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Boggio Family of Pharmacies

Boggios: A healthy choice for your whole life

In the last few months we have seen a number of people for treatment of Pinworms.  This type of infection is fairly common most often found in children five to ten years of age because of poor hand washing and close contact in school.  The treatment is simple but some steps need to be followed to help prevent reinfection and spread of this problem.

The most common symptom of this problem is an itchy rectal area.  This is caused by tiny eggs deposited around the anus by a female worm.  When someone with pinworms scratches their perianal area, eggs may lodge under their fingernails and spread to anything he or she touches.  Infested dust, clothing, bedding, or toys can also spread eggs.  When someone accidentally ingests these eggs they become infected.  Adult females live for approximately three months in a human host.  At night they migrate from the rectum to the anus and deposit their eggs.  In moist, humid conditions eggs can survive for up to two weeks.

Pinworms do not cause abdominal pain, bloody stools, fevers, or poor appetite.  If you have these symptoms you should go to the hospital.

If you suspect your child has pinworms the best way to detect them is the “Scotch tape test”.  This is best done at night after a few hours of sleep.  Wrap a piece of cellophane tape around a tongue depressor sticky side out and press it to the skin around the anus to collect any eggs.  Take the tape to the doctor who can look under a microscope to look for pinworm eggs.  If you can collect several samples of tape, 90% of cases will be detected.

If one person in the household is diagnosed with pinworms all of the members of the family should be treated for the condition.  There are two main types of treatment.   The first is Combantrin (taken as a single dose as a liquid or tablet) which is purchased without a prescription.  It is dosed based on weight and should not be given to pregnant women or children under one year of age.  The second is Vermox.  This is a prescription medication also not recommended for pregnant woman, or children under two years of age.  Both types of treatment may need to be repeated because eggs can survive for a few weeks.

Other steps to take include careful hand washing (including scrubbing under fingernails), especially after using the toilet and before eating.  All bedding, clothing and toys need to washed.   Clean underwear and pajamas need to be worn every night.  Bathrooms should also be cleaned particularly well to remove eggs.

It is common to become reinfected with pinworms several months after treatment.  If this happens the doctor should be contacted and everyone should be retreated.

Pinworms are an annoying, but usually, unserious infection.  With proper treatment and care it can be cured.  Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect you or a family member is infected.

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