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Fingernail and Toenail Drug Testing

Fingernail testing represents the forefront of drug testing methodologies, often delivering the highest accuracy results. Fingernails, composed of the same keratin material as hair, act as an excellent medium for substance detection.

Nail Drug Detection Times

As nails grow, substances from the underlying blood vessels seep into the keratin fibers, becoming permanently lodged. Notably, fingernails are about four times thicker than a standard hair strand, often capturing a larger volume of substance compared to hair.


These biomarkers get embedded in keratin fibers throughout the entire nail length, and their presence can be detected for a duration of 3-6 months following drug or alcohol abuse. Traces of environmental exposure to illicit substances can be instantly detected in nail samples. In cases where drugs or alcohol have been consumed, biomarkers can be discovered in nails as early as 1-2 weeks after ingestion. The detection period for drug or alcohol intake depends on various factors, including the substance used, the quantity consumed, and individual metabolism rates.

Fingernail samples are collected in the presence of trained staff members by the donor themselves. A clipping of around 2-3mm (approximately the width of a quarter) from each of the ten fingernails provides an optimal sample size (around 100mg) suitable for screening and confirmation. More extensive profiles might necessitate a larger sample.




Up to 3-6 months

Up to 8-14 months

Collection Amount For 5-Panel

100 milligrams. Clipping must be at least 2 - 3 millimeters long (about the width of a quarter). 
Larger panels will require more.

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