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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 May;64(5):974-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.11.013. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

The immigration delay disease: adermatoglyphia-inherited absence of epidermal ridges.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


In the digital age, personal identification by fingerprints (epidermal ridges) has become more frequent and is often required for biometric passports. The more fingerprints are analyzed, the more variants in their formation are documented. Individuals completely missing fingerprints as an isolated finding are extremely rare. Only 4 kindreds have been described to date, with additional clinical features in most cases. We describe a female patient with missing epidermal ridges on the fingers, palms, toes, and soles as an isolated feature. Absent fingerprints, or adermatoglyphia, were inherited over 4 generations of her family in an autosomal dominant fashion. We present the clinical features of the index patient, and compare the case with previous reports in the literature. Because of problems in personal identification, this embryologic malformation caused the patient significant difficulties when traveling to other countries, which is why we name it the immigration delay disease.

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