Pinworms (Pinworm Infection in Children and Adults, Enterobiasis)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Pinworms Pictures Slideshow: Symptoms, Treatments, and Medication

Which specialties of doctors treat pinworms?

The majority of pinworm infected patients can be treated by the patient’s primary care or pediatric physician. Rarely, an infectious disease specialist, parasitologist, OB/GYN, gastroenterologist or dermatologist is consulted.

How is the tape test used in diagnosing pinworms?

If pinworms are suspected, transparent adhesive tape or a pinworm paddle (supplied by your health care professional) are applied to the anal region. The eggs (and sometimes the parasites themselves) adhere to the sticky tape or paddle and are identified by examination under a microscope. The test is sometimes referred to as "the Tape Test."

The test should be done as soon the affected individual wakes up in the morning (because bathing or having a bowel movement may remove most eggs and parasites). The exam may require several samples for diagnosis. Samples taken from under the fingernails may also contain eggs (since scratching of the anal area is common by affected individuals).

At night, the adult worms can sometimes be seen directly in bedclothes or around the anal area: this is another good time to detect the parasites with the transparent adhesive tape method.

Are there natural or home remedies that treat pinworms?

There are many natural and/or home remedies for pinworms although there is a lack of data to support claims. Some of the many suggested remedies include the following:

  • Garlic
  • Coconut (grated)
  • Grapefruit seed extract and paste
  • Grated carrots daily
  • Onion juice 3 x per day for 2 days
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Wormwood extract

The above are just a few of the remedies. Check with your doctors before using these remedies.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/27/2016

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