Palm Reading Perspectives

Multi-Perspective Palm Reading: About Hands & how to make a Hand-Diagnosis

Why do Physicians check the Hand Lines of Newborn Babies?

with 47 comments

Normal hand lines.

Why do physicians check the hand lines of newborn babies? Most newborns have two major creases on the palm, neither of which completely extend from one side of the palm to the other. However, a common variant, found in approximately 4% of western newborns, a transverse palmar crease is frequently inherited as a familial trait. Although single palmar creases are also associated with the hand in Down syndrome and other genetic disorders, the absence of other abnormalities on physical exam should reassure the examiner that no further evaluation is necessary.


Abnormal hand lines: a 'single palmar transverse crease', a.k.a. a simian line.

The pattern of palmar creases varies substantially within the general population. The formation of palmar creases, which occurs between the second and fifth months of prenatal development, depends e.g. on fetal movement. Once the palmar creases are formed, they remain unchanged throughout life.

More subtle normal variations of palmar creases can occur for a variety of reasons, including family background, age, and race. Many physicians are aware of the association between single transverse or bridged palmar creases, previously known as simian creases and Sydney creases, respectively, and the occurrence of Down syndrome. Although approximately 45% of patients who have Down syndrome have single transverse palmar creases, this finding occurs unilaterally (one hand) in 4% and bilaterally (both hands) in 1% of the general Caucasian population.


However, in the Chinese population, single transverse palmar creases may be considered a normal phenotypic variant; a recent study found that 16.8% of 3,345 healthy Chinese newborns had unilateral single transverse creases and 6.6% had bilateral single transverse creases.

Despite the high frequency of single transverse palmar creases in certain populations, aberrations in the flexion creases of the hands have the potential to signify abnormal fetal development. The association of abnormal flexion creases and various congenital disorders has been reported frequently in the literature. Studies have shown an increased incidence of single transverse palmar crease in children who have chromosome abnormalities and in low-birthweight infants. Therefore, it is reasonable to search for other congenital anomalies when evaluating an infant who has a single transverse palmar crease after taking into account the patient’s race and familial background.

When the crease occurs in isolation, however, no further evaluation is indicated.


Interestingly, these is also evidence that palmar creases (hand lines) and hand motorics are directly related!

In 2010 researchers from Korea reported results which suggest that union of hand lines (palm lines) appears to correlate with hand grip strength. And interestingly, a few months later a report from France presented results which suggest that hand strenght can be predicted from hand circumference alone. So, combining both reports indicates that a talent for hand strenght could very well be found in people who have a large hand circumference + fused hand lines, such as seen in simian line! An interesting hypothesis, which is suitable to be tested for it’s accuracy in the fields of modern palm reading.

Additionally, it might be interesting to notice here that the hand lines of apes (primates) are characterized by the presence of multiple ‘fused’ transverse crease. And Gorillas who are known as the strongest species among the primates have the widest (shortest) hand shape of all apes & primates.


Written by martijnvanmensvoort

June 1, 2011 at 12:12 am

47 Responses

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  1. Is there a scientific study or findings about uneven palm lines between the left and right hands? Most people have their first crease on their hands connect when both palms are set side to side? I have seen one case that don’t, among almost everyone that i have encountered. Any articles about this?

    Angela Hernando

    February 28, 2013 at 5:55 am

    • Hello Angela,

      Thank you for your question. Can you please specify which line you have in mind?

      Your description suggests that that you are talking about the so-called ‘heart line’ (upper transverse crease), which usually is found at a simialar location regarding the ulnar termination of the line (below the pinky).

      In general, variations between both hands are possible for any aspect of the lines; and regarding the heart line any variation is possible especially when the heart line is featured with irregularities in one or both hands (such as in the case of a simian line – though I should add: the majority of simian lines is not featured with variations between both hands regarding the ulnar termination).

      Have I answered your question?

      (If not, you are welcome to specify you question!)



      February 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm

  2. Hi my name is Mariah my son is 6 months he has only two creases in his right pinky instead of three that includes the bottom line that connects to the hand.Im worried that he may have down syndrome or anomalies.he also has a flat head that will not be treated after his tests.has this happened to anyone out there and ended up normal??????…..


    March 31, 2013 at 1:50 am

  3. Hello Mariah,

    Does this implicate that your son only has on interdigital crease on his right pinky? And regarding his ‘flat head’, does this relate to back side of his head?

    My first thought would be: have you excluded Down syndrome? (I am asking because both characteristics are significant for Down syndrome, and especially the pinky characteristic is very common in Down syndrome – and it is very rare outside the so-called trisomy syndromes)

    Sorry, I need to have more info about your son’s hand in order to give you more specified feedback; but I hope this info will somehow becaome useful for you and your son.

    Greetings + best wishes from The Netherlands! 🙂


    April 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

  4. why palmar crease appear ?

    kavitha ravi

    April 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

  5. Hello, although it’s a bit off topic, I had a related concern. Both of my pinky fingers have only a single line in the middle; similar to a simian hands single line. I believe their strongly related since the personality traits and details associated with simian handed individuals are very similar to that of my own. I was curious if you new more about the subject?


    May 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    • Robert, my son, 19 months, only has 1 crease on both pinky fingers… He’s been genetically tested up and down, so far no diagnosis, yet, everything and a lot of the drs seem to think this is a major indicator of a disorder. Though he had delays, he’s now developing wonderfully socially and mentally. He’s a little on the small side but my husband and I aren’t large ppl. I was curious to hear from you bc apparently this trait in ‘so called normal people’ is so rare. I’ve searched far and wide on this subject but information is limited. Any insight into your life would be reassuring. Thank you in advance. – loving concerned mom!


      January 18, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      • Hi Chloe, thanks for sharing your observation. Maybe you are able to share a photo impression of your son’s hand?

        Anyway, I think the following report might ease your mind at least a little bit:

        ‘Single bilateral interdigital flexion crease of the fifth finger in a phenotypically
        normal male’

        Greets! 🙂


        January 20, 2015 at 2:28 am

  6. Hi Robert,

    Are you talking about a so-called ‘single interphalangeal crease’?

    This characteristic has a strong linke with some chromosomal abnormalities, and it known to be extremely rare (almost never seen) in people who do not have a trisomy syndrome; so, I would first recommend to consult an expert in order to find out if you really have this characteristic.

    Maybe you can share a photo of one of your pinkies?

    Anyway, thank you for your report! 🙂

    PS. I can add that a large majority of people who have a ‘single interphalangeal crease’ on the pinky finger also have a simian crease.

    However, personality traits in people who have a simian line vary much more than what is suggested by the simian line theories (which are usually based on superstitious astrology-like stereotypes about people in general); but I can recommend to take a looks at this simian line survey (which also includes a problematic aspect because the significance of the results has not been assessed in the perspective of control group):


    May 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm

  7. Hi sir, can I send you the photo of my 6 month old baby for you to evaluate? I am a worried mom. Thank you.


    May 27, 2013 at 8:51 am

  8. i am very interesting about your posting article.Is crease usually find and should be have on down syndrome hand?


    June 6, 2013 at 1:59 am

  9. Hello,
    I found out that 3 of my 5 children have Simian Creases when examined by a pediatrician. I didn’t think anything of it because the only thing he state was that it was very rare. 2 of them have the fused lines on only one hand and one of my sons has th bilaterally. It has been about 10 years since he pointed this out to me and I never bothered to look it up. Now I see that it can be associated with other medical issues. My children do not present any other symptoms, but do I have any reason to be concerned? Or is this just simply a genetically inherited trait? Thanks for your anticipated reply!


    September 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

    • Hello Missy,

      Great question! Yes, basically the simian line often represents just a genatically inherited trait.

      If you have not spotted other clues similar to the simian line on the hand and body of your children then there is indeed nothing for you to worry about – it’s just a ‘minor physical anomaly’. Only when multiple of such features are present then one can start looking for specific options for futher examination.

      I could also add that in Asian countries simian lines are usually observed in relatively large percentages of the population – often varying between 5% and 15%.

      I hope this answer is helpful for you!?



      September 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      • Thank you for your reply; that is very helpful. My kids are not Asian so I assume that it is not as common among the caucasian race? Thanks for the info! 🙂


        September 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm

  10. Hey ,
    i have a quick question.. are the lines instide the palm of your hands hereditary???


    December 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    • Hello Keelie,

      Well, scientific studies have revealed that some aspects of the major lines are inborn (and some aspects may be hereditary, though this varies from person to person); but many aspects of the individual lines can change during a life time – especially in the non-major lines. So, this also implicates that far most aspects of the lines are not hereditary.



      December 7, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      • As far as the line that make the m? They change?


        December 7, 2014 at 8:48 pm

  11. i have a simian crease on my right hand and have super strentgh….is this anything to do with known strentgh in downs people? i was beating fully grown men arm wrestling at 13..also i was knocked down at and gripped the bumper so hard my hand crushed the bumper

    Richard Davidson

    December 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    • Hi Richard,

      Yes, it’s true that Down syndrome sometimes has been associated with ‘excessive forces’ (see e.g. ‘The Psychobiology of the Hand’, p.236); however, the cause is unclear and this phenomenon could be a matter of compensation for inefficient muscle control. However, studies have also indicated that in Down children ‘muscle strength’ is generally lower compared to control children (see:, and hypotonia is actually very common in Down syndrome.

      In general, I think that unusual cases of high muscle strength in Down syndrome is more likely directly associated with hand shape; even though the simian line has been associated with hand shape… the association with muscle strength could turn out to be spurious.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing your thought!



      January 3, 2016 at 2:20 pm

  12. Hi! I stumbled onto this site looking for information on my newborn daughter’s unique hand creases. She has the “hockey stick” palmar crease on her right hand, and the only information I could find about this characteristic seems to point to an association with either CHARGE syndrome or FASD. Is it possible for this abnormality to show up in an otherwise healthy child?


    January 31, 2016 at 6:15 am

    • Hello kristinangela,

      The answer to your question is definitely a yes.

      Also, be aware that an individual ‘sign’ (in isolation) is by principle never enough to get linked with any disorder.
      Hopefully this will help you not to worry it too much.

      Anyway, thanks for asking.

      PS. IMPORTANT: Make sure the angle involved with the line is sharp + abrupt, because otherwise it might not meet the criterium for a hockey stick crease.


      January 31, 2016 at 1:35 pm

  13. Hello,
    We have noticed our 4month old son has a ‘broken’ (made up of 3 breaks) mind line on his right palm…
    What could this mean?

    Nicole Davey

    March 26, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    • Hello Nicole,

      By principle a major break in the major transverse line(s) can best get associated with the early development half way (3rd to 5th month) during pregnancy – as such breaks may reflect early development problems; you might find it interesting to read a little bit more about the early development of the hand lines at the bottom of this article:

      However, from your description I can not exclude the possibility that the breaks may reflect a weak structure involving the primary lines.

      Especially when the breaks are small there is need to worry about his future development, because especially small breaks in the primary lines bare some potential to disappear in time.
      By the way, in general one really has to see the full hand to make a specific assessment (contrary to what most palmistry books tend to suggest).

      I hope this is helpful?

      Anyway, best wishes from The Netherlands! 🙂


      March 26, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      • Thankyou,
        Do I have the opportunity to send a picture to you please?

        Nicole Davey

        March 27, 2016 at 12:51 am

  14. Hi o just notice recently the lines of my 7 months old son. In his right hand he has only two lines which is the head line and fate line (i guess). I am worried now as i found this article. I dont have any family or relatives with downs bit my partners family he got a niece which is abnormal(its like she can hurt herself)
    I am worried now too as i notice my son everytime i si him in high chair to feed he will act like his angry and form of “v” blood in his forehead shown. And i keep askinbhim why he is doin it. Only on high chair though when i feed him. Then sometimes he will use his head to bang on wall or everytime he climbs he used his head as support. I hope he dont have any abnormalities as he cery healthy baby and he is very strong baby. I wish i could send a photo in here. Should i be worried about my sons behaviour or not at all?


    April 26, 2016 at 9:44 am

    • Hello Jennie,

      Sorry, from your description it is hard to give you any feedback – though it is unlikely that your son only has a head line and fate line (simian line + life line is probably the most likely alternative that could fit your description).

      Best wishes to you and your son!


      April 26, 2016 at 10:26 am

  15. My son has a break on the head line of his right hand. It’s like s very short head line, then a 3mm gap, then a separate line in the middle of his hand. I’m very worried


    August 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    • Hello Rebecca, why are you worried?

      In terms of academic science I can inform you that contrary to what many hand readers (palmists) believe, such a break on the head line merely says something about the past in terms of the prenatal development before birth.
      Unfortunately many hand readers are unaware of this, and I think it’s a bit sad that instead many hand readers have adopted speculative superstitious ideas from the palmistry literature.

      Hopefully this info is helpful for you?

      Anyway, best wishes to you and your son!


      August 16, 2016 at 6:33 pm

  16. Hi, I’m currently having the biggest freak-out in my life. I have a simian line on both hands and i’m the ONLY one in my family that has this. i’d like to note that I don’t come from the countries listed where having these lines is common. I’m concerned about what this says about my mental capacity, because i’m not doing nearly as well as my “high-achieving” parents and sibling in school. I’m also quiet socially inept. (Not to mention that the idea of sharing a trait with apes could imply that I’m not as “evolved” as other people) so does this mean I have a mental/developmental disability? I was reading about a rare form of down syndrome called “mosaic down syndrome” where the traits of people with down are less apparent (though it varies from a person to another), and in some cases impact the person’s life less “significantly”, I’m mostly concerned because I read that a lot of people have it without knowing and it can go undetected for the rest of their lives. (I was born kinda early and was very small apparently, could this be a contributing factor?)

    very concerned teen

    September 6, 2016 at 4:24 am

    • Hello very concerned teen,

      First of all, in general one should never try to associate an isolated simian line with anything specific at all… because usually it represents not much more than a minor physical anomaly.

      Secondly, from your use of (highly intelligent) language in your request I am inclined to say that the chances for you having mosaic down syndrome is close to zero. Because the average IQ in Down syndrome is close to 60, and the average IQ in mosaic Down syndrome is typically only 20 higher… while you words give me the impression that your IQ is well above average (> 100).

      Helpful so far?


      September 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      • Have you found that a single hand line is associated with high functioning autism….or hyperlexia, people who are socially inept, but brilliant in other areas? Like a lopsided circle.

        Neva Borden

        April 24, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      • Hello Neva Borden,

        No, I have seen been autism spectrum disorder (ASD) studies where the ‘single transverse crease’ has been reported to have a lower prevalence than usual.

        Sorry, I have never seen any study supporting the belief that simian lines bare really any sort of true ‘talent’ (as is suggested by IIHA teachings in the field of hand reading); all I can ad is that IF there is some kind of talent hidden in this line it should become manifest in an activity that typically requires high emotional sensitivity (N+), low social activity (E-) and low desire for social agreement (A-). ASD does not meet this profile because those people usually tend to avoid activities that require emotional sensitivity (as they typically experience emotions to be a burden to deal with, etc.).

        Not aware of any studies involving hyperlexia; some experts describe this ‘talent’ to have only a relatively small overlap with ASD but one can debate whether hyperlexia is really a ‘talent’ because the concept only can be applied to children at a young age – manifesting as a temporary unusual profile in their development, so there is no true ‘brilliancy’ involved (it’s more like an unbalanced pattern of development that does not manifest beyond childhood).

        Anyway, thanks for sharing the interesting question!


        April 24, 2017 at 5:54 pm

  17. I’ve gone 33 years of my life without finding this peculiar (I thought everyone was like this) but my girlfriend pointed out to me that I’m missing the first the distal crease on both of my ring fingers. I’ve known I’ve had this, however I kind of thought everyone was missing one of them. I never found it odd. I’m not sure what this condition is called and I’ve been trying to find information regarding it. I found something that seemed to refer to it as “symphalangism” or something like that, but it seemed there were more severe cases than mine and wasn’t sure if it was the same thing. I have a permanent bend in that joint, very slight. But it’s always been like this. I always had trouble playing guitar when I started and I would get so frustrated when I couldn’t correctly do chords and I can only assume that my lack of dexterity is directly linked to this. Anyone have an idea of what is going on with my weird hands? Can’t believe I never attempted to investigate this before…

    Robert Kahl

    September 13, 2016 at 10:35 pm

  18. Hi, I really hope you can help me. I am very concerned for a person I am close to, as the person has 2 breaks in the life line and isn’t that young anymore. I’m afraid I have read too much palmistry literature and am freaking out because of this. Does it actually mean anything. Will something happen?The person doesnt have health complaints at the moment.
    I have actually developed an anxiety disorder because of this and have been reading palmistry literature and it makes me even more anxious. I hope your answer doesn’t scare me even more.


    September 28, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    • Hello Maria,

      In general, I have found that the concepts presented in the palmistry literature should be taken with a pinch of salt. Because most concepts presented in palmistry books can fairly be recognized to represent merely to represent a part of a system of believes that has not been validated properly any way.

      Also, I am very aware that some books include concepts that can even be recognized to represent unethical ideas according Western standards, this applies especially to books that include traditional ideas that origin from India. For example: the (outdated) conceptual idea that the length of the life line is supposed to represent a measure for longevity has been debunked in multiple (academic) scientific studies… but many palmists have continued to cherish such ideas anyway!

      Actually, from my experience I can assure you that many people who have a short life line have reached considerably high ages, and I have also become aware that all (academic) scientific studies indicate that one should not address much weight to any hand sign taken in isolation from the rest of the hand.

      Therefore I think it would be wise for you to start putting heavy doubts on the conceptual ideas that you have red in the books about ‘breaks in the life line’, which represent a relatively normal variation in quite a large minority of people.

      By the way, I would welcome you to report the titles of the books that made you ‘concerned / afraid / anxious / freaking out’… because I think such experiences provide a solid basis to ignore the authors involved!

      Hopefully my response will help you to ease your mind.

      Greetings from The Netherlands! 🙂


      October 1, 2016 at 11:57 am

  19. Hi,

    My 3 month daughter was tested for downs and she is positive. She have a flat nose bone and a single crease on the right hand. Was tested for everything but could not find any health issues. She is growing normal. Very strong muscle tone. She also have a protruding tongue. Is there a type of syndrome that you can have the features. Blood shows you have downs but be normal


    December 15, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    • Hello Amanda,

      After reading your post I am wondering whether ‘mosaic Down syndrome’ been excluded?
      Individuals with this variant typically have higher IQ and better outcomes for the issues associated with classic Down syndrome (trisomy 21).



      December 16, 2016 at 12:27 am

  20. Hi plz tell me .My baby is 4 month but he not have head line in right hand ….m very worried


    August 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm

  21. My newborn boy has no lines on both palm. Total blank and no finger prints nor finger lines. Is this normal?


    March 18, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    • Definitely not normal, might be due to a genetic abnormality (from a medical point of view it is possible that this involves just a harmless anomaly).


      March 19, 2018 at 2:00 am

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