Theory suggests wrinkling of wet digits evolved for a reason.
Like tread on a tyre, wrinkles on wet fingers channel water away from the fingertip.C. Weekley/Getty
The wrinkles that develop on wet fingers could be an adaptation to give us better grip in slippery conditions, the latest theory suggests.
The hypothesis, from Mark Changizi, an evolutionary neurobiologist at 2AI Labs in Boise, Idaho, and his colleagues goes against the common belief that fingers turn prune-like simply because they absorb water.
Changizi thinks that the wrinkles act like rain treads on tyres. They create channels that allow water to drain away as we press our fingertips on to wet surfaces. This allows the fingers to make greater contact with a wet surface, giving them a better grip.
Scientists have known since the mid-1930s that water wrinkles do not form if the nerves in a finger are severed, implying that they are controlled by the nervous system."
I have this very slightly on right middle finger and right little finger. But a little while ago I noticed them on most fingers. So some have gone away over the last two, three weeks. I had carpal tunnel very badly with a semi paralysed right hand (thumb and index finger paralysed) in 2012, but it's better now, though index finger still a bit numb.
I also had Beau's lines quite deeply on left thumbnail only when my illness began and for 15 months. For 8 weeks now they are fading out which I take as a good sign.
Dr. Cheney noted this in patients years ago. He even brought in a fingerprint technician from the police and they were unable to fingerprint half his patients. Somewhere I have a copy of his theory about this.
Very unusual is the loss of fingerprints on many of the fingers; police departments report it's very rare for fingerprints to be obliterated, yet nearly 40% of CFS patients have some fingerprint obliteration, and 10% cannot be fingerprinted whatsoever. This appears to be related to a periarteritis secondary to fibroblasts congregating in the distal circulation. Cheney suspects that CFS patients, mimicking in many ways a scurvy process, might have scurvy contributing to fingerprint obliteration.
OK, weird, now it's not just my fingerprints disappearing, but my posts about my disappearing fingerprints... I know I replied to this thread. I think I was the first to reply to it. And, @pattismith responded to my reply by asking how I knew I was "unfingerprintable". To which I replied with a story about trying and failing to get fingerprinted for a license application. Where did my posts go? And where did @pattismith's reply go?