Okay - Fingerprints worn away - FBI declines permit (so far)


March 13, 2004, 05:56 PM
This is a friend's problem. There should be no hangup since there are 20 or more years of naval career involved. But I have never heard of this before.

Anyone out there have suggestions/experience?


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March 13, 2004, 06:24 PM

Suppose an affidavit from his doctor would help?


March 13, 2004, 06:25 PM
Finger prints don't wear off, exactly. They can wear smooth from the right(wrong?) type of usage, but given a chance they'll grow right back. I suspect that your friend won't have too much of a problem.

Don in Ohio

Shanghai McCoy
March 13, 2004, 08:16 PM
I had a buddy in OK with the same problem.He had to get them re-taken a couple of times but he did get the OK .It's not that rare for folks who have worked around acids or hot metal to have scar tissue that messes up the prints.

Standing Wolf
March 13, 2004, 08:47 PM
I used to be a finger print guy quite a few years ago. People who did lots of metal and wood working often had prints that were hard to read, as did some people who handled paper all day long. Having people was their hands and apply a generous measure of hand lotion usually did the trick.

Arches. Tents. Loops. Whorls.

March 13, 2004, 09:03 PM
I was reading some health articles last week. Can't recall the specific disease offhand but I was surprised to learn that there is an illness which can cause your fingerprints to go bye-bye.

March 13, 2004, 10:13 PM
If you can find that, please pass it along... this feller is older than me - he may have something he doesn't know about.

If it was on internet, please look in your history files. 'Course, he was in naval aircraft maintenance since '49 till retiring. That might contribute.

Like me just a couple years back, he's just now enjoying his new companion - the H&K in .40.


March 14, 2004, 12:48 AM
Sorry Ironbarr,

Tried a few searches and can't find it. The internet is a bigggg place and I delete temporary files daily. I read so much that I wouldn't even want to guess as to the specific illness. I don't feel that it was anything imminently terminal but serious enough that I examined my prints.

J Jones
March 14, 2004, 01:04 AM
I've read about at least one family, in England IIRC, that has no fingerprints genetically.

Leprosy can make fingerprints go away, but it usually does that by making the fingers go away first. Seriously, why couldn't a skin condition cause loss of fingerprints?

March 14, 2004, 01:18 AM
Ironbar, I take fingerprints all the time. I use either ink or go digital with some type of infrared scanner. I will tell you, fingerprints may be "ALTERED" but even scarring has a uniqueness to it. Why? Because you still will have sweat pores, which may be measured and counted. I suggest your friend:

1. Use Cornhuskers lotion as often as he can, this will build up the moisture and oils into his skin.

2. Find a print taker that uses a scanner instead of ink. Sometimes it is the ONLY thing that will work correctly. If he cannot get his prints to take even with a scanner, have the print taker mark each print as "scar" which will help the problem a bit and the print recipiant will note that this is his "actual" print.

Hope this helps, and yes, Corn Huskers lotion is a brand, it is specifically designed for worked through hands, not like that Jergens stuff or the crap our wives use. The Corn Huskers is the only way to go.

March 14, 2004, 08:03 AM
There should be no hangup since there are 20 or more years of naval career involved.

No offense but this shouldn't give the go ahead mearly because of his service time. As has been stated even when prints aren't :normal" there is still unique characteristics for each individual. Follow the lotion suggestions and try again.

March 15, 2004, 10:16 PM
finger prints can go away, be worn away
or even damaged beyond recognition.

barring scarring (ie acid) they will USUALLY
become more printable after a hiatus from
the offending process.

IMHO, digital would be the way to go...
our state PD has the system here

El Tejon
March 15, 2004, 10:35 PM
Iron, had problems with prints after a period of iron palm training. After I stopped, my prints "reappeared."

I was told to moisturize my hands and wait a few days.:)

March 15, 2004, 10:38 PM
yep, i got 'printed about 6 years ago for an offical purpose
and one of my prints didn't/wouldn't.
the tech was unimpressed, said it happens alot
with surgeons who scrub their hands.

i guess i don't scrub hard enough!

March 15, 2004, 11:16 PM
The older he is the harder it may be to fix this. It isn't a unique problem so i would imagine that the fed's have a work around. The same thing happened to my granmother when she applied for a volunteer job at our local sherrifs office. She was a nurse for about thirty years so probably managed to scrub them away.

March 15, 2004, 11:21 PM
Why should this even be a problem? I'd venture to say that the vast majority of people have fingerprints, so wouldn't people with worn, scarred, or even non-existent prints be readily identifiable anyway?

Arghhh...we shouldn't have to printed at all.:fire:

March 15, 2004, 11:27 PM
some uses for fingerprints of 'innocent' individuals
would SEEM appropriate
how about INS issues?

March 16, 2004, 09:36 AM
I agree that he should use someone who uses a scanner (such as a Livescan) vice inked prints.

If I get a crummy print on the scanner, I can always delete it and try again until I get an acceptable one. People who do inked prints are less likely to keep trying.

March 16, 2004, 11:20 AM
This won't help your friend, but I have a question. I remember watching an old Hawaii Five-O episode as a kid where there was a criminal who wasn't leaving any prints, and McGarrett deduced that the person was a pinapple worker whose prints were lost due to the acid in the pineapple. Fingerprint guys, is this possible?

March 18, 2004, 12:04 AM
iron palm training.
El T -- Is that the one where you drive your hands into the pots of hot rice to toughen them? (Love all those old kung-fu movies :p )

And what type of permit is he trying to get from the FBI?

March 18, 2004, 08:14 AM
Not sure about the pineapple juice but I kinda doubt it. If it were true every two-bit hood would be down at the local supermarket ripping off cases of Doles.

People who work in certain jobs, such as roofers, cement/concrete guys can really screw up their prints. But I have seen some really horrible prints come off my printer at work and get a good, solid AFIS hit. The new technology is pretty amazing.

Henry Bowman
March 18, 2004, 08:51 AM
What El T is talking about is thrusting his hands into a vat of molten iron (Warning: don't try this with molten steel -- too hot!) and then cupping the liquid in his palms until it solidifies. This is an intimidation technique which, when properly employed in the courtroom, virtually assures a legal victory for the party he is representing. At least that's my experience. And yes, it can affect the clarity of your fingerprints. :rolleyes:

March 18, 2004, 10:02 AM
Over the past few years of recording prints I have encountered a few with hard to record prints.

When that happens I was told to make about three sets (cards) and attach a note explaining the prints were the best that could be recorded and the accurately reflected the prints left by the applicant's fingers.

It was explained to me the finger print requirement was to accurately record a person's prints as they appear at the time of recording. If that is done a correct set of prints has been provided.

I started doing that, and have not had any rejected since then.

Might be worth a try.



El Tejon
March 18, 2004, 10:42 AM
Henry, no, just sand, sir!:D

March 20, 2004, 02:10 AM
I work for Brinks Armored Car. My fingerprints failed the "live scan" three times because I'm 57, I guess. One of the old hands at Brinks said "Don't worry, the FBI has to accept after three times." The next thing I knew, I got a gun card in the mail.

So don't worry.

March 20, 2004, 06:47 AM
What El T is talking about is thrusting his hands into a vat of molten iron (Warning: don't try this with molten steel -- too hot!) and then cupping the liquid in his palms until it solidifies. :what: :what:

(nooooooo waaayyy,,,not even on a bet,,,,,not enough zeros in a number to get me to try that)

"intimidation technique" <- - works for me.

Thread related comment:
Second or third the Corn Huskers. Best stuff there is. Years ago I used to work with a lot of solvents (Xylol - MEK - MIBK - etc.) that literally leech all of the oils from skin. I'd get chapped hands even in the dead of summer. CH cures all.

March 20, 2004, 09:23 AM
Apparently all's well now and things have settled out.

I have learned some things with this thread and do appreciate our brother and sisterhood here who rally to the need for info.

Thanks, all.


March 20, 2004, 10:12 AM
I had a similar problem. I have hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating). My hands sweat alot, which makes it hard to fingerprint me. I had to submit my prints twice, but they finally went through. Was very frustrating for the fingerprinter & I.

March 20, 2004, 01:20 PM
Corn Huskers lotion, Hoppes #9 solvent, Crazy Glue, NyQuil and Goslings Black Seal rum are among the most necessary of all liquid elixirs ever created. :D

I try never to be without at least one full bottle of each.

March 20, 2004, 08:17 PM
have him soak his hand in water, for a long time...allow it to become water logged...the prints will pop right out.

March 20, 2004, 11:07 PM
When I got finger-printed for my Texas CHL the officer had some troubles getting a good set of prints. She tried ink, and a (scanner type) fingerprint machine.

I'm not sure why she couldn't get a good set, but after 4 tries she grabbed a separate form that declared my prints to be the best she could get. She signed the form and told me to send it in with my CHL paperwork.

I guess it worked, because my CHL came through.


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