Pinworms are not dangerous, but they can be incredibly contagious, especially amongst children. If a pinworm infestation has found its way into your home, you will need to start taking steps to eradicate it immediately. The longer you leave pinworm untreated, the more likely you will spread the infection to friends and family of the person.
Introduction to Pinworms and Pinworm Treatment
Pinworms are tiny parasitic worms that live in the digestive system. The infection is spread when a person unknowingly inhales a microscopic pinworm egg, which then makes its way into the intestines. After one or two months the females move down toward the rectum to lay eggs, which will lead to itching and discomfort. When you scratch the rectum, eggs become latched onto the skin or caught underneath fingernails which makes it very easy to inadvertently transfer the eggs to others.
In order to start treating pinworm, you need to determine whether or not a person truly has the disease. In order to do this, you will need to capture evidence of the worms or their eggs. Since the worms are most active at night, place a piece of tape near the rectum while you sleep. Make sure that the tape is placed with the sticky side facing upwards. By morning you may have captured a worm or eggs on the tape. Secure this sample in a zip-top bag to avoid further contamination and bring it to your doctor. They will examine the eggs under a microscope to provide a pinworm diagnosis. You may also be able to check for worms with a stool sample.
Get Rid of Pinworms Naturally
One of the most important steps in naturally removing pinworms from the body is establishing good hygiene. While you rid your body of the parasites, you also want to make sure that you are not transferring them to others. This can result in you developing the infection all over again. Wash any bedding, clothing, or other materials that have come in contact with the rectum to remove eggs. You will want to wash clothing and bedding frequently and try to keep others from coming in contact with the materials until the infection has spread. Wipe down any surfaces you may have touched to clean away any eggs that may be lingering here as well.
In addition to cleaning your home, you want to keep your hands as clean as possible at all times. Avoid scratching as this will help spread the eggs. If you catch yourself scratching, immediately wash your hands. You will also need to wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom and before you eat or drink. Try to wash your hands before coming into contact with others as well, to help ensure that you are not spreading the disease further.
Once you have ensured that you will not be spreading the pinworms, you need to take care of the ones in your intestines. Adding probiotics to your diet will facilitate this. You can take probiotics in capsule form or naturally by consuming foods such as yogurt. Probiotics will help stimulate your digestive system, which will create an undesirable environment for the pinworms to live.
Garlic is also incredibly effective at killing off pinworms. Increase garlic seasoning in your food, or take garlic capsules two to three times a day when you are infested with pinworms. You can keep this up for several weeks, or until you notice the symptoms of your irritation have stopped. If you notice someone in your home is suffering from pinworm, you can mix two mashed garlic cloves with a teaspoon of honey once a day to help ward off the infection.
Any time you are infested with pinworm or concerned about avoiding the infection you will want to cut down on your sugar consumption. Pinworm survive off of sugar and mate more aggressively when they have plenty to consume, so it is essential to prevent them from getting these nutrients. Any sugar-based products, including heavy starches that you can cut out of your diet throughout the infestation period will be helpful.
Get Rid of Pinworms with Medication
There are several medications that can be used to kill pinworms in your system. Most are equally effective, and are diagnosed based on the patient's preferences. The most common of the prescription varieties is Vermox, which can be used to treat a variety of worm infections. Albenza is also commonly prescribed for pinworm infections, though you can usually use the generic form, Reese's Pinworm Medicine at a lower cost. Reese's can also be used to help family members avoid catching the pinworm while someone else is being treated.
There are many over the counter pinworm medications available as well. You want to look for a medication that contains Pyrantel pamoate, a chemical that is known to kill off the pinworm as well as their eggs to stop the disease quickly. Most of these medications can be used on a variety of worm infestations, but you will need to read the directions to fully determine their safety and use. The most common pinworm medications available over the counter include Pin-X, Pin-Rid and Antiminth.