• Although pinworm infections can be annoying, they rarely cause serious health problems and are usually not dangerous. Therapy with routine prescription medications provides an effective cure in almost all cases. + 5
  • Pinworms Also called: Enterobiasis, Oxyuriasis, Seatworm infection, Threadworm infection Pinworms are parasites about the length of a staple that live in the rectum. They are the most common worm infection in the United States. Pinworms get inside the body when you swallow their eggs. While you sleep, the female pinworms leave the intestines through the anus and deposit eggs on nearby skin. This can cause intense anal itching. Complications from pinworms are rare. People get pinworm infections from one another. School-age children and preschoolers are most likely to get pinworms. You do not get them from pets. If you have a mild case, you may not need treatment. If you do need treatment, you and members of your family usually take medicine, since pinworms are spread so easily. How are pinworms detected? Because pinworms usually crawl out of the anus while a child sleeps, the tape test is an easy way to find pinworms. It's best to do this right when your child wakes up and before he or she uses the bathroom or bathes. To do the tape test, pat a piece of clear tape on the skin around the anus. You can then take the tape to your doctor, who can use a microscope to check for pinworms or eggs. It is also possible for you to see the adult worms around the anus during the tape test. How do we get rid of pinworms? Most pinworm infections are mild and easily treated. Your doctor may prescribe a single chewable tablet of a medicine called mebendazole (brand name: Vermox). About 2 weeks later, a second tablet is taken. Or your doctor may recommend another kind of medicine, pyrantel (brand names: Pin-X, Pin-Rid). This is also taken in 2 doses about 2 weeks apart. Even if only one child in the family has pinworms, it is often important that everyone in the household be treated with the pinworm medicine at the same time. All the sheets, blankets, towels and clothing in the house should be washed in hot water, and everyone's fingernails (which might hold the worm eggs) should be carefully cleaned and cut short. Toys, countertops, floors and other surfaces the infected child has touched should be scrubbed. Carpets should be vacuumed. If you get treatment from your doctor right away and keep everything in the house very clean, your family's encounter with pinworms should soon be over. How to prevent pinworm infections and reinfections: * Make sure your child washes his or her hands before a meal and after using the restroom. * Keep your child's fingernails trimmed. * Discourage your child from nail-biting and scratching their anal area. * Be sure your child changes into a clean pair of underwear each day. * Have your child bathe in the morning to reduce egg contamination. * Open bedroom blinds and curtains during the day. Eggs are sensitive to sunlight. * After each treatment, change your child's night clothes, underwear and bedding.

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