Dermatoglyphia is a very rare genetic disease that results in the absence of fingerprints on the fingers and toes. Even though it may not have serious effects on health, it causes many problems in everyday life.

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22-year-old Apu Sarkar lives with his family in a village in the Rajshahi district of northwest Bangladesh. But he faced major administrative problems. young man unable to buy SIM cardSIM card For your phone or to obtain a valid driver’s license or passport. On his identity card, where fingerprints would normally be visible, it said, “No fingerprints”. Because Apu, like the nine other members of his family, suffers from a very rare congenital disease called dermatoglyphia, which is characterized by the absence of fingerprints.

Dermatoglyphia, a rare congenital disease

Generally, fingerprints are drawn between 16I and 25I The week of pregnancy, when the skin is flexible, and depends on both genetic factors and the intrauterine environment. But in people with dermatoglyphia, the SMARCAD1 gene is altered so that it stops coding for the related protein and fetusfetus No drawing is made on his fingers. This results in the disappearance of epidermal ridges on the palms and soles of the feet. Dermatoglyphia is often associated with a restriction in the number of pores. sweat glandssweat glandswhich leads to a DryDry Of the skin of the palms and soles of the feet. This condition is extremely rare. Only four cases were described in 2011, according to a study by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, But, since the SMARCAD1 gene is dominant, only one ChromosomesChromosomes Carrier is sufficient to trigger the disease, which explains why several members of the same family are usually affected.

The disease went unnoticed until fingerprints became commonly used. She was discovered in 2007, when a Swiss woman was turned away at the US border. Customs officials noticed that he did not have fingerprints, and scientists then analyzed d nd n Of the whole family. dermatologistdermatologistThe author of this discovery has named this condition “immigration disease”.

“Immigration Disease”

even if there’s no reason for it symptomssymptoms Severe secondary, dermatoglyphia has a very distressing effect on everyday life. , I successfully passed the driving test, paid for the license, but I couldn’t get the official paper because I couldn’t be fingerprinted », describes Apu Sarkar to the BBC. Since to buy a SIM card you have to register on the biometric register, all the men in the family use the code from the phone of their mother, who does not have this disease.

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There is another form of dermatoglyphia, called Nägeli–Franceschetti–Jadasohn syndrome, also caused by a genetic mutation. It affects the KRT14 gene coding for keratin 14, resulting in the absence of dermatoglyphs (fingerprints), reticular skin hyperpigmentation, dry skin with heat intolerance, nail dystrophy, abnormalities of dental enamel, as well as hyperkeratosis of the palms and soles. it occurs. According to the Orphanet website, this syndrome affects approximately one case per three million people. there is no cure.

clean your fingerprints

It is possible to erase your own fingerprints by burning your fingers. There are regular cases of illegal immigrants being mutilated to avoid identity checks. Others try to glue or plasticplastic His fingers were melted to hide their fingerprints. According to Nathanael Caillaux, legal advisor to the local office of France Terre d’Asil and quoted by Inrockuptables, 80% of asylum seekers in the Calais region leave their fingerprints unexplained. A “disease” is much more common than the actual dermatoglyphia.

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