What Is Pinworms: Causes, Symptoms, And Home Remedies

One of the most common parasitic infection that affects most of the kids worldwide is pinworm infection. It may also infect adults if necessary precautions are not taken. If your child is harbouring these tiny pinworms, read this article to acknowledge pinworm home remedies.

What Are Pinworms

Pinworms are white coloured tiny but visible worms that live in the intestine of humans. They feed by absorbing the nutrients from the host animal. The medical condition associated with pinworm infection is known as helminthiasis or enterobiasis.

What Causes Pinworms

The Pinworm infection is highly contagious and can quickly spread from one person to another on ingesting their eggs via contaminated fingers, bedding and clothing. The cycle of pinworm infection begins when one ingests the microscopic eggs. Eggs remain in the intestine for some time. When the eggs hatch and mature, adult worms move into the colon and exit the human body through the anus. While exiting, the female pinworm lay eggs in the anal area in the skin folds. The presence of these microscopic eggs is responsible for itching and irritation in the anal area. Infection can be easily transported. When children scratch the infected anal area, eggs get carried to beddings, toys and clothing through their fingers. These eggs can survive for some hours on the fingers, and they can survive on infected objects for several weeks. Pinworm can affect people of all ages, but children are more susceptible because they do not practice regular hand washing and may put infected toys and objects directly in their mouth.  Adults can also inhale the airborne eggs while shaking contaminated beddings etc.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pinworm Infection

Signs and symptoms of pinworm infection are:

  • Itching and discomfort in the anal/rectal area
  • Skin irritation or rash around the rectal area
  • Difficulty in sleeping due to itching and irritation
  • Few children may also complain abdominal pain
  • Increased appetite in spite of gaining weight
  • In some cases loss of appetite
  • Presence of pinworms in stool and anal

Serious complications are rare. Occasionally untreated infection may cause urinary tract infection

Pinworm infection can be easily diagnosed with the help of tape test. Effective medications to treat pinworms are Mebendazole. Albendazole (Albenza) and Pyrantel pamoate. Specific home remedies for pinworms are discussed below.

Home Remedies for Pinworms
Home Remedies for Pinworms

Home Remedies To Cure Pinworms

  1. Raw garlic- Garlic is believed to kill the eggs. Naturopaths also suggest garlic tea enema, which helps in killing the worms. Alos, it is antibacterial and antifungal.

How to use

Ingest raw garlic or apply it topically on the affected area. Grind few cloves of garlic. Mix it with a base oil or petroleum jelly. Apply it on the affected area with the help of a clean cotton swab. Avoid direct application if you have sensitive skin and experience burning sensation. The direct application should also be avoided in case of inflammation in the affected area or bleeding haemorrhoids.

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  1. Coconut oil- Coconut oil can be directly applied to the affected area. It is antimicrobial and anti-fungal like monocaprin and monolaurin. It protects our body both internally and externally from pinworms.

What to do

With the help of a cotton swab apply coconut oil directly to the anus. Repeat this three times for a few days.

  1. Apple cider vinegar- Daily consumption of apple cider vinegar helps in improving your gut health. It restores pH balance and creates an unsuitable environment for the pinworms to thrive.

What to do

Dilute 1 -2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of water. Drink this mixture once or twice a day.

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  1. Castor oil– Castor oil is loaded with anti-microbial and anti-parasitic properties. It also has a laxative effect, and this helps in flushing the worms out effectively.

What to do

Consume one teaspoon of castor oil once daily.

  1. Tea tree oil- Tea tree oil is loaded with antifungal and antibacterial properties. Dilute the oil with a carrier oil to avoid the irritating sensitive skin. Essential oils for pinworms may also be used instead of tea tree oil.

What to do

Add  2- 4 drops of tea tree oil in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil like coconut oil and mix well. Apply this in the night to the affected area for at least a week.

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  1. Carrots- Eating carrots or drinking carrot juice helps in improving resistance to parasitic infections. Carrot is rich in beta-carotene and fibres. High fibre content enhances bowel movements and pushes pinworms out of the intestine.

What to do

Drink one cup carrot juice two times in a day to get rid of pinworms naturally.

  1. Pumpkin seeds– Pumpkin seeds are edible and are full of valuable nutrients. They are rich in antioxidants and helps in reducing inflammation.

What to do

A handful of dried pumpkin seeds are recommended daily on an empty stomach for 10-15 days for expelling the pinworms.

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  1. Onion juice- Onions are rich in compounds like fructans, flavonoids and organosulphur. Fructans help in maintaining gastrointestinal health. It sustains bacterial balance in the intestinal flora and also promotes healing of stomach ulcers. Sulphur compounds in onion act as anti-parasitic and helps in killing the pinworm.

What to do

Peel the onion and cut it into small pieces. Soak onion slices in one cup water for at least 8 hours. Grind it along with water in a mixer and strain it for use.

Drink onion juice empty stomach for 5 -7 days for better results.

*Home remedies are not recommended as the first line of treatment. They should always be used along with medication for required results.

Prevention is always better than cure. Re-infection should be prevented, and measures should be taken to eliminate the eggs.

Prevention Measures:

  • Encourage thorough hand washing with water and soap, especially before eating food.
  • Ensure that household member to shower daily.
  • Discourage children from nail biting and thumb sucking. Keep their fingernails short and clean.
  • Instruct the infected person to avoid scratching the anal area.
  • Use hot water to wash all the beddings, clothing and towels.
  • Avoid shaking bedding and clothing to prevent spreading of pinworm eggs in the air.
  • Regularly clean the toys and objects which are frequently used by children.

Home remedies discussed in this article gives effective and fast results. So go ahead and try them out.

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