Pinworms are a type of parasite that lives in the digestive system. They are common in both children and in adults. In adults, pinworms are about 12 mm, they look like little white threads. Though they can occur in anyone, school-aged children are the most affected.
Here is an insight on what causes pinworms, how the infection spread and some effective home remedies you can use to treat the infection at home.
What causes pinworms?
In the United States, pinworm infection is said to be the most common intestinal parasite infection. Pinworms eggs are so tiny, they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Children can easily ingest these parasites without knowing.
After the parasites are ingested, they move through your digestive system and lay their eggs in the skin folds around your anus. Though some people may not experience any symptoms, most will experience a burning sensation and extreme itching around the anus.
According to WebMD, most people get infected by accidentally swallowing pinworm eggs. The infection is very contagious and can easily spread in homes, day care centers and other places where a group of people spends time together.
Pinworm eggs can live up to three weeks outside the body. When a person swallows the eggs, the travel to the intestine and hatch into worms, the female worms will then craw to the rectum and lay eggs around the anus.
Mild to severe itching and a burning sensation on the rectum is the most common symptom of pinworm infection. The itching is caused by gelatin-like eggs produced by the female pinworms when they lay eggs around the anus.
Other symptoms will include:
- Stomach cramping especially in the lower abdomen
- Restlessness during the night
- Urinary tract infection especially in female
Home remedies for adults
Pinworms can be annoying but they do not carry disease, in most cases, they rarely cause any serious health problem. In adults, there are some natural remedies you can use to relieve the symptoms and clear the infection.
You will need to maintain a healthy diet which will help your immune system fight against pinworm infection. A poor diet, on the other hand, weakens your immune system, it also deteriorates the function of many of your body organs. This increases the risk of picking up infections.
At home, you can try the following home remedies for pinworms:
1. Fresh garlic
Garlic is one of the most effective home remedies for pinworms. It is rich in many vitamins and nutrients that can be helpful and beneficial to your health.
For a long time now, garlic has been used in treating medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and coronary diseases among others.
Garlic can be used in two ways when treating pinworm infection:
- Used internally by adding it to dishes
- Grinding it into a fine paste then applying around anus to relieve the itching and burning sensation
Ingesting too much garlic may cause some side effects including heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea. Studies show that too much garlic can increase bleeding during surgery. Use the remedy in moderation and you are good to go.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is the other effective remedy you can use to treat pinworm infections at home. The oil is said to be rich in antiviral and antibacterial properties excellent for getting rid of parasitic infections.
To use coconut oil as a remedy, ingest a tablespoon of the oil ever morning while rubbing some of it around your anus. This will help treat the infection while relieve and soothing your skin of the itching, and burning sensation.
Carrot contains beta-carotene, an active ingredient that helps fight off free radicals and viruses. You can choose to take carrot mash or salad, an advantage of this remedy is that there are no side effects, so you can take as much of the remedy as you can.
4. Pumpkin seed
Crash raw pumpkin seed, simmer them in water for an hour then strain the seeds using a filter. Drink the remedy to flush put any kinds of intestinal parasites.
An alternative would be to blend pumpkin seed with yogurt. This combination will help with digestion and also get rid of pinworms from your intestines.
5. Clove and flaxseeds
A combination of crushed clove and flaxseeds can also be effective in getting rid of pinworms. Add the mixture to your food once a day. Do this consecutively for three days to clear off the pinworm eggs in your digestive tract.
This remedy can also be used by children, but do not prolong its use for more than three days. It tends to increase the body temperature, especially for children.
Getting rid of pinworms in toddlers
For children, you can use the following home remedies:
Raisins contain chemicals that can be used to drive pinworms away. They are sweet, making them good for children.
Raisins are also rich in fiber, they can thus help your kid clean his or her digestive system. When used, the bowels remain softer, therefore the pinworms will have fewer chances to cling to the internal system of your baby.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are good for your health. For children, yogurt is the best home remedy for not only pinworms but also for other digestive problems as well.
Taking probiotics such as yogurt will aid in digestion and keep your digestive tract clean. When used, probiotics will fill your child’s digestive system with essential digestive enzymes and bacteria.
8. Grapefruits seed extracts
Grapefruits seed extract has been used for long now to cleanse the digestive tract. This makes grapefruits seed extract an effective remedy for pinworm infection.
The extract is said to be able to protect your body from parasitic infections including ringworms and pinworms. You can buy the oil at any drugstore near you, add two tablespoons of the oil extract in a glass of water and drink the solution thrice a day.
For some people, taking this remedy may make them cough up live worms, you need to be prepared.
Wormwood is also a powerful remedy that can be used as a home remedy for pinworms. Most parts of this plant are used to treat an array of medical conditions ranging from stomach upset, intestinal spasm, to loss of appetite.
Isothujone, thujone, and santonin all active ingredients of wormwood makes it an effective home remedy for pinworms. These anti-parasitic ingredients work by killing all the worm in your digestive tract and around the anus.
To use the remedy, mix a few drop of wormwood in water or in tea and give it to your child on an empty stomach.
Home remedies for pinworm itching
an itchy anus can be annoying and embarrassing especially when occurring in public. Apart from pinworm infection, itching can have varied causes which include allergic reaction, contact dermatitis, skin infections, and irritations.
Here are some of the most effective remedies for pinworm itching:
Apple cider vinegar
When the pinworms cause severe itching, apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective home remedies you can use. ACV is said to have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-itching properties.
To use the remedy:
- Add a cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in your bathing water
- Soak you buttock in this water for half an hour
- Pat your body dry then a apply a light moisturizer to keep your skin moisturized
- Avoid irritating clothes
Onion has naturally occurring sulfur which makes it an effective home remedy for pinworms. All you need to do is slices fresh onion and soak them in water overnight, drink the water thrice a day use some of it to clean your itchy skin.
Lemon juice is also a great remedy you can use on itchy skin. Lemon juice contains citric and acetic acids said to have great antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching properties.
To use the remedy, extract the juice from a fresh lemon, apply it on the affected area with a clean cotton ball, and then let it dry on your skin before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Do not use this remedy if you have a sensitive skin.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera gel is the other great remedy you can use to soothe itching caused by pinworms around the anus. The gel is rich in excellent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-itching properties.
Aloe Vera also contains vitamin E that when applied on skin helps keep the skin moisturized. This is what helps soothe itching.
- Extract the gel from fresh aloe plant
- Gently apply it around the anus an on itchy part of buttocks
- Leave it on for a few minutes then rinse it off with lukewarm water
Peppermint oil is said to be rich in anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and soothing properties that may help relieve itching and burning sensation caused by pinworm infection around the anus.
To use this remedy:
- Add few drops of peppermint oil in a basin half filled with warm water
- Soak your buttocks in the water for 20 minutes
- Pat your buttocks dry with a clean towel and apply a moisturizing lotion
- You will need to do this at least twice a day
Both over-the-counter and prescription medication can be used to kill the pinworms. The goal of treating the infection is to prevent its spread to other people and keep you from getting infected again.
When using over the counter pinworm medicine, you will need 2 doses, 2 weeks apart. The first dose may kill the worm but not the eggs, the second dose, on the other hand, will kill any worms hatch after the first dose.
Over-the-counter medicine for pinworms may not be safe for pregnant women and children below 2 years. For this reason, pregnant women and children should not use over-the-counter medication, if you have to treat worms, have your doctor prescribe the medication.
To reduce the risk of infection, other household members may also need to be treated for the infection. When using OTC, see you healthcare provider if:
- The medicine fails to clear the infection
- The medicine has side effects or
- Symptoms get worse
How to prevent pinworm infection
Pinworms, as said, are very contagious and can at times take longer to treat. There are however somethings you can do reduce the risk of spreading the infection or getting infected again. To prevent pinworms in both adults and children:
- Make sure to always wash your hands after going to the toilet and before eating anything
- Avoid scratching your anus, and always keep your fingernails short and clean
- Maintain proper personal hygiene by showering daily and changing your inner clothing regularly
- Do not share towels and washcloths
- Stay away from carbohydrate and sugary foods
- Pinworms, meaning, causes and treatment: https://www.webmd.com/children/tc/pinworms-topic-overview#1