Pinworms (Pinworm Infection in Children and Adults, Enterobiasis)
Table of Contents
- Pinworms facts
- Can humans get pinworms?
- What are the symptoms of pinworms in children and adults?
- Who gets pinworms?
- How do you get pinworms?
- Can you get pinworms in the vagina?
- What do pinworms and their eggs look like (pinworm pictures)?
- Which specialties of doctors treat pinworms?
- How is the tape test used in diagnosing pinworms?
- Are there natural or home remedies that treat pinworms?
- What medicine treats pinworms?
- What are the consequences if pinworms aren't treated?
- Can pinworms be prevented?
- Pinworm infections are caused by worm-like parasites that infect humans' intestines and rectal/anal areas.
- Young children and their household members, including adults, are at risk for pinworm infections.
- Pinworms are visible. They range in size from 2-13 mm, are white, and resemble a worm but the pinworm eggs are small, transparent and can be seen only with a microscope.
- Pinworm infections are spread person-to-person by ingesting pinworm eggs that have contaminated fingers, bedding, clothing or other items.
- The major signs and symptoms of pinworm infection are discomfort and itching in the anal/rectal area. Children especially will scratch the rectal/anal area, get eggs on their fingers or underneath their fingernails and transport the infective eggs to bedding, toys, other humans, or back to themselves.
- Other signs and symptoms may include:
- Discomfort in the anal and/or vaginal area
- Rash or skin irritation around the anus or vagina
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping and/or restlessness due to irritation of skin
- Pinworms can often be seen on the anal skin or in the stools, sometimes detected in the vagina and may produce some vaginal discharge
- Some infected individuals may have abdominal pain.
- Some infected individuals can get secondary bacterial infections from intense skin scratching.
- Infrequent infection of the ureters and/or bladder may cause dysuria or bladder discomfort.
- Pinworm eggs hatch into larval forms in the small intestine, and then progress to the large intestine where they mature, mate, and progress to the rectal/anal area where females deposit about 10 to 15 thousand eggs.
- Diagnosis may be done by a "tape test" and/or by visualizing pinworms in the stools or on the skin near the anus or in the vagina.
- Most primary care or pediatric doctors can diagnose and treat patients with pinworms.
- Several drugs may cure a patient with pinworms when administered over time.
- Natural and/or home remedies are available, but patients should check with their doctor before using them.
- Good hygiene can help prevent pinworm infections.
1/10Reviewed on 5/27/2016
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