Mister Private loves animals, humans and all living things, but he hates pinworms with a passion.
You catch pinworms by ingesting eggs from contaminated food, drink or hands. Pinworms are transferred from the anus to the fingers and then to another surface, where they can survive for two or three weeks. Pinworms are the result of poor hygiene and are usually found in places with a warmer climate.
At first, pinworms won’t cause any symptoms, but as the infection worsens, you will experience itching of the anal or vaginal area, insomnia, irritability and restlessness, and certain gastrointestinal symptoms like stomach aches and nausea. A doctor tests for pinworms using a cellophane tape test. Some people even do this test on their own. The doctor will put a piece of tape around the anus and inspect it under a microscope to look for eggs. Sometimes, you can even see the worms.
Pinworms can lead to urinary tract infections, vaginitis, endometritis and weight loss. To rid yourself of pinworms you can try an over-the-counter pinworm medication, like Pyrantel (Pin-X), which kills adult worms and larvae and eggs. You may also use a soothing ointment or cream on the areas irritated by itching. Pinworm reinfection can easily occur, so you have to be careful not to touch the area, to wash your hands (especially under your fingernails), to clean your toilet seats and to wash any clothing or bed sheets. Additionally, because pinworms are so contagious, you will want to use a preventative treatment on everyone you live with.