If We Cut Off Our Fingertips, Will They Look The Same As Before Once Healed?

We all know that each and everyone of us is born with a unique set of fingerprints. But, can we change them? What happens if you burn or cut off your fingertips? Do they heal exactly the same or do you grow a new set of fingerprints?

Let’s find out.

Yes, theoretically you can change them. If you cut off your finger deep enough, you will have a brand new set of fingertips. Here’s how it works. (the article continues after the ad)

All of the superficial skin we see has grown up from a deeper layer called the basal layer, also called the stratum germinativum. This layer divides and makes new cells constantly, pushing the old ones towards the surface where they eventually slough off. Its a constant cycle. And it forms the template for your fingerprints. As long as this basal layer is there, it will repair/replace all the cells above it including your fingerprints.

Without this basal layer, your body can’t replace the normal skin cells, and instead has to resort to closing wounds with scar. So if you were to remove your skin all the way down past the basal layer, which would mean you had no skin left on your fingers, the template for you finger prints would be gone and would not return hence, the resulting scar would have it’s own unique characteristics; essentially a brand new set of fingerprint.

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Photo: Creative Commons