Published: 02/16/2015 - Updated: 12/29/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
We’ve all gotten pinworms at least once before, especially during school age or in kindergarten. Children are more susceptible to getting them because they come into more contact with contaminated areas, like the floor, day care centers, dirt, and they don’t always immediately wash their hands. They can then use those same hands to grab food which is then carried to their mouth, and the list goes on.
Once you learn that a member of your family has contracted them, everyone else needs to receive treatment to eliminate them. That’s because these volatile organisms and their eggs can be breathed in and absorbed.
They could even be in your sheets, your clothing and your food. But don’t worry. Below we are going to identify them and perform a test to prove whether or not you are infected with them. There are medical and natural treatments to lead to recovery, and today we’re going to share them with you.
What are pinworms like?
Pinworms are parasites that live in the rectum and can be between .05 to 1 cm in length, just about the size of a staple.
They are found in the small and large intestines, and from this area the females migrate to the perianal area (the anus) to lay their eggs, which contain larva.
How are they spread?
They are spread from fecal-oral contact, which means that the mouth comes into contact with foods contaminated with the parasite’s eggs, or with contaminated surfaces. Using contaminated personal objects can also lead to contagion as well.
Generally, children become infected by touching pinworm eggs, and then later placing their hands in their mouth, which goes by unnoticed.
Once the eggs are ingested, they hatch in the small intestine and mature in the colon.
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As mentioned in the lines above, parasitic eggs cannot be seen, but they can be spread about on your pajamas, your pants, foods or other products. They are then spread from person to person.
How can I know if my children have contracted pinworms? Well, there are a few signs and symptoms that can give it away.
Normally these worms move to the anal area at night to deposit more eggs. This causes a very intense itching, which your child will start to complain of.
The worst thing you could do would be to scratch yourself directly with your hands, because then they become contaminated and the eggs will stay underneath your nails.
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Then, if the eggs are under your nails, they can then be spread to other children, family members, or household products.
In addition to itching, other symptoms could be lack of sleep or appetite, irritability, which is then followed by weight loss.
What to do
The doctor will definitely perform the famous Graham test on your child, which is a type of transparent patch that is placed on the anal area. If worms are confirmed, they will prescribe you a medication called Mebendazol, the amount, frequency, and milligrams will be specified by a specialist, who will recommend that all family members follow this treatment.
Do not delay getting an appointment with your doctor. You need to know that in young females, this problem can even aggravate the vaginal area. Pinworms usually migrate to this area, causing vaginitis or infections.
How to prevent them
If you suspect you may be infected with parasite eggs, do not shake your clothing or bedspread as this would only make it easier for them to spread.
If it’s possible that your child became infected at school or daycare, let the authorities of said institution know so that the other parents can be notified and so other children can be tested to rule out contagion.
Keep your hands very clean. Wash them very well with soap and water after going to the bathroom. Do the same before eating or ingesting any food.
Wash your food, fruits and vegetables properly before eating them.
Keep your nails clipped and clean.
It would be a good idea to follow medical treatment every once in a while, by starting natural treatment. Or, if you don’t have any treatment available and for some urgent reason you haven’t been able to see a specialist, you could try these recommendation until you get an appointment.
Boil 1/2 teaspoon of thyme with 1/2 teaspoon of gentian root, 1/2 teaspoon bitter chamomile, and 1/2 glass of water, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the preparation sit for another 10 minutes. Drink before breakfast for 9 days if, and only if, the affected individual is more than 9 years of age. Double the dosage for adults.
Cut three cloves of garlic into very small pieces, and place them in a glass and pour very hot water over them. Allow to soak all night and drink the water in the morning before breakfast. You could also swallow the garlic pieces without water if you prefer.
Boil a handful of mint in one liter of water for a few minutes. Strain and serve. Drink before breakfast. Another way would be to drink 2 tablespoons of mint juice with 2 blended garlic cloves and 1/4 of a small glass of milk.
Mix 2 tablespoons of dried and blended pumpkin seeds in half a lass of warm water and drink before breakfast.
Before breakfast, drink 1/4 glass of milk with 4 crushed zucchini seeds.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/29/2017
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