Do you know what are pinworms? Well, these are worms which cause incessant itching in the anal area among kids, as well as some adults.
Pinworms are parasites which affect the intestines. It is this infection which causes severe itching in the rectum of kids and makes them extremely agitated. Fortunately this infection is curable and does not cause any other side effects except for the infuriating phantom itch inside the anus. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon and can affect, even the most hygienic people and does not specifically target unhealthy individuals.
Pinworms or Enterobius Vermicularis is a type of infection which affects children the most. This is the main reason why doctors advise that children be given anti-worm medications every 6 months so as to create resistance against this infection. This worm affects only humans, as we are their natural hosts. This is by far the most common and widespread infection in the world, with 40 million cases within America itself!
How Do You Get Pinworms?
The infection can get transferred through almost any contaminated surface. Pinworms in adults is also not a rare phenomenon. Adults must be careful not to transfer the infection to kids as they are most vulnerable to the infection. The worm eggs get embedded under the nails, which then get transferred when kids or adults put their fingers in their mouth. The eggs can get stuck to clothing, spoons, pages of notebooks to almost any other item. What actually happens it that once these eggs are accidentally ingested by humans, the eggs take a few days to hatch after which they develop into mature adults.
These worms dwell in between the small and the larger intestine, where they mature further until they are old enough to reproduce. The female worms reach down to the rectum, after which they travel towards the anus during the nighttime, where they lay their eggs along the anal walls. An adult worm lives for approximately 3 weeks after which its eggs take over. These eggs need humid and warm conditions to live, which is easily available at the anus.
- The most common symptom of pinworms in kids is the constant or sudden itching in the anus, which gets more excruciating during the nights when the female worms are laying their eggs at the anus. What usually follows is that children not knowing any better or simply not being able to control the itching, try to scratch the area.
- If the scratching causes bruises, it can trigger further infection for the child. On scratching the affected area, the eggs get deposited on the fingers and within the nails.
- When these fingers touch other surfaces of the house or the skin, other family members can also get affected by this infection.
- Sometimes these worms do not go away when the hands are washed. This is because the hands were not thoroughly washed with an antibacterial liquid soap.
- One of the symptoms of any form of worms in the child will show through white patches or dull to very faint circles of dry skin on the face and neck. If you see these on your child’s skin, you must consult the doctor for prescribed anti worm medications which are to be given every 6 months without fail.
- The best treatment is to purchase pinworm medication from either the doctor or over-the-counter.
- It’s important to wash your hands as often as possible with a sanitizing hand wash.
- Wash your undergarments every day with an antimicrobial wash.
- Get your bedspread and blankets washed regularly.
- Do not scratch the affected area.
- Keep your fingernails short so that the worm eggs do not get stuck underneath the nails.
Parents may check their child’s stool, in order to look for any signs of worms. They must get the child checked by the doctor who will conduct a swab test so as to check the existence of pinworm eggs in and around the skin of the anus. This infection can be cured within a week, and all it takes is the proper medication.