Pinworm Infection (cont.)

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What are the consequences of untreated pinworms?

When untreated, pinworms can cause:

How are pinworms prevented?

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.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery

REFERENCE: Parasites - Enterobiasis.

Lamps L. Infectious causes of appendicitis. Infect. Dis. Clin. North Am., 24(4):995-1015, 2010.

Previous contributing author: Robert Ferry Jr., MD

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2015

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Pinworms - Experience Question: Did more than one member of your family become infected with pinworms?
Pinworms - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with pinworm infection? Were you surprised by the diagnosis?
Pinworms - Treatment Question: What forms of treatment, including medication, did you or a relative receive for a pinworm infection?