What Are Pinworms

Pinworms are tiny parasitic worms that live in the intestines and rectums of infected people. They are named for their pin-like tail on the female worms. Pinworm infection is also known as enterobiasis or oxyuriasis. The infection is caused by pinworms called Enterobius vermicularis. It can be transmitted by eggs that can get transferred from anus to fingernails to bed sheets, towels, toys, carpets, hands, underwear and clothes. The risk factors include children between the ages 5 to 10 and living in crowded places.

Some individuals do not show any symptoms. In those that do, common symptoms include:

- Frequent and strong itching around anus, especially during night
- Pain, rashes and discomfort around anus
- Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping) and restlessness
- Presence of pinworms around the anus or in stool
- In females it might also cause rashes and itching around vagina if the worms have moved to that area
- Abdominal Pain that comes and goes
- Some patients may experience loss of appetite and mild nausea

Pinworm infection is easily diagnosed using simple tests such as tape test or sighting a worm. Treatment options include medication and self-care to protect oneself from being infected. Always talk to your provider before starting anything.