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Pinworms

Pinworms are small, white, thin, straight pin-sized worms, which inhabit the rectum and the colon. They emerge during sleep on to the perianal skin, causing intense itching. There are no other adverse effects from pinworms, other than possible mild vaginitis or vaginal inflammation caused by their itching in girls. 

Pinworms can be acquired by acquiring eggs from the skin during scratching and transferring them to the mouth. They may also be swallowed when inhaled while handling clothes and bedclothes of infected individuals. If your child exhibits marked anal itching, it is not unreasonable to check for pinworms. Our office has small paddles with adhesive tape on them, which are available for you to pick up at your appointment. An instruction sheet is included with the adhesive paddles. Once you have collected the specimen in the morning, bring the paddle back to the office and drop it off. Within 24 hours, we will have results for you. 

Pinworms are easily treated with oral anti-parasitic medicines. It is often necessary to treat each member of the family, although pregnant women should not take this medication. While pinworms can be quite annoying, they are certainly not life threatening and not an emergency situation. Please call us during the first regularly scheduled office hours so that we can arrange an appointment.