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Introduction: Dermatoglyphics is the study of dermal ridges and the patterns formed by them. Aims: Here, we have compared dermatoglyphic patterns in patients with vitiligo and gender matched control population, and tried to find out if any of the dermatoglyphic patterns is more commonly associated with severe disease. Methods: A total of 100 clinically diagnosed cases of vitiligo were included along with 100 gender matched controls. Fingerprints were recorded using the Ink method of Purvis and Smith. Rolled fingertip prints as well as palm prints were taken and studied using a hand lens. Parameters studied were pattern types (loops, arches and whorls), a-b ridge count, atd angle. Analysis of dermatoglyphics was done by forensic experts. Results: Loops were the commonest pattern noted in both cases and controls. The study population showed increased incidence of whorls, predominantly on the 4th digit, and arches on 2nd digit as compared to controls. Patients with generalized vitiligo showed more than two whorls as compared to those with localized disease. Mean a-b ridge count and mean “atd” angle did not show any significant difference compared to controls. Conclusion: We concluded that patients with vitiligo have a higher incidence of whorls and those with more than two whorls may have a higher risk of developing generalized disease. Further large scale studies including both affected and unaffected first degree family members and long term follow up of these patients are required to corroborate our results.


Dermatology, Loops, Whorls, Arches, Genetic Diseases.
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