Most of them are caused by the dry finger issues in winter!

In winter season it is observed that several people are not able to register or verify their fingerprints on fingerprint scanning systems like Time attendance recorder or Access controller. This problem is normally observed in cold regions in winter season. This happens due to low temperatures that leads to dry finger.

What is Dry Finger ? 

Dry finger is a problem where due to cold temperatures (normally below 12 deg C) the top layer of the finger’s skin looses its moisture and become dry, which lead to skin peeling, breaking or cramping. The upper surface of the finger that contains fingerprints go thru regular changes and its image captured by the fingerprint scanner does-not contain the sufficient fingerprint patterns for good quality matching.

Dry finger problem may be observed by some people when temperatures are below 15 deg C but most will start observing when its below 10 deg C. As the temperature goes down further the percentage of people observing the problem may rise.

MATLAB Handle Graphics


  • The fingerprint system may not be able to register some users, as the fingerprint image doesn't contain sufficient fingerprint patterns for good quality verification
  • The fingerprint system may register some users but when they try to verify their finger, it fails or false matches with other’s finger. At the time of registration the fingerprint scanner may have registered the low quality image but later it does not match with the finger images captured at the time of verification.
  • The fingerprint system may register and verify the fingerprint but after few days it start failing. This is due to regular changes in the finger skin due to dry finger problem

 Some solutions

  • Some people may have minor dry finger problems. In case their fingerprints are registered again into the system the problem may get resolved or significantly reduced.
  • For people having severe dry finger problems you may issue them PIN or ID card for their attendance/identification. Post winters they may be shifted back to fingerprint identification.
  • You may consider upgrading to multi-Biometric systems like Face + Finger recognition to avoid dry finger issues.
  • Employees shall be advised to take care of their finger skin by using cold creme or oil to prevent the top layer of the skin from getting dry