Treating Pinworms

I have 3 children. In the last 2 years the same child has been infected with pinworms 3 times. We belong to a family medicine group. The first doctor elected to treat the whole family, but the 2nd and 3rd time I had to request this from different doctors. My question is, does the medicine to treat this infection hurt the family members who are not suffering from this gross infestation? Also, could the worms or eggs live dormant in my daughter or could she be a carrier? Or is there such a thing as a carrier?
Centreville, Virginia

Treating Pinworms

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

When I was a young boy, I used to have a creepy-crawler set. I delighted in making these little jiggling critters. I found particular joy in trying to make other people shudder when they saw the various worms and bugs that I had created. Although we adults often shudder at pinworm infections, most kids don’t have this same gut response.

The pinworm, or Enterobius vermicularis, is one of the most common parasitic infections of humans. Somewhere between 10% and 40% of children have pinworms at any given time (Pediatric Consult, Williams and Wilkins 1997). The infections are usually limited to children below the age of twelve.

The adult pinworms are white and measure less than one half inch long, with the diameter of a strand of thread. These tiny roundworms are quite complex. Like us, they have mouths, throats, and gastrointestinal tracts. Like us they have nervous systems. The females have a vagina, a uterus, and ovaries. The males have a testicle, vas deferens, seminal vesicle, and ejaculatory duct. They eat, drink, pee, poop, and reproduce sexually.

The adult worms live in the colons (large intestines) of human children and apparently feed on human fecal matter.

When an adult male and female worm copulate, each female pinworm produces about 10,000 fertilized eggs. At night, the pregnant female migrates from the colon, out through the child’s anus and onto the skin of the buttocks. There she violently expels all of her eggs and then dies. Some of the eggs become airborne and land elsewhere in the child’s room, but the great majority of the fertilized eggs stay on the skin of the child’s buttocks. The eggs mature within six hours of being laid.

The adult worms and the eggs on the skin of the buttocks can cause intense itching in the child. When the sleeping child scratches, the eggs often get on the fingers and under the finger nails. If the child then sucks his or her thumb or otherwise brings his or her hand to the mouth (perhaps while eating breakfast), the pinworm eggs are swallowed. Usually they hatch within the small intestine and mature there. When they become adults they move to the colon where they take up residence. The entire life cycle lasts four to six weeks.

Occasionally the story goes a little differently. Sometimes a child can inhale airborne eggs and become infected that way. Every now and then the eggs will hatch on the skin of the buttocks, and the immature larvae will crawl back through the anus, up into the rectum and eventually arrive in the colon. Also, the eggs can hatch on the skin of girls and the larvae crawl into the vagina instead of the rectum. This happens in up to 20% of girls with pinworms (Nelson’s Textbook of Pediatrics, Saunders 1996). The vaginal pinworms usually die out with no outside help.

Most children with pinworms have no symptoms at all. In the same way that many bacteria live in our intestines without making us sick, pinworms can live happily in our intestines without causing any problems (Parasitic Diseases, Springer-Verlag 1982). Since the pinworm almost always stays in the gastrointestinal tract (or vagina), there is usually no systemic illness.

Some children, however, develop nighttime itching of the skin around the anus. For a small number of these children, the itching can be quite intense. The girls who develop vaginal pinworm infections often develop vaginal itching and sometimes a vaginal discharge. However, attempts to link pinworm infection to bed wetting or grinding of the teeth have been unsuccessful.

Stool and blood tests are not very helpful in diagnosing pinworms. Seeing a worm clinches the diagnosis. Check your child’s skin with a flashlight during the night and first thing in the morning. Look for white, wiggling threads. If it’s not wiggling, it’s probably just lint. Occasionally a wiggling worm will be seen on the surface of a stool. Pinworms are so common that children with nighttime anal itching are often treated without any lab test at all. The classic diagnostic tool is to apply a piece of transparent tape to the skin near the anus first thing in the morning. This tape can then be attached to a glass slide and examined under a microscope for the presence of eggs. Your doctor can supply you with a pinworm lab kit, if necessary.

Treatment is with a single dose of an anti-pinworm drug such as Albenza (albendazole), pyrantel pamoate (the active ingredient found in Reese’s Pinworm Medicine, which is available over the counter), or Emverm (mebendazole). Most children and adults experience no side effects (use of these drugs in children less than two years old is limited). Hives or other allergic rashes have been reported only rarely. Very rare cases of convulsions have occurred.

This medicine kills the worms 95% of the time, but does not kill the eggs. Hence, retreatment in two weeks is a good idea. Girls with vaginal itching alone do not necessarily need treatment, since the problem will often disappear on its own.

Physicians disagree about whether or not to treat all family members. Often treating the infected child alone will get rid of the infestation. Anyone who sleeps with the child, or any family member or friend with itching should be treated. In stubborn cases, it’s a good idea to treat all family members regardless of symptoms.

It is certainly possible that your daughter is an asymptomatic carrier. In any case, reinfections with pinworms are quite common.

There are no differences in pinworm infections on the basis of race or socioeconomic class. Neither is pinworm infection evidence of poor hygiene. This is a very easily transmissible infection that is very common in children. It is easily spread at home, school, or day care (pets, though, have no part in the pinworm story). Since most kids experience no ill effects whatsoever, extreme measures to treat pinworms are not wise.

I usually recommend trimming the fingernails, scrubbing the hands (after awakening, before meals, and after toileting) and machine washing the bedding on the treatment day. These hygiene measures have never been proven to help at all, but they still seem like a good idea to me.

Although pinworms are like creepy-crawler bugs in that they are usually harmless (and seem worse than they are!), they are still a real nuisance! I hope you and your family will soon find relief from this bothersome problem.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

  1. Smart dust

    I got pin worms 6 mos ago. When my foot got infected I immediately went to the doctor. The Permethrin cream and 3mg Ivermectin did nothing. Since then the worms have spread from head to toe. I have lost all my hair and my nails turned yellow. During long baths, worms will move under the nails. I took photos of a worm coming out of my foot. I have spent over $100k seeking a doctor. I have been to 6 ERs, 2 Primary care physicians, 1 GI Doctor, 2 Eye Doctors, 1 Diet Doctor, 2 Infectious Disease Doctors, 1 OBGYN, 2 Dermatologists. Nobody has inspected me witin 6 ft radius. The fear of worms is high level. No doctor in FL will treat worms as all they do is sell psych meds. The worms are hatching through my abdomen skin and I hurt all the time. My vision has black spots and worms in it. I cannot do a BM without an enema. The filarial worms sit on all my pores and I have to keep my feet in zip lock bags since it hurts when the new worms punch into my feet. My left foot is 3x normal size and feels like it is full of worms. Sometimes the worms fall out of my anus in ackward places like a hotel lobby. I tried contacting the CDC, Health Depart, and Doctors without Borders, and there arent any real people responding if at all. The worms are very active at night so I dont sleep. I lost my job and had to put down 4 cats since they all got it. I had a stool test a while back and it came back negative even though I saw worms in the stool sample. I no longer use a bed because it will get infected. I sleep high up on an entertainment center since the worms are on the floor. I havent driven in 5 weeks since my car is infected. I wear gloves 24-7. My clothes go into the trash daily. Often I wear a hazmat suit at night to slow down the stinging. I clean all the time. My lymph nodes are swollen and a worm punched into my throat 2 days ago. I turned 52 when this started and I was beautiful and successful. The worm holes, wiggling, heart pain all make it so unbearable that I am currently making preparations to go into hospice

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    • What you are going through is undeniably horrible. But I don’t think it’s pinworms. Or perhaps it’s pinworms and something else like scabies. Pinworms live in the digestive tract, but not in the skin. Scabies live under the skin, but not in the digestive tract.

      It is possible to have a parasite in your stool, but have a negative stool sample as some parasites are hard to detect.

      Sadly, it sounds like you’ve already exhausted the possibility of doctors and hospitals that might be able to figure this out. Have you considered going to a major medical center in a different state?

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  2. Sam

    I am 12 years old turning 13 and the first time i got pinworms i think i was 8 or 9. every few months it would come back and now i have it again. in a year i probably get it about 5-6 times and i take the pinworm medication and i do everything the doctors and internet tell me to do but every few months it comes back, the medication does work but it always comes back. i have read articles about it staying and never leaving, so maybe that’s true. i don’t know what to do and my parents are getting tired and the doctors don’t understand so i just don’t know.

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    • Sam

      i’m desperate for help.

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    • Sam,

      Can you tell me the names of the medications you take, the steps you take to clean your home and your own hygiene routine?

      Hoping to help,
      @MsGreene

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  3. Meg

    I’m a 30 year old female (with a 2 yo son). I had been experiencing rectal itching for several weeks before I saw what I thought was a pinworm on my son’s bottom while doing a nighttime diaper change. But I never was able to locate a single worm when I would go looking for them on myself with a flashlight and mirror (even at night when the itching was the worst). We treated everyone in the house with Reese’s pinworm medicine and then did three sets of ova and parasite tests with the dr for my son. They all showed up negative. The stools however were from 4 days after we treated him. The doc thought that if he had had pinworms there would definitely be dead worms in the stool or eggs. He believes what I saw on my child’s butt was “vegetable matter” that he simply “farted out” during his sleep because they did find a lot of stringy textured matter like this in his stool due to a fibrous diet. I had never seen a worm dead or alive in his stool before or after treatment and I do think it’s possible I was “seeing” things because of how paranoid my OWN itching was making me. I am still experiencing the rectal itching unfortunately…and I still cannot seem to find a worm…in either of our stool or in my rectal area, even when I get all up “in there” with the mirror and flashlight when I am experiencing the itching the most… My question is – is it very likely that I would have seen a worm by now if it was in fact worms? They also checked me at the doctor and could not find any upon examination. It doesn’t appear that I have a hemorrhoid or a yeast infection either. Thank you so much for your help!

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    • Hi Meg,

      Have you tried the tape test? Here’s what Dr. Greene says:

      The classic diagnostic tool is to apply a piece of transparent tape to the skin near the anus first thing in the morning. This tape can then be attached to a glass slide and examined under a microscope for the presence of eggs. Your doctor can supply you with a pinworm lab kit, if necessary.

      Hope that’s helpful,
      @MsGreene

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  4. Nina

    I’m so glad I found this website, and I hope that you can please help my situation.

    A month ago, I noticed itching near my buttocks and I saw clear, whitish threadlike worms and I self diagnosed myself with pinworms. I took Reese’s pinworm medicine and afterward, I saw that my bowel movement contained dozens of worms. Over the next few days I continued to see worms in the stool.

    Fast forward 1 month, I’ve taken the medicine again ( 2 weeks after the initial dose), been very careful with hand washing, bathing twice daily, changing towels, bedding daily. I took the Reese’s pinworm medicine for a 3rd time (2 weeks after the 2nd dose) and I still see pinworms in the stool. I’m so worried that the infestation has not gone away.

    Did I get reinfected or is this the initial infection? I wonder if having worms in the stool a month after starting the medicine is still considered normal, or if I should consult with a parasitologist?

    Sincerely,
    Desperate for help

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    • Nina,

      At this point, it would be wise to consult with a physician. It may be that either these aren’t pinworms or you need a prescription strength medicine.

      Best,
      @MsGreene

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  5. Megan

    I’m 13 I’ve had when I was little and now I get them once every month or two they won’t go away no matter how many doces of medicine I take do I have a disease is this cautious to my health?

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  6. Brianna

    I’m 19 and I first had pinworms when I was around 8. Of course my mom had me take the medicine for it but the problem is….I have them constantly reoccurring every few months. I have them RIGHT NOW. They’ll show up about every 2-3 months and then go away in a couple weeks. I can’t live my life constantly taking the medicine for it because I’m sure they’ll eventually be immune to it. I feel there’s nothing I can do :/ and I’m not someone who just puts my fingers in my mouth all the time and I also practice hand hygiene and everything especially working in the medical field as an STNA. HELP

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  7. Chelsea

    Ok, I need to inform everyone that it’s very possible that why we keep getting reinfected if because when we need to take our second dosage for any possible newly hatched worms, and that’s because we are taking it TOO late. Do not wait 14 days. Between 11-12 is what it should be. Secondly, and this is a question for Dr Green, can you take Albenza twice a day for three days and then repeat the same in 11 days? That is the dosage for the vermox (mebendazole) anyways! I don’t think the 2 Albenza for one day then same repeat is enough. I have done this THREE times along with the preventative measure and absolute strict diet. What I am asking is the procedure they use in South Africa. Also, if you are unable to provide this info, do you know of any South African doctors I could get in touch with? I am fighting for my life as we all are. This is insane. Thank you and God bless.

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  8. Ally

    I’m a girl and I’m 15. I’m so scared right now. It’s 3 am and about an hour or two ago my anus started to itch (which it’s been doing for a night or two) and i started to google it. I found out about pinworms and instantly got scared. I feel like I can feel wiggling in my anus but I’m not sure if that’s real or if I’m imagining it because I’m paranoid. Im SCARED to go to sleep and I’ve been pacing around my house but I still feel a small movement. I don’t know if it’s pinworms or not because I haven’t seen any. I don’t want to tell my dad, whom I live with, because I’m scared I’m wrong and I’m embarrassed if I’m right. Also because it’s 3 am

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    • Try putting tape over your anus overnight. Pinworms tend come out at night and stick to the tape. It’s a good way to confirm (or rule out) your fears.

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  9. Mat

    I’m wondering where the 2-week interval between treatments comes from. Does it have to do with the time it takes an egg to hatch and become vulnerable to the drug? Or is it related to how long an egg takes to die in dry conditions? Anyway, why is it an integer number of weeks?

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  10. Anon

    I’m 14 and I’ve had pinworms for over a year and have been too scared to tell my parents. The reason being that I don’t want my mom to take me to the doctor as last time he made me lie on the table with my pants down. I’m very self conscious. Can I get over the counter treatment without talking to my doctor?

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    • Anon,

      Yes, over the counter pinworm medication is available. You can even get it online. The active ingredient is pyrantel pamoate and is found in Reese’s Pinworm Medicine and other OTC medications.

      Hope that helps!
      @MsGreene

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    • Melissa

      OTC meds available..but take them twice a week not one every two weeks. If bad infested they’ve migrated and u need only to bring in proof and explain u don’t wanna be makes in front of Dr and have not told but feel them other places and see them..the meds they give are stronger and will be taken linger..don’t hide this or u can become very ill.. Please..if Dr wants u to lie down on table especially without parent present get a new Dr and think about reporting that one. Perverts come in all forms…it isn’t necessary to show yourself..just make clear u have them for sure and want them gone from rear, urine and other places.. If they say that’s not believable..let them know u will see a Dr u are OK with giving a sample to that don’t require u being nude and when it is confirmed that u are badly infested which causes infection and other problems this Dr can lose his license for medical neglect

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  11. Ramon

    We found out my 12 year old son has pin-worm. We got Rx to take care of it. 1 dose now and 1 dose in 2 weeks. That’s fine. but no where in any research that we’ve done, does it say whether he is contagious any more. We continue to wash the sheets, clean the toilets, etc. But question is, when is OK to have friends over again or come in contact with others?

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  12. Cassidy

    I’m almost 13 this is not my first rodeo sadly… I had pinworms last year in the fall and now a year later I’ve got them again… Right now it’s two in the morning and I have school tomorrow… I’m really getting fed up with these stupid parasites, my brother never took his medication for the pinworms when I originally got them so when I found out I had them again I just took those but there weren’t enough to be able to redoes in 2 weeks is that bad? I really hate these things and they make me cringe just thinking about the little devils being inside of me, how long will the pills take to work?

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    • After treatment, the symptoms may last up to a week. Sorry for the bad news.

      People infected with pinworms need to take a second does of meds in two weeks to keep from getting reinfected. Well worth the extra effort to get rid of them.

      It’s wise to vacuum the bedroom daily for three days in case there are unhatched eggs in the carpet or on furniture. And of course, be sure to wash all your bedding.

      So sorry you’re going through this, again.

      @MsGreene

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  13. Kendall

    Unfortunately, I am a 19 year old female and happened to be babysitting 5 kids yesterday from the age of 4 months, 4 , 6, 9, and 11. I took all these kids to camp and this morning I was violently woken up to a crazy itching (down there) and my first thought was that I had a yeast infection! So I ran to the bathroom to put some monostat on it (as I had the routine down by now) and holding the mirror up I found a pin worm. I’ve had pin worm when I was 10 about three times that year and so I know not to panick but the only problem is, you can’t see their eggs. So what looked like only one, was probably a female who just hatched 10,000 eggs on my vulva. They are extremely active at night and when I had them fr the first time when I was 10, my doctor had to turn the lights out and wait a couple minutes before she checked my anus with a flash light and that’s when she discovered them. It’s a common thing! Just wanted to give a little story for awareness! I have them right now and although it may not be pleseant, it’s better that I know rather then falsely treating a yeast infection!

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      You are absolutely correct, it is common. It is very unpleasant, and it’s much better to know that you have pinworms and treat them than to treat for something you don’t have.

      Hope you kill those 10,000 unwanted visitors very soon.

      Best,
      @MsGreene

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  14. nisha

    im a 27 year old married women. from the last 4 days i have been suffering itching inside my vagina. i think its pin worm. what to do? how can i overcome from this issue

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  15. A

    I’m a 14 year old girl I’ve had tiny worms in my excretion for a year now I think. There are around 5 in each one. I am never itchy down there, haven’t seen the worms anywhere else and can’t feel them. I also suffer with constipation I think. Often I’m on the toilet for 1/2 hour and am sweating with the strain. After times like these I get massive pains in my stomach.

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    • Dear A,

      It’s time you see a doctor and get rid of the worms. They are common. Doctors are very used to treating them. The treatment is easy and effective. There aren’t usually side effects, but it’s always wise to discuss possible side effects with your doctor.

      While you’re there, discuss your constipation. You should not have to strain like you are describing. Your doctor can help you adjust your diet and / or give you medication that can help.

      You’ve suffered too long. It’s time to get this one taken care of.

      Hope that helps,
      @MsGreene

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      • Smart dust

        I have had worms for 6 mos. The docs all say I am delusions of parasitosis. Nobody has looked at me. I took a stool test and it was negative because the worms are too big. Spent 50K and docs and they dont treat worms in US.

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  16. Irvan Seacreast

    I took Albendazole tablets for treating pin worm… but my anal region is still itching… what should I do?

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    • Mona

      I had them when I was a teenager. I got the treatment from the doctor but at night they became very active and it’s so uncomfortable that all I thought to do is scratching. Until grandma told me to buy fresh mint. I put few leaves up and they are attracted to the smell and love the taste. So they leave you alone and start eating the mint. The good thing is the mint also kills them.

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      • Wow! That’s great information. Has anyone else tried this? What was the outcome?

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        • Chelsea

          Very interesting! I have never heard of this one before. Fresh mint. What property in it kills them? Thank you for your post!

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          • I’d love to know, too. Anyone with experience or expertise?

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  17. Cal

    Hi! I took Reese’s Pineorm medicine 8 days ago and will take the second dose when the 2 week mark hits. The anal itching is back though, what should I do?

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    • Mary

      Hi im dealing with that now
      I been drinking onion water is good its is helping a lot raw garlic 3 time a day and onion water 3 time a day ,you can goggle onion water. Headed to store for oregano oil 3 drop in lemon water every day. Late nite i mixed together ground clove and Vaselineand garlic
      Together and rub it around my anal area and make a difference so try that.I this help.

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    • Mona

      Use fresh mint. When you go to bed put some fresh mint leaves. They are attracted to the smell and love the taste. They will leave you alone and feel relieved. The good part is the fresh mint kills them too.

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      • Do you put the fresh mint in your bed or do you insert it in your bottom?

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  18. Anonymous

    Hi I am a 11 y/o girl from sneinton and I think I have worms I have had them before and I have anxiety so I bite my nails a lot I think my mum will shout at me and say that I’m like a baby I hope some 1 can help me x

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    • I’m so sorry you are going through this anxiety, but if you think you may have pinworms, you really need to tell your mum and ask for her help. You can’t get better without treatment and at your age, you need her help to get treatment.

      Good luck,
      @MsGreene

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      • Leah

        Thank you that really kind I have done tat and they r treating my anxiety Leah x

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  19. Mrs. S

    A few days ago my 11 yr old son told me he had worms. We called the doctor, they ordered a script and we were supposed to treat the whole family. But the pharmacy called and instead of saying our medicine was ready, they said the insurance refused to pay for it because it was $900!!!!! But they told me there was over the counter stuff we could get. So with all this going on I freaked out just because it’s gross…. so I had my husband check me because I wasn’t sure if I was imagining things or if I had an issue with pinworms myself. The prognosis wasn’t good. He pulled one off me and showed me.

    So last night we all took the yellow liquid stuff from Walgreens, but I was convinced I felt stuff going on in my vagina. My husband thought I was crazy. No itchy butt today and I feel much better…. EXCEPT for the fact that I still feel like these little buggers are having a darned fiesta in my baby maker!!!! Not cool! So I’m thinking, theoretically these are intestinal creatures…and the medicine we take is ORAL, it goes through our digestive tract and out our butt (which is where we get the itchiness from the pinworms). So it would make sense that this oral medicine kills the worms because it passes right through the part of our bodies where they live, and then OUT it all goes! But MY problem is that my vagina isn’t connected to my digestive system or my mouth… so while I feel like my back end is good as new.. here it is at night time and I’m feeling definite sensations that I would prefer not be happening! Grrr.

    So I’m wondering if it’s ok for me to put some of that yellow stuff up inside me like a yeast infection cream? Please please please, I pray I can because some things (like worms) just don’t belong in my baby maker! And to make matters worse, the day before we realized I had them my husband and I had sex and now I’m wondering if he could get them in his penis? Passing worms back and forth via sex is a horrifying thought. So vaginal medication yay or nay, penis infestation yay or nay, and lastly, intercourse infestation yay or nay?

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    • Hi Mrs. S.

      You are correct, the “yellow liquid” goes straight through the GI system without being absorbed. It is typically taken twice with the second dose two weeks after the first. It is not particular effective for vaginal pinworms. The prescription drug, Ivermectin does work for vaginal pinworms, and should not be particularly expensive.

      It’s easy to pass pinworms back and forth from person to person if they are physically close even if they haven’t had sex, though pinworms are not common in the penis.

      Vaginal medication — ask your doctor about Ivermectin.
      Penis infestation — unlikely.
      Intercourse — as a woman, I feel your ick factor. If you wait until your second dose of medication you’ll likely feel better about the whole experience.

      Hope that helps,
      @MsGreene
      Co-founder and Executive Producer, DrGreene.com

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  20. Linda K.

    So true about eggs getting caught up in an animal’s fur!! I am 63yrs old an have gotten pin worms for the 1st. time in my life. Was unaware I had them no itching or other symptoms just some weight loss, till one day I saw what seemed to be tiny white eggs in my underwear an that was it!! Didn’t no what to do an was left untreated for quite sometime. Felt them crawling all over me at night on my face hair ears etc. I am OCD an a very clean person. Couldn’t afford meds from Dr so I bought Reeses from Walgreens. So far ok. but my 13yr old indoor only long haired cat’s fur is stuck together an when I brush her you can see tiny worms in her brush. I’m always wiping her down an trying to keep her eyes an nose clean cause they are really sticky!! Am at a loss for words please help us!!! God Bless to all who are suffering this!!

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    • Linda,

      Sounds like you need to get your cat treated as well. I don’t know if there’s a low cost option for cat care, but until you’re both treated, you are likely to give them back and forth to each other — even if you are treated.

      Does anyone here know of free or low cost veterinary options?

      @MsGreene

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    • Kelly Mason

      I think I have pinworms as well. Spree muscles and Kelly system small little wiggles in my bowel movements, .I feel them all over my body especially at night. I have the sensation of pins and needles also with a strange wiggle or s. Terrible pins and needles all over. I’m trying colloidal silver. Any help, above would be greatly appreciated. I’m very anxious, immuno-suppressed, and so very sick of feeling so sick. My doctor is doing tests, but I continually suffer without any support. My husband believes about half, maybe of what. I say. I am miserable and frightened.

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  21. David Lasanta

    I have had these for a few months now, but I noticed them so I use wipes.

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  22. Amblin Brown

    I am 12 years old and I have pinworms. I am scared to tell anyone. I have only seen three. Put after the second one I started taking more showers and trying to clean my self more better. But the pain keeps going at night. And sometimes I just rush to the shower at night a take a warm shower. My biggest question is “How did I get these worms?” Are we born with them? Do we catch them from being outside? Please help me Dr. Greene.

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    • Lili

      Hello, you need to tell someone you trust, we are not born with them. We get infected when we touch something someone that has the worms has touched before, for example door knobs, wash you hands often and dont eat your nails. The medicine they sell over the counter works but tell an adult you trust so you take the right amount. Wash clothes you are wearing right away and wear clean underwear always. Good luck, you will be ok once you take the medicine.

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  23. ....

    Hi I am a 11 year old girl and tonight when I went to the toilet I found 1 little moving white thing and I don’t know what it is, I am embarrassed and a bit scared to tell my mum so can anybody please help by telling me what they are and what I need to do to get rid of them. HELP!!

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    • Katie

      Hi hun! You should definitely tell your mom. It’s probably just pinworms- which is really common in children. She will want to talk with your doctor. No need to feel embarrassed!

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    • Leah

      Hey I am also an 11 year old girl from Nottingham and I have had pinworms before. Tell your mum or dad and don’t be embarrassed,try Daily hygiene issues like washing under your finger nails and showering ur vagina and anus (bum) every morning or go to the doctors and get some medicine hope u find this help full I have been through this to x

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  24. Melanie

    Hello , i am a mother of two. one who is 3 and one who is 1 years old.
    my 3Year old i just noticed he had warms. he was complaning of pain these past couple of days, but i thought it was cause of loose stool he’s been having and everytime i looked i never seen anything until tonight.

    -now my question is.
    my 1 year old. what can i do for her, is there any possible medication out there for her?

    and is it necessary to treat us all if some of us don’t have warms right this moment?

    please this is real new to me. any information could help.
    Thank you

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  25. not a dumb mother

    My 10 y/o daughter was very upset when she told me she saw worms in her stool. She freaked out and flushed before she told me. We went to our pediatrician (a “top doc”) who was skeptical and dismissed us stating that he has only seen 4 cases in many years and that they are only seen in developing countries and among people with poor hygiene. He refused to treat her and instructed me to put scotch tape across her anus on Sunday night (two days after the visit) and take it off in the morning and look for eggs. From what I know the eggs are microscopic, so I know he was just blowing us off. Well tonight my daughter summoned me to the bathroom and I saw MANY dead pinworms in her stool. I wonder how many of his asymptomatic patients are walking around with pinworms because he is a nonbeliever.

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  26. SRH

    We have been battling pinworms and then went out to dinner tonight. When we came home I looked in a glass my son had been drinking out of and I am sure had his hands all in. It looked all milky and like it was filled with little stringy squirmy worms. Very small. Is it possible that they could have been eggs on his hands and then he stuck them in the glass ?Could they hatch in water? Totally freaked me out.

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  27. Ingy

    The tiny kids in my daughters family got infected with pinworm, this infected their aunt and uncle with a newborn baby, of two weeks old who now also has pinworm. And they say medication can NOT be given to a kid under 2 years old. Please Dr Greene what should one do for this baby, besides taking all the neccessary hygeinic steps.

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  28. mimi

    Hi I am a 14yr old girl and belive me I am no stranger to pin worms!I started getting them when I was about 8 and ever since then I’m sure they come monthly..my mum always says are u sure u have them? I am definitely positive.Its very uncomfortable and at night times I am constantly itching my lower parts and rubbing but I rub onto my underwear and it really hurts my vaginal area but I cant sleep and I have school tomorrow.I keep having regular trips to the bathroom because It gives me cramps (diareah) and I use baby wipes and tissue to scrub below.If I am honest I have a bath once a week and wash my hair everyday ….im really concerned because I need my sleep

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    • Reagan

      You should go to the doctor. Also over the counter medicine called Reese’s also helps cure it and it very affordable

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  29. jack

    What medicene to get for pinworms

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  30. KT

    Om only 11 and i have pinworms andi also have not told my parents because im to scared to.and i cry every night thinking about this gross,embarising,horrible creature living inside of me. Im scared im gonna die of this disgusting creature. Please call my mom: [REDACTED] thank you ,oh and my name iS [REDACTED]

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    • Dear KT,

      Thank you for writing. It’s very smart to take some step to get the care you need. In the future, though, be very careful not to leave personal information when you post online. We’ve taken it out for your safety.

      There are some things you need to know about pinworms.
      — Pinworms are more common than you think. Lots of people get them.
      — Pinworms are not linked to any social or economic class.
      — Doctors are very, very used to treating pinworms and won’t think anything negative about you because you have them.
      — For most people, the treatment is simple and effective.

      Now, you need to tell your mom. Legally, we can’t do it for you (sorry). But you can do it! Tell her you have a problem and you need her help. Ask her to take you to see a doctor and get treatment. You do not need to do this today. There is no reason to wait any longer.

      Please write back and tell us how you’re doing.

      Best,
      @MsGreene

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  31. JUSTIN

    hi im 15 i have the same promblem the first time i found out was a weekago they make me want to use the bathroom a lot and im a guy and im just to imbarssed to tell someone can u tell me wat i should do about the promblem please thanks.

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    • ananomous

      tell your mom or dad or gaurdian whom ever you live with , its not as bad as it seems! as soon as they know they’ll be able to treat it properly so you wont have to deal with them any longer

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    • Kerry F Figuried

      Pinworm medication is the only remedy that I found. Have your Mom or Dad buy tjis product at Walmarts or Walgreens. Best medicine for killing pinworms. I tried every home remedy and nothing beats Pinworm medication.

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  32. madi

    its me again i think one burrowed into my clitoris what do i docause i saw 2 white bumps i was able to get the one out and its very tender

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  33. madi

    hi im a 15 year old i just found alot of pinworms in my anus. i am very worried because i think their is a chance i could have injested some. i will give u more info if you email me. the inching is very very bad what should i do

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  34. Ryan

    Hi, I’m 17 years old and I got pinworms about 4 years ago so I went through the hard process of telling my mum. I got medication and everything seemed fine until a few weeks later I noticed them again. I decided to go through it again.telling my mum.getting medication.waiting. but about a month and a half later they were there AGAIN. Since then I have left to live there as they go for about 1 and half months then they come back for a week. I just need any help I can get.
    Thanks

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  35. Alyssa

    Im 16 year old and i have pinworms im embarrassed to tell my mom can i treat it on my own? Also does my boyfriend need medication then if i have them?

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    • Hi Alyssa,

      I know it’s embarrassing, but you really need treatment. Telling your mom is the best course of action.

      If you’ve been intimate with your boyfriend, he should be treated as well. It’s not unusual for infected people to pass pinworms back-and-forth unless they are all treated at the same time.

      Hope that helps.
      @MsGreene

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      • Lynn

        Hello, my 10 year old son had them 2 weeks ago & was given albenza. I cleaned the whole house & bought sun flower seeds & pumpkin seeds. I also have him drink apple cider & water 2 times a day. I put lots of garlic in his food, bought garlic pills, probotics, grapeseed extract & so far he’s had no reoccurring symptoms. He takes his second dose of albenza on Wednesday. They can be cured but you have to maintain a high protein diet & cut down your sugar intake. Hope this helps.

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        • Thanks so much! Please let us know how it goes.

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        • Stephanie

          Just wondering how it went for your son ? I’m reading all these horror stories about people being reinfected and having it all there life. I’m very nervous !

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        • mimi

          Hi there, I am curious…. U may be helping with your sons diet there which is food because less sugar = less worms but some other things u may want to consider is hygiene:change bed sheets daily,regular washing things like that and also make sure that if he/she scratches her anus they wash their hands after because the worms and worm eggs will become trapped in their nails ): Hope all gets better for u kid because I am 14 and I have been going through a lot of suffereing since I was about 8/10 so ik how it feels

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        • Mel

          Hi lynn, this was really helpful. My 10 year old son had it as well. Was your son super itchy? We can’t get any sleep around here.

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  36. J

    I’m 16 years of age and I have pinworms I’m not to sure how long I’ve had them I thought nothing of it until I searched it up and I knew I had pinworms, i know I should be scared and worried but I am I’ve never had them before I’m starting to really freak out, i haven’t told my mum yet cause I’m really ashamed and scared and embarrassed :/ I don’t know what to do? Should I tell my mum? Is there a way that I can get rid of these nasty little thing cause I’m really really freaking out here please help?

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    • Dear J,

      You absolutely should tell your mum. Treatment is pretty easy, but you’ll need her help. Together you can work on making sure all your bedding is cleaned properly, etc.

      I know how embarrassing this feels, but doctors see this all the time and don’t think twice. It’s very common and NOT a sign that you did anything wrong or unsanitary.

      Hope that helps,
      @MsGreene
      Co-founder and Executive Producer, DrGreene.com and mum

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      • Jasmine

        thank you so much.

        but is the treatment 100% sure cause I feel so ashamed I don’t feel comfortable with my own body anymore realising what I have it’s disgusting , i have a boyfriend and I’ve read that he could possibly catch it and I really don’t wanna tell him about it it’s really embarrassing but all I want is for it to go away 😔

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        • Hey Jasmine,

          If you don’t get treated, pinworms will not go away on their own. Treatment is really the only course of action at this point.

          If you’ve been intimate with your boyfriend, he needs to be treated, too. Even if you’re physically close, he needs to be treated.

          Not pleasant, but the alternative is worse.

          Hope that helps,
          @MsGreene

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          • Jasmine

            how long after the treatment will it work? Like how long does it take this work? Because i read somewhere that it doesn’t kill them and that they come back within a week :/

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          • Read the label on the medicine you are taking. Some medicines require multiple treatments.

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  37. Ashley

    My family got pinworms about 6 weeks ago and we were devastated! We believe it was contracted by our 1 year old and then moved along to me and dad. Even though this is a very upsetting occurrence, it is important to remember that if you follow hygienic measures and medicate yourself they will be gone in no time. It is also VERY important not to get lost down the Google rabbit hole because it will make you feel hopeless and like you’ll have them forever, which is not the case.
    We took over the counter Reese’s pinworm medicine (1 dose then another two weeks later). We also cleaned the house top to bottom, cleaned all laundry and linens (even if they weren’t ‘dirty’) everyday in hot water and hot dryer setting, vacuumed and steam mopped every day for the first 2.5 weeks, changed and washed bed linens everyday for 3 weeks, never reuse towels/hand towels, and we still aren’t wearing clothes 2x (we are washing daily but probably don’t still need to be doing so). We wore gloves and masks when handling the initial laundry/cleaning because you can inhale the eggs and reinfect yourself. We also wore gloves and masks for 3 weeks when changing our sons diaper and they immediately were wrapped up and put in the garbage outside. Finally, and the most important, is the hand hygiene. We wash our hands constantly and our sons hands too! Especially after going to the bathroom, changing not diapers, preparing food, and before eating. This is the best method in preventing reinfection.
    I hope this helps! Believe me, I was traumatized but you can do it! It is beatable, you just have to be diligent!

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    • Rick

      How are things now?

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  38. Sarah

    My 6 month yr old baby had what I thought was a pinworm in his stool. Would it be safe to treat him? He sleeps with me, wearing a diaper, onsie over that, & I’ve been putting 2 pairs of pants on to contain any eggs. Would that help do you think? Should I treat myself just in case? Is it safe to breast feed him still after treatment? Thanks! Worried for my lil guy.

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  39. Katie

    After treatment when will the adults die?

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  40. liz

    I’m 14 years old and I’ve heard that pinworms aren’t likely to I guess get when you’re older but for the past few weeks I’ve been feeling ticklyish feelings around my anus and vulva. I don’t know if it’s pinworms or not but I’m also getting acne around my anus. I’m scared and I’m embarrassed to let my mom know. Also if I take medication for pinworms will the pinworms come out alive in bowel movements? Thank you.

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    • Hi Liz,

      I know this is embarrassing, but you really don’t need to suffer with this. A pediatrician or gynecologist should examine you and provide treatment. It won’t likely go away without treatment, so sooner is better than waiting.

      Hope that helps,
      @MsGreene

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    • Gloria Rose

      My son and I ended up with pinworms. We are not sure how we both got it or which one of us had it first, it we saw our doctor and he gave us a chewable tablet (vermox) he said one tablet will kill all adult worms but another tablet must be taken 2weeks later for it to have a better effect.

      It was embarrassing to go to he doctor and say anything but I was direct. THere is nothing to be ashamed about. Tell your mom so she can take you to the doctors. The doc will advise you on what to do.

      Now it’s been 2 weeks and I haven’t found worms in my poo yet but my son still has them. When you take the tablet which tastes like Orange Crush pop, they will die within the next day or so. When they come out in your poop after the tablet usually they are dead. After the tablets on the second dose you go see a doctor about 5 days later. We haven’t hit the 5 day mark yet so I’m not sure how the rest of it goes but be sure to talk to your mom.

      It may be embarrassing but your mom would understand and support you through it all. I wish you luck and I hope it’s not the worms. Your bum gets itchy before and after treatment. Don’t scratch! lol

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  41. Lana

    Please try or at least read about food grade diatomaceous earth. It’s natural and supposedly kills all parasites within one week.

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  42. Jjg

    Im a little worried. I’ve had these for a few years straight and I’ve been too scared to say anything because im terrified of the doctor. But now I’m really worried because I’ve been looking up stuff about this. Is there anything I can do without making a huge deal out of it?

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    • Jade

      Yes, you can go to a grocery store or pharmacy and buy a medicine that is called Pinworm medicine. You will find it next to the laxatives. Take one single dose. Easy peasy.

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      • Barbara

        No one carries this medicine anymore. What are we supposed to do?

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        • Djones

          Ebay and amazon sells them.

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        • Dee

          Walgreens sells it.

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  43. C

    Has anyone tried Humaworm herbal formula? Just curious.
    My daughter,7, has gotten pinworms 3 times this year! I’ve given her albendezol (spelling?) each time to the correct dosage and timing. I don’t believe the meds are working. She had a paddle test and no pearly eggs were seen. But again, she felt the wiggle and when I checked, there it was, the pinworm wiggling its way out.
    So now I’m going to try Humaworm. I hate dosing my daughter with meds. Even though th pediatrician said it’s harmless.

    Dr Greene, did any of your own children have pinworms, and if so what was your experience?

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  44. C

    Has anyone tried Hunaworm herbal formula? Just curious.

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  45. Sarah

    My 8 year old daughter had pinworms 3 months ago, my pediatrician gave all three of my children a dose of stromectol ( ivermectin) and told me adults don’t usually get it. My husband and I had no symptoms but as a precaution took some of the OTC pinworm meds. Fast forward 3 months and I wake up witha wiggling sensation and am actually able to grab the worm and it’s wiggling, I went immediately to the 24 hour pharmacy and bought the OTC meds (pyrantel ) I treated the whole house in ten morning. We’ve washed sheets, vacuumed, steamed tile floors, incessantly clean bathrooms and wash hands. The I called my Dr and asked for a dose of some stromectol for me as well which they prescribed for both me and husband. Kids / husband – no symptoms. I have also repeated the OTC meds after one week and have drank diatomaceous earth for last 2 nights, and I’m still being woken by tickling /wiggling feeling in my anus, when I check it I can’t see anything, no lint or anything, so I get inthe shower and wash my bottom with as hot of water as I can stand , change undies and go back to bed. Is it even Possible that I could still have adults worms giving me the symptom, is it irritation from eggs, wouldn’t they be washed off? Please help , not sleeping, going mad, and my husband thinks I’m over the top, he’s not the one being woken every night by this mess. Please help.

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    • Al

      My mother had success with putting salt on the itchy area when I was a child. Also adults could use garlic suppository.

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  46. Maria

    I have pinworms and so does my 7 yr old grandson. I treated myself and him, according to protocol. We get rid of them then a few months later get reinfected. He lives with his grandfather (stays with me on weekends). The problem is that his grandfather has never heard of them and says I’m neurotic when I try to educate him on what’s going on. He says he’s not going to clean everything and wash all the bedding, etc. “All the time”. I suspect that he also has them since our grandson has a hard time sleeping alone (since his parents left him). What can I do? He is wetting the bed and itching all the time. He does wash his hands & uses his own bathroom, that I go over and clean. I read that pinworms can cause poor concentration in kids. Is this true? And I’ve had a lot of weight loss during this last year we’ve been battling this. Is the wt. loss dangerous? I’m concerned since his grandfather won’t co operate with eradicating this problem, if my grandson will develop learning impairment or any serious health problems. Also, I read that the eggs can get into food like bags of chips, etc. How long can the eggs survive there and can they mature into worms in a bag of chips?

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    • elma

      I have them. Can they kill you?

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      • liz

        of course not! they’re harmless, a little itchy though

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  47. Kevin Harrison

    hey Dr. your site have been informative. I am so worried about my 5 Y.O. who is infected. sometimes there are like 15 worms crawling from her anus at once, so let me ask. how many pin worms are hatcced from one egg? i am awating your e-mail.

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    • Pinworm Lifecycle — “The estimations of the number of eggs in a gravid female pinworm range from about 11,000 to 16,000. The egg-laying process begins about five weeks after initial ingestion of pinworm eggs by the human host. The gravid female pinworms migrate through the colon towards the rectum at a rate of 12 to 14 cm per hour. They emerge from the anus, and while moving on the skin near the anus, the female pinworms deposit eggs … After depositing the eggs, the female becomes opaque and dies. The reason the female emerges from the anus is to obtain the oxygen necessary for the maturation of the eggs.”

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    • Brandi

      They can lay up to 10,000 eggs in one night. That’s just one female worm after that female lays the 10,000 eggs the female does indeed die. Thought that would help. Garlic helps get rid of them too.

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  48. Olevia

    What’s is the cut off age for albenza? Is a 6 month old okay to take albenza? II read that if the child is less than 10kg do 200mg, but then other sites say don’t use in less than one year old why?

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  49. Blue Camels

    I HAVE to call “bullshit” on the whole “pin worms exit when you are sleeping thing”.

    How do they KNOW when you are sleeping?? Most sites say the same thing but NEVER explain how that is possible. Pin worms are not intelligent creatures… so how do they KNOW when the person is sleeping??? I’m calling this as an “old wives tale” unless someone has a scientific reason to back it up.

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      • :/

        My guess would be that since children are so active, the worms wait until they’ve been still a while.

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    • Julie

      They come out when it’s dark

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    • Stephanie

      Why does a salmon swim upstream to their exact place of hatching from being in the ocean all their adult life to spawn eggs? Why are sea horses monogamous? The answer: instinct/nature! When you are laying down at night your body is the most calm and still, at times you are in REM sleep which is when your body is completely paralyzed; this is probably the easiest time for egg laying to occur on the anus. Although laying eggs do occur in the daytime it is not as frequent as night.

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    • Mamaof3

      My son is in his second round of pin worms in less then a year and we always see them in the light during the day or early evening, so I think it’s a matter of seeing them by chance not by time of day!

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    • Common Sense

      Before you call bullshit on this one…Have you ever heard of instinct? Have you every thought why jellyfish know how to move to certain sea temps to reproduce? Or Sea Cucumbers know where to get their food? Or lets take the PinWorm as an example? How does it know the best place to live and reproduce is in you Colon? INSTINCT…So those old wives, full of common sense, knew what instinct is and was. It may sound outlandish, but this earth is full of amazing and intelligent things…even ones that live right up our children’s butt.
      And chicken of the sea? It’s tuna!

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    • Olivia

      I do not think they are inntelligent but I think that when the person is sleeping, it has a perfect time for when the human being is still to just, discustingly crawl out

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    • BG

      Why did you capitalize so many words, it doesn’t emphasize anything.

      Perhaps rather than over reacting and suggesting a physician is lying you could have a little look or, use some common sense?

      The room’s CO2 level is greater, the temperature at the anus/butt area is greater as it is usually cover and these factors encourage their movement.

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    • Sandie

      Some animals, and insects are nocturnal, some are active in the daytime, or most active (mosquitoes) at dawn and dusk. Pinworms don’t know when you are asleep, but they know when it is nighttime , which is when they become active. It’s just coincidence if you happen to be asleep at that time.

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    • Momoftwo

      Simple, they are nocturnal creatures…just like other animals that sleep during the day and come out at night. Since they have evolved with humans, they inherently know the best time to emerge and transmit their eggs.

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    • beans

      I’m 28″.. I have them a lot as a kid and they always came out at night. Now I have a son who is 7 and has had them like every other month for the past year n I check him all hours of the day an nothing. Soon as ten p.m comes around he calls me when he feels something I check n they are there. I have a very clean house due to ocd and he keeps getting them now I have them for the first time in over 17 years n tjeu def creep out at night. I just don’t know what to do.

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    • Annie

      Your body temperature lowers when you are asleep and they can detect that. Presumably by a process of natural selection, those worms that didn’t wait until the host was asleep were more likely to be scratched away before they had time to lay their eggs. It’s not to do with the worms ‘knowing’ the host is actually sleeping, it’s to do with the drop in temperature, which generally does indicate sleep ( but could be at other times also, sitting still on the couch, cooling down after exercise for example).

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    • Shelly

      They come out when you’re “relaxed” which is most often when you’re sleeping.

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    • Dr. Mumund

      They have a nocturnal instinct to come out.

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  50. sally

    My 6 year old has had pin worms on and off every 3-6 months for the last year!!! I’ve been cleaning everything I can get my hands on. We were gone for 3 weeks this summer and hoped all the eggs would have died during that time. Was this wishful thinking? What do I need to do to eradicate this from our home???

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  51. sally

    My 6 year old has had pin worms on and off every 3-6 months for the last year!!! I’ve been cleaning everything I can get my hands on. We were gone for 3 weeks this summer and hoped all the eggs would have died during that time. Was this wishful thinking? What do I need to do to eradicate this from our home???

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  52. Help!

    Hi, I have had worms multiple times before, I have gone to the doctors about it and they have given me medicine. I am 12 and my mum knows. I am really worried because I seem to have the medicine and then in about 2-3-4 months it comes back again. It’s starting to get really annoying and I am cleaning everything like a freak

    Thank you :)

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  53. Marissa

    I have a concern
    I have twin boys that are 2 and sometimes I use cloth diapers on them. It’s been a few days since I’ve washed their diapers. So today as I was washing their diapers I noticed a bunch of small white worms in the stool. I’ve never seen any worms in their poop as I’m changing their diaper. This has happened once before. I would like to know if I should be concerned or not. I don’t want to treat them if they don’t have anything.

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    • Sam

      That’s most likely pinworms

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  54. Hay

    My doctor suspected my daughter had pinworms..I was horrified because I had them when I was 11 or 12. So we treated her and her itching went away then I began to itch looked in the mirror and see the white string thing but it wasnt moving but I treated myself with Reese pinworms medicine. It did not help so then I went to the doctor and was prescribed albenza. I have already taken my 2 week doses and I am still itchy from time to time mainly during the day. I do have an external hemorroid and am wondering if that’s possible that that’s what’s causing my itching/wiggling feeling. I have noticed the itching is worse when I’m in the hot weather being active. But every now and then at night I itch. I am worried because I have been cleaning my house daily! Bleaching my bathrooms, vacuum daily, clean countertops, light switches, door knobs daily. Clean my sheets every 2 days. Wash my hands like an OCD person. I don’t know what more I could do. And when I feel that sensation I go look but I don’t see anything! I’m praying I am rid of them and it’s just my hemorroid causing problems because this is all I think about all day every day. It’s driving me crazy. Would it be ok to follow up with one more treatment of albenza?

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    • JJ

      The above story could have been written by me!! I also have an external hemorrhoid and it has NEVER
      itched before. I am going CRAZY with this thing! Like the above comment, I have been cleaning like a MAD WOMAN!

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  55. Andrew

    HI I have had this anal itching for a long time and did not know if it was naturall so i didnt say anything, it been maybe over a year and im 15 now what should i do

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  56. Monica

    Hello, my name is Monica and I’m 15 years old. For quite a while, I’ve seen thin, white things in my stool but I have never seen anything move. My butt, is never really itchy. I get the occassional itch but nothing major. I just have a tendency to scratch there for some reason. My stool is slightly mushy. Not like diarrhea or anything but close. I don’t know what this is and I’m slightly freaked out. I’m not afraid to tell my mother but I’m worried about what doctors may do. Any idea what this may be? Is it worms?

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    • I can’t tell you what it is, but your doctor will likely ask you for a stool sample so he or she can make that determination. I know that sounds difficult, but your doctor will provide a stool collection kit and explain how it’s done. It will be worth it to figure it out and get it taken care of.

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  57. Erin

    Hi Dr.Greene,

    Just last night I started to feel some itching in my anal region, and discovered I had a pinworm infestation. I took the appropriate measures and bought Reese’s for myself, my housemates, and my boyfriend (not a fun conversation). I’ve taken the first dose of medication, and plan to cut processed carbs and sugars out of my diet for the next two weeks to try to eliminate the problem. I’ve replaced all my bedding and towels, and wiped down my entire bedroom. I feel I’ve done everything I can. However, I keep reading horror stories from people who’ve been suffering from recurring pinworms for months and sometimes even years, who claim to have taken the same steps. How common is reinfestation? I’m aware of the pinworm life cycle, and curious if I could take a third dose 2 weeks after my second just to be sure the problem is eliminated. Please let me know, as I’m not sure I can undergo the humiliation/financial burden of having to medicate all my loved ones again!

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  58. Jay

    Hello Dr Greene, and all dealing with this apparently very common, embarassing, and frankly disgusting problem,

    My 4 Yr. old grand niece was recently diagnosed with pinworms. Both her mother, her and I live in the same apartment. And we all have had signs/symptoms of pinworms. We have all been treating with ALBENZA. 7th day now after 2 pills for them both, and 5th day after 2 pills for me. With a 2nd dose ready for all after 14 days. Also been bagging clothes daily, cleaning everything, showering daily and washing hands like ALL THE TIME!

    We ALL STILL HAVE ACTIVE ADULT SIGNS.

    MAIN QUESTION IS: Does Albenza continuously..actively kill Adult Pinworms for a FULL 14 DAYS?? Or does it work only for the first day after treatment starts?

    Please let me know, as i can’t get the info for this anywhere. And Dr./nurse don’t readily know the answer??

    Thank you, and good luck to all that are dealing with this problem! I feel for you all!

    Jay

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  59. HCO

    Question – I was diagnosed 5 days ago with pinworms (I believe I caught them from a friend’s child that I was playing with about 2 weeks ago). Took the first round of Albenza (2 pills), which seemed to have worked temporarily. First few days was WAY better but yesterday and last night were back to the same itchy, sleeplessness. I called the pharmacist at 3:00 a.m. this morning and she said to go ahead and take the second dose of Albenza (which I promptly did!). Note that I took the second Albenza dose only 5 days in to the 2-week routine. I am wondering if it’s alright to take Albenza every FOUR DAYS just so that I can “stay ahead of the game” and make sure to eradicate all worms and eggs and larvae and anything else that they morph in to. Husband’s doctor had him do a precautionary round of Ivermectin, and we moved him to the guest room on Day One. There are no children in our house. I’ve been very stringent about cleaning, showering 2x a day, handwashing many many times, and laundering every item of clothing or towels in hot water as soon as it has been worn or used. Anyway, can I take that much Albenza? If my dr. won’t prescribe me some, I’m about to do an overload dose on OTC Pin-X (thank you, Amazon). Please help. There seems to be so much misinformation out there. There are so many desperate people suffering from this loathsome parasite. I don’t want to infect my husband and yet I don’t want him to live in the guest room for months. Please. Help. Thank you.

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    • becca ann jordan

      hi i am dealing with the same i am doing all the right stuff and been treated but last night started again did you get rid of yours

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  60. Mary

    My daughter (3) got pinworms. She took the first dose of Albenza (400mg) on 7/18. I am still seeing live pinworms is that normal? Should I give her Reese pinworm OTC medicine?

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  61. Help!!!

    I am a twelve year old girl, I just figured out I have pin worms. I keeps me up at night, I can’t get any sleep and I feel like it is ruining my life!!! I want to tell my mom, but telling her will be the hardest part, how do I tell her? Plus, everything I tell her goes straight to my dad. It is embarrassing, plus it hurts me knowing my mom can’t keep a secret, even when she says she can. I am always up in the middle of the night crying. I don’t know what to do, I hate myself for it. I never knew I could be so insecure. It is getting worse. Please tell me a way I could tell my mom, and deal with pin worms. And maybe some advice on dealing with my insecurity and my mom not being able to keep a secret. As a teenage girl, with all of this pin worm, family and insecurity stuff, plus going into Jr. High (worrying about puberty) this is really scaring me. Please someone help me. I am scared.

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    • Barbra

      Talk to your mom, she will want to help you. Don’t be embarrassed, would you be embarrassed if you had the flu? You didn’t do anything wrong and parents are there to make sure your needs are met.

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    • Kiara

      I’m a 15 year old girl, and I’ve had pinworms. You should tell your mom immediately so you can get treated! I was so nervous when I told my mom, but she took it well and just told me to shower and make sure I put on clean underwear and shorts. I also trimmed my nails (since they’re naturally long) and made sure to wash my hands and try not to touch my butt or vagina at all unless necessary. I also washed my sheets, and my mom took me to the doctor’s. When I was there, all they did was look at my butt (I was scared at first, but it really wasn’t that bad) to see if you they could see any, then just prescribed m medicine, and my problem was gone within a few days! Though it’s been less than a year, and I found a dead one around my butt earlier. I assume that I might be getting them again, so I’m telling my mom first thing tomorrow. Pinworms are the worst, and I don’t want to go through that hell again.

      So, it is best to tell your mom right away.

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      • Thanks for the great words of wisdom. It sounds like this is how most parents would handle pinworms, but it’s great to hear about it first hand.

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    • Dana

      Sweetheart, please tell your mom right away. It broke my heart to know that you’re so scared. Your mom won’t think any differently of you and she’ll be able to help you. She loves you and she will know right away how scared you are.

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    • Maria

      Honey, I t ruely understand your worry about telling your mom. I’m sure your mom loves you and will help you. She tells your dad everything because he loves you, too. But i know, first hand, not everyone (including adults) are sensitive or discrete. My mom used to make jokes about everything and blab my personal issues to her friends & my brothers (who teased me constantly). I also grew up insecure. Do you have an aunt, or grandma you feel more comfortable with? Or even a school counselor or nurse? Think about the female adults that you may feel are sensitive, like you. If so, maybe she can talk to your mom with you, to help your mom see that you are a more sensitive girl than she is. You have to tell your mom. But it’s ok to have an aunt or grandma as your personal confidant. Just NEVER a stranger. I’m a grandma who got pinworms frm my grandson. Good luck.

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  62. Jake

    So I took 400mg of Albenza two day ago and although I am feeling the wriggling and scratching to a lesser extent, I still feel them. How long do you estimate for the first group of pinworms to go away after this medication, and thanks in advance Doctor

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    • Kerry F.Figuried

      Then tell me how the Canada goose goes North and South knowing where to go every year. Why does the South American Eeel when put in a Country far far from where he was hatched and yet travel right back to its birthplace. How about the Racing homing pigeons. I took them from my home when never away from their birthplace and let them go over 100 miles and what the Hawks didn’t catch come home back to their home perch. Amazing isn’t it? How glorious is my God.

      You can go with the home Remedies but the nasty little critters will be back. Go to your Pharmacy and over the counter you will find a generic wormer called Pinworm Medicine. For Adults take 3 teaspoons but for children 12 and under only one teaspoon then wait two weeks if they still annoy you. Go back and take it one more time. This should kill most of them and hopefully they will disappear.

      I did Home Remedies with Blackwalnut and Wormwood and this is a gross tasting remedy plus I took Turpentine for a couple of weeks. Results are only temporary. Go to your Dr. My Dr. Told me to get The generic medicine and its working but O saw one again after two weeks and took that one teaspoon.will check it out again. For a week or so. I have an appointment to see the doctor this week. Well we will see.

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  63. maxx

    Do they cause weight loss and dark circles under the eyes and a skinny physique? Because I have treated them 4 to 5 times, but still they keep coming back :( Please help me.

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  64. Estelle Clifton

    I am looking for suggestions on medications for vaginal pinworm. Vermox is oral so would an antibiotic like Bactrim assist in killing a vaginal colony. I do not want to have my household take poison (Vermox) and then just hope my vaginal pinworms go away naturally.

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  65. Anonymous

    I am 17 years old and my question is; is it normal for someone my age to have pinworms?

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  66. anon

    Okay so me and my boyfriend have pinworms. He checked my anus and only saw like 2-3 and when i checked his i saw like 10. Can he have been the carrier? And also, how do I stop the itching just so I can go to sleep? I have had it three times and mine really itches and he said he has had light itching, but he had so many of them, why does mine itch more?

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  67. katie

    Yesterday my daughter said she seen a little skinny white worm in her stool of course I freaked because I’ve seen this befor but I also have a dog so I checked my dogs stool there was a little white worm I now understand dogs can’t get pinworms so any ideah what this is… my dog and daughter sleep together… well did not now…. plz help

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    • Rose

      Sound like your dog has tapeworms from fleas. He needs frontline or Nextguard monthly and drontal from your vet to kill his worms. Your daughters most likely have pinworms.

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  68. Rim

    I have my daughter (6 Years) She is suffering from Pinworm. Diagnosed after my wife and I picked a worm to drs and did the lab analysis. Actually every 2 months (after 2 courses of Vermox interval 15 days) she gets back the worm in the vulva. I believe she had Pinworm in vagina and that Vermox won’t help! How to confirm diagnosis and how to treat? (she complains of itching on these nights)

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  69. kiarrah

    I’m twelve and have pinworms they are so uncomfortable

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  70. Kelly

    And if I did give her already when there were no worms. Because I don’t any any worms. Would that medicine hurt my child’s health? Like liver and other? I am very concerned and please me give your advice :(. Thank you so much Dr.

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  71. Kelly

    Dr prescribed one dose 200 ml albenza for my toddler 18 month old and 19 pound. Is it safe for my children? I was reading it says they don’t usually give children under 2 years old.

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  72. Lauren

    I am an 11 year old girl and I’ve had pinworms twice. I got medication for it the first time and had leftover for the second time. Now I have new pinworms and no more medication. I don’t want to tell my mom again because then another doctors appointment or something. And then we will use MORE money on medication. I have a few questions. Do they just go away automatically? If so how long will it take? And why am I getting pinworms over and over again?! I don’t touch my anus or vaginal area! I also wash my hands and trim my nails! Please help!

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    • Lauren, you sound like a very thoughtful and responsible girl. In the US, the over-the-counter medicine Pyrantel pamoate (which comes in brand names like Pamix, Pin-X, or Reeses Pinworm Medicine) is the most frequently used pinworm remedy because it is cheap and available without a prescription and works almost all the time, if two doses are given two weeks apart.

      Even with effective treatment, getting reinfected is very common. Treating the whole household at the same time can help prevent this. This is also a good time to wash all the bedding. (The hand washing and trimming of the nails you are already doing also helps).

      Without treatment, the adult pinworms live about 2 or 3 months. It’s possible for this to go away on its own. On the other hand, because each adult female worm can produce 10,000 or so eggs, pinworms can keep going and going unless treated.

      There are other things that can cause anal itching besides pinworms, so it’s best to not ignore a recurring problem.

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  73. Cynthia

    I dont know if i have pinworms… Im scared to tell my mom… (Just letting you know im a girl…) i found out today and im scared

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    • Cynthia

      I really freaked out someone please help me

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    • I know pinworms seem pretty gross and scary, but the good news is, they can be easily treated with a prescription from a doctor. Telling your mom will likely be the hardest part, but you need to talk to her to get help. If it feels too hard to say, write it down and give her the note. Try something like this, “Mom, I’m scared. I think I might have pinworms. I think I need to go to the doctor. I know I didn’t do anything wrong to get them, but it feels scary to me. That’s why I’m writing this note. Please help.”

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      • debbie

        sometimes if they scratch a lot they can get a yeast infection also.

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  74. not saying

    Im 11 years old and I found out I have pinworms, but I’m too embarrassed to tell my parents. I’ve hinted once saying my but was itchy and stayed up trying to get it not itchy, but the topic has never come up. What should I do?

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    • I totally understand that this feels embarrassing, but pinworms are pretty common. You do need your parent’s help to deal with the issue. I suggest you pull your mom or dad aside and tell them what’s up. Simply say, “I’m embarrassed and I need your help. I think I have pinworms and I need to see a doctor.”

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  75. Maya

    So I know I have pinworms, I have seen the little white wiggling threads and it itches like crazy. I’m 16, I’m wondering first of all if its normal for someone my age to get this. I was also wondering if I can pick up the medication over the counter instead of going to my doctor. I am hygienic so I was wondering how I got this? I work with kids?

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    • Crystal

      Hi Maya, Working with the kids is the culprit. Many of the kids carry them and it takes some time for them to show symptoms but it’s hard to stay rid of them when working with kids. Good luck.

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  76. Kristen

    My 2 yo has just been diagnosed with pinworms. I have a 5 yo in kindergarten. The eldest has, in the past, complained of itchiness around the anal area, but I did the middle of the night check and nothing. Now that the 2 to has a confirmed case I assume the eldest does too and we just didn’t see them yet.

    My question is should I notify my kindergarteners school? They will usually send home notes of notification when a child has come to school with a confirmed contagious illness like influenza, strep, or lice. And then maybe signs to look for.

    I feel like as a parent information is power, but not sure if classmates should be concerned. Sounds passable enough to be alarming to her classmates moms to me.

    Thanks for the information, when I found out I felt like I didn’t keep my child clean despite being an obsessive hand washer and sheet changer. But this makes me feel more at ease that those are helpful practices, but it’s no guarantee we will avoid this icky situation.

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    • Hi Kristen,

      As a mom, I think it would be great to inform your five year olds’ kindergarten teacher or the school nurse. The school no doubt has a policy about pinworms because they are common. She or he will know what to do from there.

      Hope that helps!
      MsGreene

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    • Ellen

      As a teacher who has gotten pinworms from her students (along with the more common colds, lice, and etc which teachers can catch from their students) AND seen these things spread quickly through the classroom, I know I’m ALWAYS grateful when parents tell me about any contagious illness their children have. I know this is a year later but I hope any parents who read this will take it into consideration :) Also, most teachers realize that pinworms, lice, and so on aren’t caused by poor hygiene, just exposure and bad luck.

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  77. Barb

    What does it mean my “my comment is awaiting moderation”?

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    • Hi Barb,

      That’s a great question. It means your comment is waiting for a live person to read it to make sure it’s not Spam. Once that has been determined, your comment will be posted to the site and anyone can respond.

      I just read your previous comment. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Hope others with real life experience can chime in and help.

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  78. Barb

    My sister and roommate have pinworms and live in a house I am responsible for. They say they are airborne, on the floor in the vacuum, everywhere!!!

    How long could it take for the last possible egg to die?

    Will the house ever be clean of pinworms?

    Does bleach, hot steam, or something else kill worms & eggs?
    Could fly tape catch airborne eggs? Are worms airborne?

    They’ve gone to a motel! Will they contaminate the room???!!!
    If so how would the motel cure infestation?

    Help!! Is there a cleaning protocol for the house & linens, clothes? What else could possibly need heavy cleaning besides the bathroom?

    They stayed three nights at another house. Is that house infected?

    My sister asked for $498.00 for three or four doses of a medicine she called “a poison”. Is that for real? Are there other meds. that cost less and just as effective?

    anything else to know? I haven’t found anywhere that give the really big picture of cleaning the environment to abate the numerous cycles of the pinworms life. Thank you for you help.

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  79. Anon

    I am 17 year old girl and have had pin worms before and was treated with over the counter medication, but they have come back. The medication I took before was two tablets one to be taken at the beginning of the month and one at the end of the month. Do I need to go to my GP or can I just get over the counter medication again and shower morning and night to wash the eggs away? So basically my question is: Do I need to go see my GP? Also, does having pin worms cause white discharge in the female area?

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  80. jacob

    PLEASE READ WHOLE PAGE!!!! I had pin worms for a very long time…..yet i couldn’t find a way to get rid of the, till i found this out, so has anyone out there eaten to muvh spicy food at once, then when you go to the bathroom it burns like heck….well one day i was at school, at lunch we have salads…so i got a salad with LOTS of jalapeno pepper slices on it ( i really like spicy foods )….and the next day when i went to the bathroom…yes it burnt like hell, but its been 2 months since i’ve had problems with the pin worms…..please consider trying….i hope this helps.☺

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  81. rahul

    I m 22 yrs old male ,some time when I go for Bathroom at night along with the things white tiny worms comes out might be 20 to 30 at a time ….no blood came ever but today’s when I was cleaning blood came out hat a bit from the anal ….what should I do I m getting tensed …plz。help

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    • jacob

      Lots of spicy foods…..when you use the bathroom it will burn the worms, and eggs..,trust me, it works,….good luck☺

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  82. kgomotso

    Hi I’m a 22 year old female and struggled with pinworms as a toddler. I have a 3 year old daughter who was diagnosed and treated for pinworms last year. A few days ago when I was sleeping I could feel something tingling down there and when I looked I couldn’t believe but find a small thin white worm. I thought that maybe my daughter was reinfected but just last night when I was sitting I felt the same tingling sensation from my vagina and when I looked it was a small white pinworm. I freaked out and I still am. I’m so embarrassed what could this be and could it be serious?

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    • Ashleu 123

      I have the same situation but my mum don’t believe me I’m 13 and im scared and upset that she don’t belevie me

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      • Juan

        It’s just pinworms, they commonly migrate to the vagina, just tell your parents you’ve seen little white worms in your anus.

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      • mina

        Make her take you to the doctor and maybe she’ll take them more seriously or show her the worms by doing the scoth tape test.

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      • Camille

        Hey, I am 14, I recently found out I have pinworms, i told my mom she was freaking out because she’s never heard of it. We went to the doctor and he said that anyone can get and and all you need to do is get medicine, (over the counter is available) and they should die.

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  83. Scoobs

    Today I used the bathroom and there were really tiny worm looking things in my poop. They were like smaller than 1/4 of an inch and blackish. There were over 30. I saw 2-4 move. I don’t get this. What’s wrong with me? I have no bleeding or nothing wrong with me. Only thing is I realized I lost some weight. I’m 17. And I never had this before and I’m getting worried. Please give me some answers.):

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  84. Elizabeth widdop

    I have threadworm yet again. Maybe 4 to 5 times a year. I have a partner, a 7 year old girl and 4 month old girl. How will I know if the baby has them? And what treatment would I give her? Please can someone advise me?

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    • Lauren

      If your baby has them you would see them in her feces. And just ask your 7 year old and partner if they have them.

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      • kat

        So if I’m correct, I could get the meds by just going to a pharmacy? I’m really embarrassed, so I could just get it right? And how old would you have to be?

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  85. alexis harper

    How do you get rid of pin worms if you can’t afford the treatment for you 3 year old daughter?

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    • Camille

      You can buy the treatment for less than $20 at your local pharmacy or online. That would be enough to treat an entire family.

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  86. Kelly

    Thank you for the informative article. My three year old son was recently prescribed Albenza after I discovered he had pin worms. He was treated 3 nights ago and still woke up last night crying and saying his “boo boo” hurt, which is how I had discovered that pinworms were the culprit. I plan on retreating him in two weeks, but should I be concerned that he was treated several days ago and is stillwwaking up crying? Will they not be completely killed until the second dose in 2 weeks?

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    • J love

      Hi kelly…
      Did you ever find out the answer to your question…
      Recently found my son had them… he was treated 3 dayd ago…and bwm I found anither one today. Im thinking maybe the dose wasnt high enough.. I read 400 is recomended he was given 200… should I wait til the second dose…. please let me know how things turned out.

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  87. Barbara Hogue

    I am 73 yrs old contacted pinworms 4 mo. ag, the medicine u suggested I have had they are back in 7 days, I sanitize everything, I live alone, why dod they keep coming back

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    • Barbara Hogue

      I am 73 live alone with my little dog, I contacted pinworms about 4 mo. ago have been treated with Albenza and Mebendazole, they come back in 7 days, I sterilize all the time what is the problem

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      • Ashleigh

        Treat your dog. It’s probably the culprit. And get some diatomaceous Earth and put it around the house. It’s great and so cheap.

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        • SARAH

          No, actually, if you have a dog and they have pinworms, they wouldn’t be the problem, because animal and human pinworms are a different thing.

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        • McKenzie

          Dogs can’t get pinworms, it is species specific meaning it is only found in humans. They are most likely coming back because the medicine only paralyzes the worms but doesn’t kill the eggs. I suggest taking 2 doses; once, and then another two weeks later.

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          • Jamie

            Well, the original post is old, but I’ll respond anyway. I have read that the eggs can get caught up in an animal’s fur and continue the cycle that way (you somehow inhale the eggs or pet the animal and inadvertently bring your hand to your mouth/nose later). There must be a way to clean the fur to rid it of the eggs??

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