Also called: Enterobiasis, Oxyuriasis, Seatworm infection, Threadworm infection

Pinworms are small parasites that can live in the colon and rectum. You get them when you swallow their eggs. The eggs hatch inside your intestines. While you sleep, the female pinworms leave the intestines through the anus and lay eggs on nearby skin.

Pinworms spread easily. When people who are infected touch their anus, the eggs attach to their fingertips. They can spread the eggs to others directly through their hands, or through contaminated clothing, bedding, food, or other articles. The eggs can live on household surfaces for up to 2 weeks.

The infection is more common in children. Many people have no symptoms at all. Some people feel itching around the anus or vagina. The itching may become intense, interfere with sleep, and make you irritable.

Your health care provider can diagnose pinworm infection by finding the eggs. A common way to collect the eggs is with a sticky piece of clear tape. Mild infections may not need treatment. If you do need medicine, everyone in the household should take it.

To prevent becoming infected or reinfected with pinworms,

  • Bathe after waking up
  • Wash your pajamas and bed sheets often
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom or changing diapers
  • Change your underwear every day
  • Avoid nail biting
  • Avoid scratching the anal area

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Symptoms of Pinworms

The following features are indicative of Pinworms:
  • itching of the anal or vaginal area
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • intermittent abdominal pain
  • nausea
It is possible that Pinworms shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

Get TabletWise Pro

Thousands of Classes to Help You Become a Better You.

Common Causes of Pinworms

The following are the most common causes of Pinworms:
  • swallowing or breathing in pinworm eggs
  • eating contaminated food
  • intake of contaminated drink

Risk Factors for Pinworms

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Pinworms:
  • children younger than 18
  • living in crowded spaces

Prevention of Pinworms

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Pinworms. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • wash the anal area in the morning
  • change underwear and bed linen daily
  • wash bedsheets, nightclothes, underwear, washcloths and towels in hot water
  • wash your hands properly

Occurrence of Pinworms

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Pinworms cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Pinworms can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Pinworms can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Pinworms

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Pinworms:
  • Tape test: To make a diagnosis of the disease

Doctor for Diagnosis of Pinworms

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Pinworms:
  • Infectious disease specialist

Complications of Pinworms if untreated

Yes, Pinworms causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Pinworms is left untreated:
  • inflammation of the vagina
  • inflammation of the inner lining of the uterus

Medicines for Pinworms

Below is the list of medicines used for Pinworms:

Self-care for Pinworms

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Pinworms:
  • Wash the anal area in the morning: Reduces the number of pinworm eggs growth on the body
  • Change underwear and bed linen daily: Removes the eggs present
  • Launder in hot water: Kill the pinworm eggs
  • Wash your hands: Reduces the risk of getting or spreading an infection

Time for Treatment of Pinworms

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Pinworms to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Is Pinworms Infectious?

Yes, Pinworms is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • intake of contamination food
  • close contact with infected person

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Pinworms.

Related Topics


Sign Up


Share with friends, get 20% off
Invite your friends to TabletWise learning marketplace. For each purchase they make, you get 20% off (upto $10) on your next purchase.