The infestation with Pinworms is a parasite infestation that rarely leads to serious damage to health. However, the re-infection rate is very high, so treatment is important.
Pinworms initially do not cause any clear symptoms or complaints. When excreting the worms, an unpleasant itching can occur in the area of the anus, often combined with burning pain or problems with bowel movements.
Of the Pinworm is a human parasite. This means that it almost exclusively affects humans (in exceptional cases primates such as great apes can also be affected by pinworms). In humans, pinworms usually affect children, but adults are also at high risk of infection.
It is estimated that half of all children will experience pinworm infestation at least once in their lifetime. In technical jargon, pinworm infestation is also known as oxyuriosis. Pinworms settle in humans in the large and small intestines. Pinworm infestation often causes severe itching in the area of the anus. The itching is particularly pronounced at night. In other cases the pinworm infestation remains asymptomatic and therefore often undetected.
In the case of pinworm infestation, the colony of pinworms that settle in the intestine can contain several hundred parasites.
To an infestation with Pinworms it can come from contact with infected people, for example. The pinworm can also be transmitted through contact with excrement. An infection usually occurs through ingestion of pinworm eggs, from which larvae develop and eventually settle in the intestine.
A pinworm infestation can also result from contact with clothes or toys of infected people, as the pinworm's eggs can survive here for several weeks.
Other possible causes of pinworm infestation can be the consumption of fish or meat that has not been adequately cooked or the consumption of wild berries or mushrooms that have not been washed. Finally, pinworm infestation can also be caused by the consumption of fruit, vegetables or lettuce that has been fertilized with faeces.
Pinworms initially do not cause any clear symptoms or complaints. When excreting the worms, an unpleasant itching can occur in the area of the anus, often combined with burning pain or problems with bowel movements. The itching can in turn cause secondary symptoms such as insomnia, irritability and nervousness. Outwardly, the increasing exhaustion shows in skin pallor and dark circles.
The pinworms themselves can lay eggs and thereby cause chronic gastrointestinal diseases, gastrointestinal complaints, hemorrhoids and other health problems. In the long term, a massive worm infestation can lead to chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding or signs of appendicitis. This can be accompanied by weight loss and deficiency symptoms.
If the pinworms are not treated, well-being continues to decline and the symptoms increase in intensity. In the worst case, an infestation causes a chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms of a pinworm infestation usually become noticeable after one to two days.
The deposited eggs cause further complaints after a few hours to days. With early and comprehensive treatment, the symptoms will weaken after a few days and eventually subside. Long-term consequences usually do not occur in the case of an infestation with pinworms.
Very rarely introduces Pinworm infestation serious damage to the health of an affected person. However, if there is pinworm infestation, the risk of re-infection is very high: Female pinworms preferably leave the rectum at night to lay their eggs around the anus. These eggs are already infectious after a few hours.
The suspected diagnosis of pinworm infestation can initially arise due to the typical, severe itching in the anus area. This diagnosis can be confirmed, for example, by finding female, dead pinworms on bed linen or pajamas. These pinworms can be seen with the naked eye. In the case of pinworm infestation, a smear in the area of the anus can be used to detect the pinworm eggs under the microscope.
As a rule, pinworms are not a serious disease. In most cases, it can be treated again relatively easily and quickly so that there are no particular complications. However, the symptoms of this disease are very unpleasant and can lead to psychological complaints or inferiority complexes.
The pinworms can reappear, especially after successful treatment. Those affected themselves suffer from a very unpleasant itching in the anus. White worms can also be seen in stool. It is not uncommon for patients to feel ashamed of this complaint. As a rule, the diagnosis can be made very quickly, so that this complaint can also be treated early and quickly.
In most cases, the pinworms are treated with medication. These can kill the pinworms, so that the symptoms disappear again relatively quickly. However, those affected are dependent on increased hygiene so that this complaint does not arise again. Life expectancy is not reduced by this disease. The pinworms can also be transmitted to other people.
If irregularities and abnormalities occur repeatedly when using the toilet, a visit to the doctor is advisable. If itching, an uncomfortable feeling in the area of the anus or irritation, a doctor should be consulted. If there are open wounds, sterile wound care is required. If this cannot be adequately guaranteed by the person affected, a doctor should be consulted, as otherwise sepsis can occur.
If there is blood in your stool or rectal bleeding, a doctor should clarify the symptoms. If there is a loss of weight, diffuse deficiency symptoms or a general malaise, a visit to a doctor is advisable. A change in the appearance of the skin, pale skin or the formation of dark circles under the eyes are indications of a disease that needs to be examined and treated.
Signs such as sensory disturbances, a burning sensation on the skin or problems with bowel movements should be discussed with a doctor. In the case of diarrhea, fatigue, exhaustion and sleep disorders, there are health complaints that should be examined more closely by a doctor. If the person concerned shows unusual behavior problems, increased nervousness or inner restlessness, a doctor's visit is necessary. The formation of hemorrhoids and chronic development of existing complaints are reasons for consulting a doctor.
In order to treat a pinworm infestation, a combination of medicinal and non-medicinal measures is usually required. A suitable drug treatment for pinworm infestation is often the use of a worming agent that is available, for example, in pharmacies. In the case of pinworm infestation, the worming agent helps to kill the pinworms or at least to prevent their ability to lay eggs.
It is usually important that such treatment of the pinworm infestation also includes the people who share a household with the infected person. In the case of pinworm infestation, it is often advisable to take another worming treatment a few weeks after treatment to kill living or newly formed worms. The use of a worming agent, for example, may be unsuitable for pregnant women.
Since a worming agent can kill the pinworms but not their eggs, it is important, in addition to drug treatment, to adhere to strict hygiene measures in the event of pinworm infestation: For example, bed and underwear should be cooked regularly. A very thorough cleaning of the hands and keeping the fingernails short are also recommended in order to be able to remove any worm eggs that may stick. Of course, you should not put your fingers in your mouth if you have worms, as the pinworm eggs are often under your fingernails when you scratch your bottom. Otherwise the cycle of infection will start all over again.
The prognosis for pinworms is generally favorable. It is not a disease that has serious or serious health consequences. However, medical care should be sought for healing. The affected person needs an anti-worming agent so that the germs die and can be transported out of the organism. Otherwise the pinworms stay in the human body and can multiply there unhindered. The overall state of health is reduced, but there are usually no further impairments.
Despite the fact that no symptoms have been achieved, the rate of re-infestation in pinworms is very high. If the person concerned has become infected once, he belongs to the risk group for re-infection. Although the prognosis is favorable even if pinworms are found again, further developments should still be considered. Contact with faeces must be avoided and the consumption of food must be strictly controlled.
Fruit and vegetables should never be consumed raw. It is advisable that food be washed well or sufficiently cooked before putting it in the mouth. Otherwise, new pinworms can develop quickly. The consumption of raw meat should not take place under any circumstances. Pregnant women in particular should pay more attention to their food intake.
To one Pinworm infestation To be able to prevent it, it is especially important to clean your hands regularly and thoroughly. As already mentioned, fingers and hands should not be put in the mouth. Particularly with children, make sure that they do not suck their thumbs or nibble their fingernails.
Other potential sources of infection should also be avoided: For example, fruit, vegetables and salads should be washed before consumption and meat or fish should be cooked through. So the most important thing to prevent pinworms is to prevent unwashed hands from coming into contact with the mouth.
Since pinworms are relatively harmless and easy to treat, they do not require any special follow-up measures. After the acute treatment phase, the focus is therefore on thoroughly boiling the underwear in order to kill any remaining eggs. If the disease is more severe, any nutritional deficiencies and weight loss must be carefully compensated for. A special diet is suitable for this, which gradually adapts the body to the usual food intake and compensates for missing nutrients and vitamins.
An infection with pinworms is usually not dangerous, but it is extremely unpleasant and bothersome. Many of those affected are also embarrassed by the disease. Nevertheless, it is essential to consult a doctor promptly and inform the social environment, especially people who live in the same household, as the pinworms are highly contagious.
The person concerned can best contribute to his or her recovery by observing strict hygiene. Female pinworms leave the intestines at night via the anus to lay their eggs. It is therefore extremely important to change pajamas, underwear and bed linen regularly at short intervals and to wash them at at least 60 degrees. As a precautionary measure, this should be followed by all members of a household. Since pinworms can also be transmitted through contact with clothing or toys from infected people, extreme caution is required here. Often children are the first family members to become infected. In this case, the entire toy must also be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. Plush toys and doll clothes should be washed to at least 60 degrees. There is no risk of infection for pets, provided that no primates are kept.
Remedies against pinworms are also available over the counter in pharmacies. Self-medication is therefore also possible in the event of acute attacks on vacation or in other exceptional situations. Anyone who travels professionally or privately to regions with severely underdeveloped hygiene standards should supplement their first-aid kit with a wormer as a precaution.