Pinworm Infection (cont.)

How is pinworm infection treated?

With either prescription or over-the-counter drugs. You should consult your health care provider before treating a suspected case of pinworm. Treatment involves a two-dose course. The second dose should be given 2 weeks after the first.

What if the pinworm infection occurs again?

The infected person should be treated with the same two-dose treatment. Close family contacts should also be treated. If the infection occurs again, you should search for the source of the infection. Playmates, schoolmates, close contacts outside the house, and household members should be considered. Each infected person should receive the usual two-dose treatment. In some cases it may be necessary to treat with more than two doses. One option is four to six treatments spaced 2 weeks apart.

How can I prevent the spread of infection and reinfection?

  • Bathe when you wake up to help reduce the egg contamination.
  • Change and wash your underwear each day. Frequent changing of night clothes are recommended.
  • Change underwear, night clothes, and sheets after each treatment. Because the eggs are sensitive to sunlight, open blinds or curtains in bedrooms during the day.
  • Personal hygiene should include washing hands after going to the toilet, before eating and after changing diapers.
  • Trim fingernails short.
  • Discourage nail-biting and scratching bare anal areas. These practices help reduce the risk of continuous self reinfection.

Cleaning and vacuuming the entire house or washing sheets every day are probably not necessary or effective. Screening for pinworm infection in schools or institutions is rarely recommended. Children may return to day care after the first treatment dose, after bathing, and after trimming and scrubbing nails.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Last Editorial Review: 5/22/2007