A. Pinworms can be a distressing nuisance and sometimes difficult to get rid of. Fortunately, this condition hardly ever leads to any serious illness. Pinworm infection is very common, occurring in children much more often than in adults.
Most pinworm infections are mild and easily treated. Your doctor may prescribe a single chewable tablet of a medicine called mebendazole. A second tablet is taken about 3 weeks later if the infection isn't cured. Or your doctor may recommend another kind of medicine called pyrantel, which is taken as a single dose.
The medicine usually takes approximately 72 hours to fully rid the system of pinworms. For several days after treatment, clean the bedroom floor by vacuuming or damp mopping. After treatment, wash bed linens and night clothes (don't shake them). Keep toilet seats clean.
Pinworms can usually be treated completely with two doses of over-the-counter medicine called pyrantel pamoate, available in the United States under the brand names Pin-X and Reese's Pinworm Medicine. Take one dose immediately and another dose two weeks later.
Scratching an affected area and then eating can lead to unintentionally ingesting pinworm eggs. This can lead to a repeat pinworm infection. Sometimes eggs on the anus hatch, and the larvae can reenter the large intestine. If not treated, this can cause the infection to continue indefinitely.
Pinworms don't cause any harm (just itching and restless sleep), and it won't take long to get rid of them.
Pinworms can then be spread in the following ways: By an infected child not washing hands after using the bathroom. If the child then touches playmates or toys, he/she may pass on the eggs. Pinworm eggs can also be transferred to the fingers from clothing or bedding, and then spread around the home.
How long does pinworms last? The life cycle of a pinworm is 4 to 6 weeks. Without treatment, infestation will continue as long as fresh eggs are being swallowed, unless a person develops immunity to pinworms, which is unusual before age 15.
Strict observance of good hand hygiene is the most effective means of preventing pinworm infection. This includes washing hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before handling food.
Reinfection does happen with pinworm
Eggs are swallowed, usually after hand-to-mouth contact, and the pinworm infection begins again. Pinworm eggs may spread to shared surfaces, such as bedding, curtains, toilets, doorknobs, towels, utensils, and furniture. These areas should be kept clean to avoid reinfection.
Give a repeat dose of the pinworm medicine in 2 weeks. Reason: To prevent the pinworms from coming back. The repeat dose is needed because eggs can live for 1 to 2 weeks.
The medications used for the treatment of pinworm are either mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate, or albendazole. Any of these drugs are given in one dose initially, and then another single dose of the same drug two weeks later. Pyrantel pamoate is available without prescription.
In order to stop the spread of pinworm and possible re-infection, people who are infected should shower every morning to help remove a large amount of the eggs on the skin. Showering is a better method than taking a bath, because showering avoids potentially contaminating the bath water with pinworm eggs.
Bathe carefully every day. Be sure to clean the skin around the anus. This will remove pinworm eggs. Showers may be better than baths because you have less chance of getting water that has pinworm eggs into your mouth.
A person is infected with pinworms by ingesting pinworm eggs either directly or indirectly. These eggs are deposited around the anus by the worm and can be carried to common surfaces such as hands, toys, bedding, clothing, and toilet seats.
Adults are rarely affected, except for parents of infected children. Infection often occurs in more than one family member. While an infected person sleeps, female pinworms crawl out of the anus and lay their eggs on the surrounding skin.
Prevalence of Enterobiasis
Infestation with pinworm ( Enterobius vermicularis) is known as enterobiasis. This is the most common helminth infestation in the United States, with an estimated 42 million infested, translating to 14% of the population.
If you have pinworms, don't worry. They don't cause any harm (just itching!), and it won't take long to get rid of them. Your doctor will give you some medicine to take right away and then again 2 weeks later to be sure the worms are gone. The doctor can also give you a cream to help stop the itching.
Complete die-off within the tested exposure time range was noted for 70 °C, 75 °C and 80 °C, however treatment at 60 °C and 65 °C allowed for development of a few eggs after incubation.
Tell your pediatrician that you are treating the worms, Dr. Ratner said. If the infection doesn't go away after over-the-counter treatment, it's time for a pediatrician visit and possibly a prescription for a medication called Albendazole.
While serious complications are rare, pinworms can lead to: Bacterial infections: When the infected person scratches the anal area, the skin can bleed and become infected. Urinary tract infections (UTIs): In females, the worms can travel to the vagina and cause infections.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach/abdominal cramps, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or loss of appetite may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Garlic is said to kill any existing eggs and prevent female pinworms from laying more eggs. You can ingest it in small doses or apply it topically like a salve. If you wish to ingest the garlic, dice up a clove and mix it into pasta or sprinkle it on bread. You can also eat the garlic on its own.
Pinworm eggs can cling to surfaces, including toys, faucets, bedding and toilet seats, for two weeks. So besides regular cleaning of surfaces, methods to help prevent the spread of pinworm eggs or to prevent reinfection include: Wash in the morning.
If you are self-treating for pinworms, take the medication once only. Do not repeat the dose without talking with your doctor first. Depending on the type of worm infection you have, your doctor may direct you to take the medication only once or for several days.