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.
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.
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.
Good hygiene will help reduce the spread of the parasites.
Hand washing after handling bedding, diapers, underwear, and other items that may contain the infective pinworm eggs will also help.
Cleaning under the fingernails and not biting the fingernails will also help reduce the chance of contacting the parasites.
Clothes, especially underwear, should be changed and washed daily to help prevent spreading the disease.
Treating everyone infected in a household at the same time may help prevent recurrence and spread to others.
Because the eggs remain infective for up to three weeks in a moist environment, prevention of spread and reinfection is difficult but possible.
Pinworms At A Glance
Pinworm infections are caused by worm-like parasites that infect humans'
intestines and rectal/anal areas.
Young children and their household members are at risk for pinworm
Pinworms are visible; they range in size from 2-13 mm, are white, and
resemble a worm but the pinworm eggs are small, transparent and can be seen only
with a microscope.
Pinworm infections are spread person-to-person by ingesting pinworm eggs
that have contaminated fingers, bedding, clothing or other items.
The symptoms of pinworm infection are discomfort and itching in the anal/rectal area;
itching is common in females.
Pinworm infections are diagnosed by identifying the visible worms around
the anal area or by identifying the parasites and eggs microscopically on
transparent tape applied to the anal/rectal area.
There are several medications available to treat pinworms; some can be
purchased without a prescription; most of the treatment is done at home.
Aside from the discomfort of itching, a few individuals can get secondary
infections from the infection, and infrequently, the parasites may invade both
the male or female genital tracts.
Pinworm infections are prevented by good hygiene, hand washing, and
sanitization of bedding, clothing toy,s and other items that may be contaminated
with pinworm eggs; although it is difficult because the eggs may survive in a
moist environment for 3 weeks.