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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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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