What are Pinworms / Threadworms ?
The pinworm (Enterobius Vermicularis), also known as a threadworm, is a very common human parasite, where it is estimated to infect 40 million people per year in the United States alone, making it the most prevalent worm infection in North America. In other countries, an infection rate as high as 61% has been recorded, according to the Center of Disease Control.
Everybody is susceptible to pinworm infections, but it is more common in children under 10 years of age. The fastest spread of pinworms typically occurs in crowded living conditions where human to human contact is common. We cannot catch pinworms from animals, but we can easily spread it amongst family members.
Pinworms can be seen with the naked eye and are a yellowish/white color, and look like very fine pieces of thread. In most cases, they are less than one inch in length.
The following pinworms image shows just what they look like. If you have Pinworm pictures not seen here, let us know.
Approximately 30% of people infected with pinworms will show no symptoms. Of those with pinworm infestations that do show symptoms, the most common pinworm symptom is an itchy anus. The pinworm symptoms typically ramp up during the night while you sleep when the female pinworms are the most active and worm their way out (pun intended) of the anus to lay their eggs. This will typically disrupt a person’s sleep to some extent, keeping a person from having a good night of sleep, and thus causing them to feel tired and listless throughout the day.
In some instances, if a person is continually scratching the infected area, the skin could tear or breakdown, allowing for a bacterial infection.
Most human pinworm infections are not life threatening and are more of an annoyance to your daily routine than anything else. However, they should be treated with a good parasite cleanse.
There have been some cases where the pinworms have migrated to the vagina, but this happens only on rare occasions.
In even rarer cases, human pinworms have been found in appendices that were removed during an operation. It is unknown as to whether the pinworms had anything to do with the appendicitis, making it a controversial subject.
Pinworm Infection & Distribution
People often wonder how to get pinworms. They are easily spread through daily contact with just about everything. The female pinworm will lay over 10,000 eggs during her short life span. Those people who scratch their perianal region will often times pick up pinworm eggs under their nails and on their finger tips, and spread them to anything they touch, where other people will pick them up by touching those spots. The simple act of pumping gas at a gas station and then eating later without thoroughly washing your hands, could infect you .
Pinworm eggs can be found on dust, restaurant menus, clothing, phones, gym equipment, and just about anything that is touched by the public.
Pinworm eggs hatch several weeks after being ingested, and mature into adult worms. The pinworms will then migrate to an area between the small and large intestine, where they will sustain themselves from the nutrients you ingest. Upon maturation, the female pinworms will then migrate to the anal area at night to lay their eggs. The pinworm cycle of spreading starts all over.
Female pinworms will typically live about 90 days. Their eggs usually die off in just a few days if they are in a hot and dry environment. However, if the eggs are in a cooler and moist environment, they might survive for weeks, waiting for a host to accidentally ingest them.
If one family member is infected with pinworms, odds are that other family members are infected as well, or will be soon.
Blood tests are not required for the detection of pinworms.
If a person believes they are infected with pinworms, but they cannot see them, a test can be performed using scotch tape. For the test to be most effective, doing so at night is recommended. You start by wrapping tape around a flat item such as a ruler or tongue depressor, making sure the sticky side points out. You then press the tape into the skin on and around your anus. Do this multiple times with a number of pieces of tape. The idea here is you will pick up pinworm eggs. You can then take this tape to your doctor for inspection under a microscope.
If you suspect your child is infected with pinworms, an examination of their anus should allow you to see the pinworms under careful inspection. Checking at night is advised, as that is when the adult pinworms are most active. Use a flashlight and inspect the child a few hours after they have fallen asleep.
Medical Pinworm Treatment
There are a number of options to get treatment for pinworms. Your doctor may prescribe albendazole, a common treatment as a pinworm cure. It is a powerful single dose. However, as with most prescribed medications, it does not come without side effects.
Another option is mebendazole. That is taken once and then repeated 14 days later. Again, this has side effects.
Previous medications such as pyrantel pamoate and piperazine are almost never used for human pinworms due to their side effects.
Natural Pinworm Treatment
People seeking an over the counter pinworm treatment may want to look into a fully natural herb based parasite cleanse as an option. Unlike medications, there are no side effects when taking natural herbs.
DrFloras has what many consider to be the best parasite cleanser available on the market. It is gentle (used over 15 days) and very thorough (wipes out more than 100 types of worms.) DrFloras Parasite Defense is 100% natural and uses the appropriate ratio of ingredients to be effective. Just mixing ingredients together in a mish-mash fashion may do nothing.
Other Human Worms & Parasites
Just because a person gets rid of pinworms doesn’t mean they are getting rid of any other parasites they may be infected with. And if you are infected by pinworms, it is not unreasonable to be infected with more than one type of parasite. Here’s a list of other human parasites, including pictures and videos:
After Pinworm Treatment
After treating your infection, you should wash all bedding, clothing, and toys every few days for at least two weeks, to ensure all lingering pinworm eggs are destroyed.
From this point on, ensure you are following good hygiene. Always wash your hands before eating meals, and especially prior to preparing meals, or you risk spreading the infection. Avoid biting your fingernails, and keep them trimmed and clean. For your children, make sure they use fresh, clean underwear every day, and vacuum the areas they play in on a regular basis.
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