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Pinworm Condition Treatments

by Brad McHargue
  • Overview

    A pinworm is a form of roundworm that lives and reproduces within the body and is the most common form of roundworm infection. Although many cases of pinworm infection present with no symptoms and therefore do not require treatment, serious cases require specific types of medications to eradicate the parasites from your body. These can be used in conjunction with prescription anti-itch ointments to help alleviate any discomfort caused by the infection.
  • Causes and Symptoms

    A pinworm infection is the direct result of ingesting the eggs, typically through the consumption of contaminated food or drinks. Once mature, the female worms move through the intestines to the anus, where they lay their eggs. The pinworms and eggs can thrive outside the system for up to three weeks, and can also be transferred when an infected individual scratches his anus, causing the eggs to cling to the hands. Although asymptomatic in some, symptoms of a more severe infection typically include itching around the area of the anus and around the vagina in women, sporadic pain in the abdomen, nausea and bouts of insomnia and irritability, often brought about by restlessness.
  • Treatment

    Treating a pinworm infection involves the use of prescribed anti-parasitic medications, often for members of the household in addition to the victim to prevent the spread of the infection. Common medications your doctor will prescribe include albendazole and pyrantel, which work by completely killing the mature worms, the larvae and the eggs. Two doses of the medication are given, and more may be necessary to completely eradicate the infection. Daily bathing and proper hygiene--washing your hands and any clothing, towels or bedding that has come into contact with an infected individual--are suggested to help reduce the risk of the infection spreading and to provide a modicum of comfort. Possible side effects include mild gastrointestinal issues while you're on the medication. To help alleviate any itching or discomfort, your doctor may prescribe an anti-itch ointment.

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