerprints with a cut, or temporarily lose them through abrasion, acid or certain skin conditions, but fingerprints lost in this way will grow back within a month.

As you age, skin on your fingertips becomes less elastic and the ridges get thicker. This doesn’t change your fingerprint, but it’s harder to scan or take a print from it.

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