Pinworm Infection (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Pinworms facts
- What is pinworm infection?
- Who is at risk for getting pinworms?
- Pinworms in children
- Pinworms in adults
- What do pinworms look like (pinworm pictures)?
- How is pinworm infection spread?
- What are the symptoms of pinworms?
- How is pinworm infection diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of pinworms, and is there a home treatment?
- What are the consequences of untreated pinworms?
- How are pinworms prevented?
What are the consequences of untreated pinworms?
When untreated, pinworms can cause:
- significant malabsorption of food,
- genital itching,
- bedwetting (enuresis), or
- vaginal discharge which can be associated with genital skin irritation and rash.
How are pinworms prevented?
Good hygiene will help reduce the spread of the parasites.
- Hand washing after handling bedding, diapers, underwear, and other items that may contain the infective pinworm eggs will also help.
- Cleaning under the fingernails and not biting the fingernails will also help reduce the chance of contacting the parasites.
- Clothes, especially underwear, should be changed and washed daily to help prevent spreading the disease.
- Treating everyone infected in a household at the same time may help prevent recurrence and spread to others.
- Because the eggs remain infective for up to three weeks in a moist environment, prevention of spread and reinfection is difficult but possible.
Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery
CDC.gov. Parasites - Enterobiasis.
Lamps L. Infectious causes of appendicitis. Infect. Dis. Clin. North Am., 24(4):995-1015, 2010.
Previous contributing author: Robert Ferry Jr., MD
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