thrive in the human intestines. Once inside the intestine, they can live to three months. The adult female may lay more than 10, 000 eggs in her lifetime.Only three to ten millimeters in length, these tiny worms can cause severe itching on the anus, especially at night. There are many causes of obtaining pinworms in the body, which are primarily due to poor personal hygiene. It is estimated that one-third of all Canadian children will have pinworm at some point in their life.
How Pinworms are spread
As previously mentioned, pinworms in the body are chiefly as a result of poor personal hygiene. Unsanitary living conditions and poor food preparation may also lead to obtaining pinworms. It is highly contagious. Specifically:
- While the host sleeps, the female worm abandons her home in the lower intestinal tract
- Leaves the rectum and lays eggs in the folds of skin surrounding the edge of the anus
- Eggs are placed in a sticky, jelly-like substance
- Eggs are may relocate through direct touch of anal area or way of bedding or clothing which can survive up to 20 days
- Eggs may spread in the air and can be swallowed
- Eggs will hatch in the intestine and progress into adult worms within a few weeks
- Pinworms attached around the anus will hatch within six hours and migrate back into the anus for maturation
- Direct contact between uninfected and infected person
Symptoms of Pinworms
The most common symptom for pinworms in the body is extreme itching in the anus, especially at night, due to the activities of the female worm and the sticky, jelly-like substance present. Itching may also occur in the groin area. Other symptoms include:
- Sporadic abdominal pain
- In more serious cases, other symptoms include
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sometimes, no symptoms occur
Treatment for Pinworms
Home treatment can be provided for pinworms. Due to its highly contagious nature, it is typically recommended to seek medical treatment to dispose of the pinworms quicker. Home treatment and medical treatment may be done:
- Stop scratching the affected area. If possible, wear gloves.
- Frequently wash hands with water and soap, especially before eating and during food preparation, to avoid spreading.
- Clean the clothes and beddings in hot soapy water on a regular basis. If possible, heat dryer the laundry items as heat is a highly effectual killer of pinworms.
- Take frequent hot showers with soap. Scrub the anal area thoroughly.
- Scrub any possible contaminated area.
- Eat probiotic-rich food and add more garlic in the diet. Minimize sugar intake.
- Seek medical advice on proper pinworm medication and antipruritic cream or ointment.
Complications from pinworms in the body rarely occur, however, proper treatment must be administered quickly to alleviate itching. First aid courses train the community to recognize symptoms of various diseases, including in pinworms in the body.