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Pinworms : Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Friday, August 17th 2012. | Digestive System

Pinworms Definition

The pinworm is the infestation of the intestines of humans by pinworms or small grubs.

This is a very common and very contagious. The pinworm is a cosmopolitan parasitic disease caused by small intestinal worms, pinworms (scientific name: Enterobius vermicularis).

This parasitic disease especially common in young children and very contagious can affect the entire family. The effectiveness of its management faces the problem of self-infestation or reinfestation that can be prevented only by a strict observance of hygiene and medication.


Pinworms (img thank to pinworms.co)

Pinworms Causes

This is a mild disease highly contagious mas.

Adult pinworms live in the intestine, in the first part of the colon at the caeco-appendicular region.

Once mated, females earn the rectum and the anal margin.There they lay eggs fertilized (about 10,000 per day) who are responsible for human infection.

Scratching the anus to relieve itching (pruritis) caused by the parasite, the patient collects the eggs under his fingernails and spreads on the objects it touches.

These infective forms of the parasite are also deposited on the skin, the bedding and clothing, and can survive in dust for 3 weeks.

The eggs enter the body through food, soiled hands or objects placed in the mouth, or inhalation of contaminated dust.

After hatching in the stomach, they release larvae that migrate to the colon where they become adults.

Without treatment, the parasite’s life cycle, which lasts three weeks, again.

Pinworms Symptoms

The central sign is itching in the anal region.

The pinworm infection can be asymptomatic (no signs) or occur only by a sometimes fierce anal itching. The hallmark of the infection occurs mainly at night when sleeping. Some patients also have diarrhea, quite common in cases of heavy infestation, abdominal pain or loss of appetite (anorexia).

In children, prolonged infestation can cause sleep disturbances, irritability, a nervousness, nightmares. In girls, pinworm sometimes go back to the vulva or vagina and cause vulvitis or vaginitisHowever, controversy continues about their role in the occurrence of acute appendicitis.

Pinworms Diagnosis

The discovery of pinworms or possibly a specific test, the method of Scotch-test, called Graham

All pruritus ani should be suspected diagnosis of pinworms, especially in children.

It can be confirmed by simple observation of pinworms to the naked eye or on the edges of the anus or the vulva or in the stool. They are small grubs, fine and round, about 1 cm long.

The discovery of parasite eggs is less easy. They are rarely found in the stool by parasitological examination.

To highlight them, we must use the method of Scotch-test, called Graham of applying a transparent adhesive tape (cellophane tape) on the banks of the anus deplisse, the morning before bathing and defecation. The eggs stick to the tape and their presence is revealed by microscopic examination.

Pinworms Treatment

The treatment combines hygiene and taking an anti parasitic.

This treatment is administered as tablets or syrup typically given as a single dose at bedtime, not only the child but also to all members of his family.

Given the duration of the parasitic cycle, it must be renewed 21 days later if the eggs have been ingested on the day of the first dose.

Other measures are needed simultaneously:

  • Change the linen and bedding, boil the sheets, underwear, pajamas … and if possible dry them in a dryer;
  • Thoroughly clean surfaces liable to be contaminated, especially toys, and the patient environment (washing, vacuuming);
  • How carefully the household equally between the two treatments (egg survival in the environment);
  • Keep the nails short and clean, wash hands regularly.


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