Pinworm infection is caused by a type of roundworm known as Enterobius vermicularis which reside inside the lower intestinal tract. The female goes out of the rectum and lay eggs in the folds of skin around the anus. Any contact with the eggs allows easy transfer from one individual to the other. Pinworm infestation is usually common in school-aged children.
Pinworm infection is caused by accidentally ingesting microscopic eggs of the pinworm that has been picked up by the hands that came in contact with contaminated surfaces. The common symptom of this infection is itchiness of the rectal area. The life span of pinworms is about 6 weeks.
Symptoms of pinworm infection
- Itchiness around the anus or vagina while sleeping at night
- Abdominal pain and nausea
- Maintain proper body hygiene. Pinworm infection and re-infection can be prevented by maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness for at least more than 6 weeks.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water to prevent the spread of the parasite. Wash hands after using the bathroom or changing the diapers.
- Trim and scrub the fingernails to prevent the lodging of pinworm eggs under the when scratching the area. Children should avoid biting the nails to minimize the risk for a pinworm infection
- Wash clothes and beddings using hot water and laundry detergent. Underwear, pajamas, pants, towels and washcloths should be washed regularly while still infected. Dry all items in a heated dryer to eliminate the pinworm eggs.
- Avoid sharing towels or washcloths with other children or members of the family to prevent the spread of infection.
- Take hot showers every day while still infected. Use a body wash or soap and pay attention to the anus so that the eggs can be washed away. Take a shower in the morning to wash away more eggs left behind during the night.
- The eggs can survive for 2-3 weeks outside of the body. Clean properly contaminated surfaces such as toilet seats, counters, clean and disinfect toys of children and keep toothbrushes in a cabinet and rinse them using warm water before using.
- Wear gloves when sleeping at night to prevent scratching the anal area when sleeping.
- Add probiotics in the diet. Eat probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt or take probiotic capsules to stimulate the healthy bacteria found in the digestive system and prevent pinworm infection.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water and drink this mixture at least every day.