The nail and hair in forensic science

C. Ralph Daniel, Blanca Maria Piraccini, Antonella Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Drugs, chemicals, and biological substances accumulate and are stored in hair and nails where they can be detected and measured. Advantages of analyzing hair and nail samples also include their easy and non-invasive collection, the small sample size required for analysis, and their easy storage at room temperature. We report 3 examples of heavy metal poisoning diagnosed because of the hair or nail symptoms. Drugs and toxins that can be detected in hair and nails are reviewed and the application of hair/nail analysis in general and in forensic medicine is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-261
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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