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Simple Home Remedies For Pinworms

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more

Introduction: 

Pinworms are parasitic worms that survive in the rectal and intestinal regions of the infected person. Pinworms can infect people of all ages, especially children. Pinworms, also known as threadworms, are white/light grey tiny worms that cause the common infection known as enterobiasis, found more commonly in children than adults. Symptomatic pinworm infection is an issue of concern though the treatment for pinworms is simple.1,2 

pinworms treatment at home

Family members and people taking care of infected children are at a higher risk of infection. The most common sources of pinworm infection are preschools, schools and day-care centres.1 If anyone in your family is infected with pinworms, you should get help from a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment. You can also try some home remedies; read along to find some home remedies to help take care of pinworms treatment at home.  

What Causes Pinworms? 

The eggs of pinworms, when swallowed, can cause infection.3 The infection spreads in the following manner:  

  • The worms lay eggs around the anus of the person, which makes it itchy.    
  • When the infected person scratches or touches their anus, the eggs transfer to the fingers and fingernails.    
  • The eggs are then transferred to surfaces and to other people, who swallow them when they touch their mouths.    
  • The eggs then enter the digestive system and hatch in the intestines of the infected person.    
  • After hatching, the female pinworms pass through the rectum and lay eggs on the anus.  
  • These eggs can survive up to two to three weeks under the fingernails, on the fingers, and on surfaces of clothes, toilet seats etc.  
  • These eggs can also be spread through contaminated food if the food is touched by an infected person without washing hands.1,3  

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies for Fissure

Symptoms of Pinworms: 

If you have a pinworm infection, you can notice the following symptoms:  

  • Vaginal itching: Rarely, pinworms also migrate to the vaginal area in females and may cause symptoms like discharge from the vagina and itching in the vaginal region. In some cases, they can cause vulvovaginitis (inflammation of the vulva and vagina).  
  • Anal itching: This happens particularly at night. Anal itching can be mild to severe.  
  • Sleeplessness: Since the itching gets worse at night, you may have trouble sleeping, which may further lead to reduced concentration, weight loss and fatigue.    
  • Bedwetting: Less common signs of pinworms may include bedwetting.1,2,3  

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Ringworm

Did you know?

Suggested Home Remedies for Pinworms: 

The following home remedies can be used for dealing with pinworm infection at home: 

1. Bitter Melons  

Consuming bitter melons (bitter gourds) every day for about one and a half weeks can benefit in eliminating pinworm.4 You can take two bitter gourds and remove the seeds. Then, extract the juice and drink small portions of this juice three to four times a day. 

2. Palash Seeds  

Palasha seeds also help in getting relief from pinworm infestation. You can consume palasha seeds powder along with castor oil before going to bed.5 

3. Kalmegh  

Kalmegh is a herb that has several benefits, including the ability to provide relief from intestinal worms and pinworms in particular. You may make a paste of kalmegh and consume this paste early morning on an empty stomach for a week.5  

4. Garlic  

Garlic contains sulphur, which helps expel worms.4 Take garlic, cloves and carrot, and extract the juice from all three components together. You can consume this mixture frequently throughout the day.6 

5. Cherry Tomato  

The cherry tomatoes are beneficial against pinworm infection as they can help to control the infection. To obtain benefits, take one cup of cherry tomatoes and mix them with grounded black pepper and a small amount of salt. Consume on an empty stomach for a few days.6 

6. Parijat  

Parijat flowers help to control and kill pinworms. They are very beneficial as they also wipe out worm eggs from the stomach. The flowers can be consumed in the form of curry during the winters.6  

7. Brahmi  

Brahmi has the ability to kill pinworms. You can take Brahmi in the form of the extract on an empty stomach in the morning for a few weeks. It is also being used by Ayurvedic practitioners to treat pinworm infections.6  

8. Turmeric  

Pinworms can be managed with dry turmeric powder.6 You can also make turmeric tea by adding a small amount of turmeric to one cup of hot water and boiling it for five to 10 minutes. Drink every day to get the benefits.  

Prevention in children especially by Trimming of fingernails should be encouraged.
Children should be advised to avoid sucking their fingers and touching their perianal area.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Also Read: Home Remedies For Tonsillitis

Preventive Measures 

Other possible ways to prevent a pinworm infection is by ensuring cleanliness in the following ways:  

  • You must frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water. Ensure that your kids wash their hands, too, especially prior to eating.    
  • Avoid touching the anal area.    
  • To lower the risk of spreading infection, keep surfaces such as toys, counters, toilets, utensils, dishes, etc., clean.    
  • Take a shower every day to remove some of the eggs from the skin. It is better to use separate bathrooms for bathing until the infection is over.    
  • Keep your fingernails clean and trimmed to avoid transmitting the eggs. Do not bite your nails.  
  • Wash linens every day without shaking the laundry to avoid the spread of infection until the completion of the treatment.    
  • Change your underwear every day and wash it at 40  °C or above.    
  • Regular washing of the anal region must be done, especially in the morning after getting up.    
  • Infected people should be informed about the clinical picture and modes of transmission.1,2  

Pinworm infection if left untreated can be a cause of secondary bacterial infections due to intense itching and scratching and untreated people can continue to infect other people.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

When to Seek Medical Help? 

You must keep the following points in mind: 

  • If the anal itching worsens at night, especially for children, you must contact your doctor.  
  • Pinworm infection can also lead to several serious conditions such as vulvovaginitis, urinary tract infections, abdominal issues, and bacterial infections (when a person scratches an infected area) may cause wounds, which may become infected.1,2 These conditions need medical attention, and you should seek your doctor’s advice for diagnosis and treatment. 

Also Read: How to Stop Itchy Anus at Night: Effective, Research-Backed Solutions

Conclusion: 

Parasitic worms called pinworms or threadworms survive in the rectal regions of the infected person. Though pinworms can infect people of all ages, children are more commonly affected as they are in close social contact with other kids who may be infected. Also, they have habits like nail-biting and may not wash their hands properly before meals. You can avoid pinworm infection by maintaining good hygiene. Several home remedies like garlic, bitter melons, turmeric, kalmegh, etc., may help you deal with pinworm infection. Rarely, there may be some serious complications due to pinworms. Therefore, you must consult a doctor if the problem persists even after trying the home remedies.  

Also Read: Home Remedies for Loose Motion

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can we get a pinworm infection without staying in close vicinity of an infected person?   

Yes, pinworm infection can spread from linen and undergarments used by an infected person, inhaling eggs that travel through the air and through pets as they carry eggs on their fur.1 

What complications are associated with pinworm infection? 

Though rare, some serious complications of pinworm infestation are urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal and abdominal problems, appendicitis (a condition in which the appendix becomes inflamed and painful), inflammation of the vagina and the lining of the uterus, and bacterial infections.1 

Can pinworm infections lead to weight loss?

Yes, people having pinworm infections may have trouble sleeping, and this may further cause weight loss and fatigue.1 

Is it possible to treat pinworm infections at home? 

Yes, there are a few effective home remedies to deal with pinworm infections, such as Brahmi, garlic, cherry tomatoes, turmeric, parijat etc. Though complications related to pinworm infestation are rare, you must consult a doctor if the problem persists even after following the home remedies.4-6 

References: 

  1. Cleaveland clinic. Pinworms. [Internet] Available from:  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21137-pinworms 
  1. Wendt S, Trawinski H, Schubert S, Rodloff AC, Mössner J, Lübbert C. The diagnosis and treatment of pinworm infection. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2019 Mar;116(13):213. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31064642/  
  1. NHS. Threadworms. [Internet] Available from: Threadworms – NHS (www.nhs.uk) 
  1. Ferrell V, Harolodm M, Cherne MD. The Master book of Home remedies. Natural remedies encyclopedia. 4th Edition. Available from: https://ia802907.us.archive.org/2/items/sdavanceferrellnaturalremediesencyclopedianewer/SDA%20-%20Vance%20Ferrell%20-%20Natural%20Remedies%20Encyclopedia%20Newer.pdf  
  1. Ayurveda offering herbal healing. AYUSH division ESIC. [Internet] Available from: https://www.esic.nic.in/attachments/publicationfile/7d11b02e5abb4717d53b4ce05efabd21.pdf 
  1. Hazarika P, Pandey BK. Traditional phyto-remedies for worm infestations of two important tribal communities of Assam, India. Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines. 2010 Feb 20;5(1):32-9. Available from: https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/66674245/AJTM201051_4-libre.pdf  

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