Man without fingerprints stumps airport security

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USA Today reports the curious case of a Singapore man who was detained for several hours by airport security when they couldn't find his fingerprints. The man, who was taking capecitabine as part of chemotherapy treatment, suffered from hand-foot syndrome, a side effect of the drug where skin peels off. His oncologist describes the unusual case today in an online letter to the Annals of Oncology.

The problem is not as rare as you might think. Around one in 50 people in the world lack identifiable fingerprints; an official from the Department of Homeland Security reported "We have standard operating procedures that take that into account".

Via Newser

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Do you mean 1 in 50 lack them permanently, or just due to some temporary condition (as in this case)?

I imagine it's all causes, including temporary ones. It's said that bricklayers often have no fingerprints because working with abrasive materials tends to smooth the skin on their hands.

Do you know why the guy had no fingerprints? I know severe heat or burns can remove fingerprints temporarily, but I wasn't aware of any other ways to take them off.

@Lab Rat.
The guy was on Chemotherapy, and the particular variant he was being dosed with, has a side effect of making the skin on the extremeties peel off

By Valueaddedwater (not verified) on 31 May 2009 #permalink