Pinworms Treatment. Pinworms are tiny, microscopic parasites found within the digestive tract of humans. Parasites can live inside any plant or animal and feed off them. They generally remain in egg-form until they hatch. In the case of pinworms in humans, typically they are collected when someone scratches in the area of their rectum and the eggs from the pinworms collect on the hand or under the fingernail.
Unfortunately the fingers or hands touch food which helps transmit the eggs into the mouth. The eggs move through the digestive tract finally reaching the rectal area where they hatch in about a month. After the eggs hatch, the worms crawl out of the body and lay more eggs on the skin and around the anus.
Despite the fact that having pinworms sounds dirty, medical professionals say it can happen to anyone because they are spread so easily. Pinworms can be found in areas where people come in close contact with each other. So, you can find pinworms in people who frequent schools, day care centers, camps, nursing homes and everyday families.
The only way to know if you have pinworms is if you notice itching around your anus. Many times the itching will be severe and the area can get infected. Although, some people can have a pinworm infection and never even realize it. In other more severe cases, the itching can lead to restlessness, worry and an inability to eat because the person is simply not hungry.
People with pinworms may also notice some itching around their genitals, painful urination, rash and occasionally abdominal pain. It can take about two months for the pinworm eggs cycle to be completed. That means everything from the pinworms being collected, ingested, hatched, and infecting the person. Until there is an infection, you cannot know if you have pinworms or not.
Diagnosing – Pinworms Treatment
If you have noticed a lot of itching around your anus, you will want to go see your doctor for an examination. He or she will generally ask you about your medical history, where you spend your time, if it is around areas that are in close proximity with a lot of people and whether you know if anyone in your family has pinworms. The doctor can collect a sample by simply having you place some clear tape around the anus area. The doctor will be able to use a microscope to see if there are any pinworms present on the tape.
Although there are a number of cases where people have pinworms and they never know it and it goes away. Although that may not happen for a number of weeks. Pinworms can have a life cycle of seven weeks. So, generally it will take two life cycles or forteen weeks for pinworms to go away on their own.
However, there are other cases where people will want to see their doctor and undergo some sort of treatment for the condition either with over-the-counter medications or prescription medications. If you have a lot of itching associated with the pinworms, doctors will recommend or prescribe a cream treatment to help alleviate some of the itching.
Meanwhile, when it comes to treating the pinworms, there are a number of medications that can be taken that come in either a liquid form, tablet or pill form. Since pinworms can affect a number of children, the liquid form or chewable tablets may be best for them.
There are several medications on the market to deal with pinworms. Pin-X or pyrantel pamoate is actually the only over the counter drug that can be used to treat pinworms. It is available as a liquid or chewable tablet. It is not recommended for pregnant women or those who are breast-feeding.
You should also make sure you talk to your pediatrician before giving it to infants and small children under two. Some people have experienced some side effects related to taking pyrantel pamoate.
They can include some abdominal related ailments like diarrhea, cramping, vomiting and nausea. Some people also get headaches while taking the medication, along with dizziness. Others may develop a rash or have trouble sleeping.
There are also a couple of prescription medications available for treating pinworms. They include Mebendazole and Albendazole, which is known by its brand name Albenza. One of these drugs may be prescribed by your doctor if the over-the-counter medication does not work or if your pinworm infection returns. They are both effective in killing adult and baby pinworms.
Like with the over the counter medication, these drugs are not recommended for pregnant women or women who are breast-feeding. Your pediatrician will also make the call on whether to prescribe this drug to a child who is younger than two. These drugs may also have some side effects in rare cases like abdominal pain or diarrhea.
Albedazole may have some additional rare side effects that include sore throat, fever, rash, headache, fatigue and hair thinning. While albendazole is said to be effective in most cases, mebendazole is said to be effective in 90 percent of the cases.
Meanwhile, pinworm treatment will generally take several weeks to be effective whether you are taking an over the counter medication or a prescription medication. Many times the drug is given in two doses that are two weeks apart.
That is so that the drug can have a second chance to kill pinworms that developed or hatched after the first drug was given. None of the medications that are on the market can kill the pinworm eggs. The pinworms can only be killed once they hatch.
If your doctors does diagnose you with pinworms, he or she may want to treat everyone in your family. That is because pinworms spread so easily.
While medications can certainly be effective in killing pinworms, it will take some diligent efforts at home to keep the pinworms under control and stop them from spreading to other family membes. Here are some recommendations to follow at home:
Frequent Hand washing: Frequent hand washing is recommended for control any kind of infectious disease. It is important to wash you hands well after using the bathroom and before cooking and eating. Washing your hands will get rid of eggs if they get on your hands while using the bathroom. You should also be sure to clean your fingernails well. Washing and scrubbing your hands for at least one minute is best.
- Avoid scratching: It is a good idea not to scratch around your anus because that is how the pinworms can get under your nails and into your mouth if your don’t use good hand washing. Many times the itching will be worse during the night.
- Cut fingernails: Keeping your fingernails cut will reduce the ability of pinworms to stay under your nails if you do scratch. If you have children who suck their thumbs, try to discourage the practice, especially if they have a pinworm infection.
- Frequent laundry: Washing your clothing and bedding frequently can help reduce the reinfection of pinworms. You may also want to change your pajamas each night until the infection is gone.
- Showers: You will definitely need to bathe or shower daily if you have a pinworm infection. This will remove a lot of the eggs. Also, be sure not to allow your children to swallow any tub water.
- House cleaning: Sometime it may be effective to also clean your house a little more with extra mopping, vacuuming and bathroom cleaning.