Pinworm eggs become infective within a few hours after being deposited on the skin around the anus and can survive for 2 to 3 weeks on clothing, bedding, or other objects.
Use hot water to launder all bedding, towels, washcloths, and clothing. Dry on high heat. Avoid shaking clothing and bedding to keep pinworm eggs from spreading through the air.
Scrub the toilet seat daily with disinfectant or soap and water (Picture 2). Wipe down any toys that your child usually puts in his mouth or hard surfaces that he has touched with disinfectant or soap and water. Change bed linens and put clean underwear and clothes on every day.
For several days after treatment, it is important to clean the bedroom floors, either by vacuuming or damp mopping. After treatment has been administered, you should also wash all bed linens in hot water. Remember – do not shake these items out before putting them in the washing machine.
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.
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.
Do not scratch. Itching around the anus caused by a pinworm infection usually happens at night. Try wearing gloves, pyjamas, and close-fitting clothing to help prevent scratching.
Pinworm infection is spread by the fecal-oral route, that is by the transfer of infective pinworm eggs from the anus to someone's mouth, either directly by hand or indirectly through contaminated clothing, bedding, food, or other articles.
Pinworms can survive up to two weeks on clothing, bedding or other objects, if kept at room temperature.
Vacuum or brush upholstered furniture. Change the vacuum cleaner bag daily and seal it before throwing it away. so that they can take extra care with linens and hand washing. Your child may return to school or child care 24 hours after treatment.
Doorknobs, toilet seats, furniture, countertops, cell phones, remote controls, and other shared surfaces the infected person may have touched, as eggs can survive up to 3 weeks on indoor surfaces.
“It's important to understand that hand sanitizer is not effective,” she said. “It has to be soap and hot water.” Hands should be washed after using the bathroom, before eating, and before preparing food, and after “accidentally scratching the anal area,” at a minimum. She recommends using the hottest water you can.
Launder in hot water.
Wash bedsheets, pajamas, underwear, washcloths and towels in hot water to help kill pinworm eggs. Dry on high heat.
After a few weeks, the female pinworms move to the end of the large intestine, and they come out of the body at night to lay their eggs around the anus (where poop comes out). The amount of time that passes from when someone swallows the eggs until the worms lay new eggs is about 1 to 2 months.
Pinworm infections are contagious. The worms get into the body when people swallow the tiny pinworm eggs. The eggs can be on contaminated hands, under fingernails, and on things people touch a lot, such as: clothing, bed linens, and towels.
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.
It moves. If it doesn't wiggle, it's probably lint or a thread. The worm may be seen around the anus or on the child's bottom. It is especially active at night or early morning.
When and for how long is a person able to spread the disease? A person will remain infectious for as long as there are worms laying eggs on the skin around his or her rectum. Pinworm eggs can remain infectious in an indoor environment for two to three 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.
To treat pinworm infection, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pyrantel pamoate or prescribe medication to all members of your household to prevent infection and reinfection. The most common prescription anti-parasite medications for pinworms are: Mebendazole. Albendazole (Albenza)
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.
Pinworm infections are highly contagious. The infection cycle typically follows these steps: An individual acquires an infection by ingesting or inhaling pinworm eggs. These microscopic eggs are usually deposited onto a surface by a person with the infection.
Call Your Doctor If:
Pinworm is seen. Skin around the anus gets red or tender. Anal itching lasts more than 1 week. You think your child needs to be seen.
Medications kill only the adult worms and have no effect on developing eggs and larvae. The prescription of choice is mebendazole* and the non-prescription medication of choice is pyrantel pamoate. Both mebendazole and pyrantel pamoate are given as a single dose and repeated in 2 weeks to kill any newly ingested eggs.