Forensic implications of fingerprint verification failure among people with skin diseases

Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
Fingerprint analysis is one of the earliest and most commonly used methods of personal identification by police and forensic scientists at crime scenes. It has two key advantages: permanence and uniqueness. However, some skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis and viral exanthems can hinder the process of analysis and thwart identification; so it is important to recognise the effects a skin condition may have on fingerprint identification. The aim of this narrative review is to provide an overview of common skin diseases that are associated with fingerprint recognition failures as well as to recapitulate the forensic implications.

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