What Is Pinworm infections?
The most common intestinal worm infections that occur in humans are pinworm infections. Pinworms are white-colored narrow, tiny worms that are around ½-inch long. Pinworm infections are also called oxyuriasis or enterobiasis.
Pinworm infections most commonly occur in children of ages 5-10 years and these infections spread very quickly. Pinworm infections can be easily treated with medication, although the infection can occur again. Pinworm infections are not very serious and do not have any long-term health implications.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pinworm infections?
Some of the symptoms of pinworm infections are:
- Frequent itching of the anal area
- Rash, skin irritation and pain around the anal area
- Restless sleep due to discomfort and itching of the anal region
- Pinworms in the anal area
- Pinworms in the stools
- Mild nausea
Severe pinworm infection may cause symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Intermittent abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Severe irritability
What Are The Causes Of Pinworm infections?
- The main cause of pinworm infections is improper hygiene.
- The pinworm eggs are transferred from the infected person to their own mouth, thus becoming re-infected or the eggs get transferred to another surface. If the contaminated surface is touched by someone else and touch their mouth, they may get infected due to ingestion of the eggs.
- Usually, the female pinworm lays its eggs around the anal and vaginal region, which is transferred to your clothes and underwear, bedsheets, towels, hands, carpets, etc.
- The eggs are laid along with itchy mucus that triggers an urge to scratch the anus or vagina and the eggs get transferred to any surface you touch.
- When transferred to any surface, the pinworm eggs can survive for around 3 weeks and if they are touched, they will be transferred to the hands of the person and can be swallowed if the hands touch the mouth of the person.
- The pinworm eggs can become airborne and can be breathed in and ingested and the eggs hatch 1-2 months later in the intestines.
- Young children are at a greater risk of getting pinworm infections as they may not wash their hands very thoroughly and as they keep swallowing the fresh eggs continually, the infections are more long-lasting in small children. And, when children come in close contact with others, chances of re-infection are greater.
- Pinworms cannot infect animals; however, the eggs can get into the fur of the pets and be transferred to humans while petting or playing with them.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Pinworm infections?
- The person who has a pinworm infection and other members of the family should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before eating.
- Have a shower and change your underwear every day.
- Keep your nails short and clean.
- Launder all the towels, bed linen, washcloths, underwear, pyjamas and other clothing in hot water and dry using high heat.
- Clean all surfaces that may be infected such as floors, toys, countertops, toilet seats, etc. thoroughly.
- Vacuum all the carpeted areas thoroughly.
- Wash your hands properly before preparing food and eating.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Pinworm infections?
- Avoid scratching the anal area if you have a pinworm infection.
- Avoid shaking the bedding and clothes in the air to prevent the eggs from becoming airborne and spreading.
- Avoid biting your fingernails.
- Do not allow children to bathe together as the pinworm eggs can spread via the bath water.
What Are The Best Foods For Pinworm infections?
- Eat food rich in fiber like whole grains and raw vegetables, bran, raisins, and fruits as this can help to eliminate the pinworms by adding bulk to your stools and help to flush the pinworms from your system and also prevent them from recurring.
- Consume foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, etc. as the good probiotic bacteria help to protect against the harmful bacteria like pinworm naturally.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids to stay hydrated and flush out eh pinworms from the body.
What Are The Worst Foods For Pinworm infections?
- Avoid sugar, as pinworms thrive on sugar. Avoid sugar, sugary foods, and beverages such as cakes, candy, sugary cereals, cola, fruit juices, etc.
- Avoid refined foods, as they worsen the pinworm infection. Avoid foods with refined flour, white rice, white bread, cereals, etc.
What Are The Medicines For Pinworm infections?
What Are The Tips To Manage Pinworm infections?
Some natural remedies for pinworm infections are:
- Adding around 5-10 drops of extract of grapefruit seed in water and drinking this can help to eliminate pinworms.
- Eating pumpkin seeds in the whole or ground form can help to eliminate pinworms.
- Raw garlic can kill the pinworm eggs and prevent the female from laying further eggs. You can add garlic to your dishes or eat it raw. You can also chop a few garlic cloves and grind them and mix it with some oil or petroleum jelly and supply this to the anal area to eliminate pinworms.
- Coconut oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Rubbing some coconut oil on the anal area before going to bed can help to eliminate pinworms. Also having 1 teaspoon of coconut oil every morning can help as a remedy for pinworm infections.
- Eating a cup of raw carrots twice in a day can help to push the pinworms through the digestive system and eliminate them as carrots are rich in fiber and promote healthy digestion.
- Wormwood has ingredients that help to remove parasites from the body. Add a teaspoon of wormwood in water and boil this for a few minutes and drink the liquid each morning on an empty stomach until the pinworm infection completely goes away.
- Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for pinworm infections. Adding 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and drinking it helps to lower the pH levels in the digestive system and helps to prevent the pinworms from multiplying.
- White willow bark is rich in salicylic acid which is effective in eliminating pinworms from the body.
- Diatomaceous earth helps to dehydrate the pinworms and kill them. Applying the diatomaceous earth on the affected anal area and rinsing it off after a few minutes can help to treat pinworm infections.
- Grind some flaxseeds with cloves to make a fine powder and add this to your meals. This is an effective remedy for the treatment of pinworms.