How Durable is a Fingerprint?Oct 01, 2012
|The three main fingerprint types - the loop, the whorl and the arch
American Hans Galassi lost several fingers in a wakeboarding accident several months ago. Now one of them has been found in a trout — and identified as Galassi's from its fingerprints. So how long do fingerprints last?
The vast majority of people are born with a unique set of fingerprints which remain the same for life.
These patterns, known as friction ridges by experts, are found not only on our finger-tips but also on the flanges of our fingers, on our palms, our toes and on the soles of our feet.
The patterns are permanent, but can wear down. Builders who lay bricks and people who frequently wash dishes by hand lose some of the detail. Once they stop these activities, the ridges will grow back.