Asked by: Alex Round, London
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.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.