Pinworms in children and adults: symptoms and treatment

Enterobiasis – helminthiasis, caused by parasites of the class of roundworms – pinworms. This disease has long been known to mankind, its symptoms described by Hippocrates.

Enterobiasis is widespread.

The proportion of enterobiasis in the structure of helminth infection is 70-90%. The disease affects both children and adults. However, more common in children, due to lack of hygienic habits.


Pinworms are small worms resembling short, white threads. Females can reach one centimeter in length, males are smaller. One end of the body of the female pinworms pointed, causing the parasite got its name.

Source of enterobiasis is a sick man. People become infected while swallowing eggs of the helminth. In the small intestine appear from the eggs, the larvae after two weeks to become Mature individuals. Then there is their fertilization. The female moves to the large intestine and out the anus skin perianal region, perineum. This usually happens at night. Moving on the skin, the female pinworm lays eggs, from which after some four to six hours the larvae come out.

Eggs and larvae remain in the underwear and bed linen, which are then carried by hands all around: household items, furniture, toys. Mature eggs of the helminth quite stable and able to stay alive on the surrounding objects to three weeks. If a healthy person touches such contamination of eggs and larvae of the object, and then unwashed hands touch his mouth – he can get enterobiasis.

Patients with pinworms people are able to infect yourself again. Pinworms crawling on the skin accompanied by itching. While scratching itchy skin pinworm eggs get caught under your nails. Then when you touch your mouth, nibble nails of the eggs fall into the mouth and swallowed a man. Begins a new life cycle of helminths. So people can re-infected many times. And if the life cycle of one generation is not more than forty days, when re-infection the disease may extend even up to two years. In the intestine of the patient can simultaneously coexist from several tens and even several hundreds of pinworms.

Symptoms of pinworms in children and adults

The symptoms indicating the presence of pinworms is the same as in children and adults. The main manifestation of enterobiasis is itching in the anus and perineum that occurs at night. Eggs and larvae pinworms can spread to the thighs, belly, then these parts will be marked itching. With a massive infestation of pinworms, the patient may be concerned about itching not only at night but during the day.

Itchy skin – is not a harmless symptom. The child, suffering from enterobiasis, often wakes up at night, not getting enough sleep. Because of this, the day he becomes a whiny, distracted. With prolonged duration disease can impair mental development of the baby. The child is difficult to concentrate, difficult for him to remember school material.

With constant scratching of the skin on it has surface scratching. On sores get the bacteria arise pyoderma and dermatitis which complicates the disease.

In addition, pinworms attach to the intestinal wall and cause mechanical irritation. This is manifested by the appearance of pain in the abdomen, rumbling, bloating, frequent mushy stools, sometimes with mucus.

Girls and women pinworms is able to penetrate into the genitals that leads to the development of vulvitis, vulvovaginitis.

Treatment of pinworms in adults and children

Successful recovery from pinworms is only possible when two conditions are met: the use of Anthelmintics and hygiene.

Of medications used:

  • The vankin;
  • Combantrin;
  • Vermoxum;
  • Piperazine adipate.

Anthelmintic drugs can act in different ways. Some of them violate the transfer of the neuromuscular impulse, paralyze helminth and contributes to its development. Other drugs disrupt the metabolism of helminths, which leads to his death. Often, pinworms can be successfully cured with medicines. You may need a second course of treatment after two to three weeks.

Children often become infected with pinworms in preschool and school institutions, while in the children’s team. And the adults then become infected from their children. Given this fact, your doctor may prescribe treatment for all family members.

Even against the background of medical treatment, if you do not observe hygiene recommendations high probability of re-infection. Child needs to explain that the hands can not pull it to her mouth, before eating and after using the toilet they should wash. Nails should be trimmed. Must be toilet perianal region and perineum after and before sleep.

On the night of the child need to wear panties with elastic bands at the waist and around the legs to prevent scratching the hand skin. Underwear and bed linen should be changed daily after sleep, boil (or washed at temperature not less than 60 degrees), and then ironed with a hot iron. To remove the linen carefully to prevent spreading pinworm eggs. Regularly wet cleaning in the apartment with a disinfectant, scrubbing floors, and furniture, door handles. Potty after each use – rinse with boiling water.

Monitor the effectiveness of treatment in four weeks – take perianal swab for investigation for the presence of helminth eggs.

4 thoughts on “Pinworms in children and adults: symptoms and treatment

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