Pinworms: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/19/2020

Pinworms are tiny, visible parasites (Enterobius vermicularis) that infect the intestines and rectal/anal areas of humans.

Discomfort and itching in the anal area are the main symptoms of pinworms. Other signs and symptoms associated with pinworms include

Some people may experience abdominal pain or secondary bacterial skin infections that arise after scratching.

Cause of a pinworm infection

Pinworm infections spread from person to person by ingesting pinworm eggs that have contaminated fingers, bed linens, clothing, or other items. Young and school-aged children are at greatest risk for pinworm infection.

Other pinworm infection symptoms and signs

  • Insomnia or Restlessness During Sleep Due to the Irritated Skin
  • Itching in the Anal Area
  • Painful Urination
  • Rash Around the Anus or Vagina
  • Vaginal Itching
  • Visible Pinworms in the Anus, Vagina, or on Stools


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.