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How can i get rid of pinworms: Pinworm infection – Diagnosis and treatment


Pinworm infection – Diagnosis and treatment


Your doctor can confirm the presence of pinworms by identifying the worms or eggs.

To help your doctor make a diagnosis, you can perform the tape test. As soon as the person you suspect has pinworms wakes up and before he or she uses the toilet, washes or gets dressed, press the adhesive side of a piece of transparent tape to the skin around the anus. The eggs stick to the tape.

For best results, perform the tape test three days in a row, and then take the pieces of tape to your doctor. Your doctor can look at the tape under a microscope to see if there are any pinworm eggs.


To treat pinworm infection, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pyrantel pamoate or prescribe medication to all members of your household to prevent infection and reinfection.

The most common prescription anti-parasite medications for pinworms are:

  • Mebendazole
  • Albendazole (Albenza)

You may have mild gastrointestinal side effects during the course of treatment, and you often need to take at least two doses to get rid of the pinworms completely.

Preparing for your appointment

What you can do

When you call to make an appointment, ask about performing the tape test. The test involves pressing the adhesive side of a piece of transparent tape to the skin around the anus of the person you suspect has pinworms as soon as the person awakens. The eggs stick to the tape.

You then take the tape to your appointment so the doctor can look for pinworms or eggs under a microscope.

Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For pinworm infection, some basic questions to ask include:

  • If I don’t have pinworm infection, what are other possible causes of my symptoms?
  • If one family member has pinworms, does the whole family need to be treated?
  • How do I rid my home of pinworms?
  • How do I prevent reinfection?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask a number of questions during your appointment, including:

  • When did the itching start?
  • Does it occur mostly at night?
  • Is there anything that makes the symptoms better or worse?
  • Do other family members have similar symptoms?
  • Do you know if you or your child has had contact with someone who has pinworms?
  • Have you found any dead worms in pajamas, underwear or in the toilet?

What you can do in the meantime

If you have anal itching, try not to scratch.

June 16, 2020

Show references

  1. Parasites — enterobiasis (also known as pinworm infection). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/pinworm/. Accessed May 6, 2020.
  2. Leder K, et al. Enterobiasis (pinworm) and trichuriasis (whipworm). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 6, 2020.
  3. AskMayoExpert. Pinworm (Enterobius vermicularis) infection. Mayo Clinic; 2020.


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Q. I have four young children, and for the past year we have been plagued with pinworms. Every couple of months, the entire family takes a medication to kill pinworms, only to have them return again. I follow the laundering and cleaning procedures recommended on the drug package insert, but to no avail.

Please explain the life cycle of the pinworm. For example, how long do the eggs survive outside the body, how long does the medication take to kill the worms, and how long is the medication effective? Also, are there any side effects of using this medicine — Vermox — so frequently? Do you have any suggestions on how to resolve our problem?

A. Pinworms can be a distressing nuisance and sometimes difficult to get rid of. Fortunately, this condition hardly ever leads to any serious illness.

Pinworm infection is very common, occurring in children much more often than in adults. As many as one in five children will be bothered by this parasite. Between 30 and 40 million people in the United States get this infection, many without even knowing it.

Pinworms are tiny. The female is about 10 millimeters long — about three-eighths of an inch. The male is even smaller — only 3 millimeters. They gain access to the body through the mouth, usually on fingers contaminated by pinworm eggs. The eggs are most often picked up by touching contaminated skin around the anal area.

Sometimes, the eggs are transferred from contaminated clothing, sheets or close contact with others in group settings such as day care or school. Outside the body, the eggs can remain alive and able to cause infection for two to three weeks.

Once inside the body, the eggs soon hatch. The newborn worms then travel through the intestines where they take up residence. Within a month, female worms are mature. At night, they exit the body through the anus, lay thousands of microscopic-size eggs around the anal area, and die.

The major symptom of pinworms, anal itching, is caused by the exiting female worms. The itching can make children irritable and cause them to lose sleep. Girls can sometimes be bothered by vaginal itching or discharge as well.

Once you suspect that your child has pinworms, your doctor should be contacted to arrange for testing. Once the condition is confirmed, treatment is usually straightforward.

Two good remedies for pinworms are Antiminth and Vermox. Each is taken in a single dose. All members of a household should take one of these medicines at the same time, to avoid reinfecting someone after they’ve been treated. The medicine works the first day you take it but doesn’t stay around long enough to prevent new worms from reinfecting your children if they’re exposed to them.

Although it’s often recommended that you wash clothing and bedsheets to remove the eggs, this is probably not as crucial as treating all close contacts and preventing reinfection from contact with infected people outside the home.

Pinworm medications are generally safe, even with repeated use, but they should usually not be taken during pregnancy, especially during early pregnancy. Most people don’t have any side effects, although some may get an upset stomach. In repeated cases of infection, it’s wise to repeat treatment about two weeks after the first dose.

Because you’ve had a problem with recurrent infections, I’d recommend that you look into the possibility that your children are bringing the infection home with them. It may take treating all their contacts in day care or school to put an end to the problem.

Consultation is a health education column and is not a substitute for medical advice from your physician. Send questions to Consultation, Health Section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Questions cannot be answered individually.

Use These 5 Natural Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Pinworms

Pinworm infection is the most common type of intestinal parasite infection in a few countries across the world. It is usually seen in school children, maybe because they are less careful about washing their hands carefully. Young children often share food and other items  while playing, which can put them at a greater risk for getting an infection. One can easily ingest these parasites without even knowing that you did. After ingestion, they can travel through your digestive system and lay their eggs in the skin folds near your anus. This may cause you to experience burning sensation or a lot of itchiness around your anus. However, some people don’t even have to experience any symptoms of pinworm infection.

If you or a family member/friend has a pinworm infection, then also everyone in the household should be treated for the same. Pinworm infections basically occur when a female pinworm lays eggs in the folds of skin around the anus. This can lead to severe itching, specifically at nighttime. When the infected person scratches the anal area, eggs can get on the fingers and nails, further leading to contamination in beds and clothes as well. People who are living in the same household as the infected person might also come in contact with the eggs and get infected. Read this article further to know about some natural home remedies to get rid of pinworms.

Home remedies for pinworms

Although, natural remedies to treat pinworms can be effective, they are still not the best first move for treating it. It is recommended to take support of these home remedies sometimes. Especially if you have allergies, then you should be careful when trying any home remedies at all. You can check the effect of any natural remedy on a small part of your skin for any potential allergic reaction. So, here are 5 effective home remedies for pinworms:

1. Coconut oil

This multipurpose oil is found in almost every household. It is used for skin care and hair care routines as well. Coconut is contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help in getting rid of a pinworm infection. This treatment requires a two-step plan. Swallow a teaspoon of pure coconut oil every morning. And before bedtime at night, rub a little bit of coconut oil on the affected area. This is one of the best natural ways to eliminate pinworms.

2. Carrots

Another effective home remedy for pinworms are raw carrots. It is said that eating a cup of raw, shredded carrots twice daily can help your body flush out the worms through your intestines. This is because the fiber-rich carrots can enhance  digestion and improve bowel movement. It is a healthy vegetable and can be included in your diet easily.

Also read: Use these home remedies to treat intestinal worms

3. Garlic

Garlic is also considered as an effective home remedy for pinworms. To kill any existing eggs and prevent female pinworms from laying more eggs, garlic can do wonders for you. You can consume it in small doses or apply it externally like a paste. If choose to eat the garlic, then cut really small slices of a garlic clove and add it into pasta or sprinkle it on a piece of bread. To make a paste, chop up a few cloves of garlic and grind them in a grinder. Mix the garlic paste with a small amount of petroleum jelly or any other carrier oil like coconut oil. Then, dip a clean cotton ball into this paste and apply it to your anus.

4. Papaya seeds

Just like pumpkin seeds, even papaya seeds are healthy and can be used to get rid of pinworms. However, there are no studies in humans to show that they are effective for this infection. To use this a treatment, the individual should eat papaya seeds, either raw or with honey to sweeten the bitter taste.

Also read: Intestinal Worms: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention tips

5. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds have a compound called cucurbitacin present in them. According to some studies, it has been observed that this compound in pumpkin seeds can be useful to fight internal parasites. You can eat raw pumpkin seeds or even blend them with water to form a smooth paste for consumption. But, there is no recent scientific evidence that proves pumpkin seeds can help in getting rid of pinworms.

Read more articles on Home remedies

How To Get Rid Of Pinworms And Threadworms Naturally

The very thought of pinworms and threadworms in our family fills many of us with horror, And let’s be honest, shame. But worms are very common in kids and luckily it is actually pretty easy to get rid of pinworms and threadworms naturally without medication.

So in this post I am going to explain how to get rid of pinworms and threadworms naturally – been there and got the t-shirt!! – but I’m also going to share what I’ve learned the hard way about:

  • recognising the symptoms of worms in children easily
  • understanding what worms are & what causes them
  • treating worms in children with and without medication
  • & preventing your kids from getting worms repeatedly.

This last one is a biggie because as many families know some kids keep getting worms over and over after a first attack. A never ending cycle of pinworms or threadworms – and the horrible tell tale itching – can be incredibly distressing for kids and parents.

Hopefully, the practical tips I’ve got for you here, will show you very simply how to get rid of pinworms and threadworms naturally and prevent them from coming back repeatedly with some quick natural remedies for gut health that help boost children’s general wellbeing.

And when I say simply and quickly, I really mean it because so much of the advice out there on how to get rid of pinworms naturally is anything but simple and far from quick, which means the chances of us following it in our over busy lives is somewhere around zilch.

There is lots of useful information in this post – so do bookmark or save it for later and use the index to find specific answers – but it is all doable. There are – I promise – no weird & wonderful ingredients or crazy plans for disinfecting every inch of your home twice a week!!

I truly hope these practical, natural tips help you get rid of pinworms in your family and keep them at bay. Let me know how you get on.

And please do check out my other simple natural remedies for common family ailments including everything from hair lice and verrucas to sunburn and mosquito bites plus general gut health.

BUT NOTE I am not a doctor and the information in this post does not provide qualified medical advice.

What Are Pinworms?

The first thing we need to understand about worms – before we get on to getting rid of worms naturally – is what they actually are.

Pinworms are tiny white worms that live and breed in human intestines. They are endemic to humans which means they are around us the whole time and young children are very likely to pick them up at some point. We are not total failures as parents if our kid gets worms.

We are often confused about worms as parents because we hear about pinworms and threadworms and tapeworms and really aren’t sure whether they are the same thing and which it is our child has.

Are Pinworms The Same As Threadworms?

Pinworms are the same as threadworms. They are just different names for Enterobius vermicularis. In the USA the CDC calls them pinworms. In the UK the NHS calls them threadworms.

Are Tapeworms The Same As Pinworms?

Pinworms and threadworms are not the same as tapeworms which can cause significant health problems. Tapeworms are uncommon in north America and the UK.

The key symptom of pinworms and threadworms in kids is an itchy anus at night. Common symptoms of tapeworm include nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain and fatigue. You should seek medical advice for tapeworm symptoms.

What Are Pinworms & Threadworms Caused By?

We are often – unhelpfully, I believe – told pinworms and threadworms are caused by “poor hygiene”. This can instantly send us into a blind panic as parents about the cleanliness of our homes.

Blind panic and frantic crazy cleaning of our whole home does not help us get rid of worms or make for happy parents or happy kids!!

Pinworms and threadworm infections are caused – most of the time – by worm eggs passing between children’s hands and into their mouth.

Regular hand washing, especially before eating, reduces the spread of worms but they are endemic so even the most unbelievably clean kids in the cleanest ever homes can get worms from other kids!!

From my experience, it is much more helpful to understand the life cycle of worms and then use very targeted hygiene measures to break the cycle. I’ll explain the life cycle of pinworms and threadworms here and then share my practical tips to break the cycle in the sections on:

  • What To Do If A Child Has Worms
  • & Why Does My Child Keep Getting Worms

The Life Cycle Of Pinworms & Threadworms

The life cycle of pinworms and threadworms is pretty simple :

  • Worm eggs on a child’s hands get into their mouth.
  • Worm eggs pass via the stomach into the child’s intestine.
  • Eggs takes roughly a fortnight to hatch.
  • Hatched worms takes one to two months to mature.
  • Once mature, worms wriggle out of the child’s anus at night and lays eggs around the rim of the anus.
  • The eggs make the anus itch horribly.
  • Children scratch their bottoms to stop the itching and gets eggs on their fingers.
  • If the microscopic eggs are not washed off the child’s hands they can get into their mouth – and other people’s hands – and the cycle starts again.
  • Eggs can hatch on the child’s bottom and crawl back into the intestine.

It’s pretty nasty to think about. However, we can see it is a really simple life cycle so we can target all our hygiene efforts at key times to break it.

But first let’s look at the symptoms of worms in children.

What Are Symptoms Of Worms In Children?

The key tell tale symptom of worms in children is an itchy bottom at night.

The witching hours for worms laying eggs seem to be between 11pm and 2am. It can be earlier in the evening, but if our child wakes with an itchy bottom at this time of night there is a very high probability this is a symptom of worms.

There is load of advice out there on how to see the worms to confirm the symptoms. This advice includes everything from torches and sticky tape at the dead of night to – I kid you not – pooing on tinned foil!!

But you know what?

We don’t have to see a live worm wiggling in front of our own eyes before we start treating the symptoms of worms : if a child has an itchy bottom in the middle of the night it is pretty safe to assume it is worms and to treat the worms simply and naturally as there are no side effects to this.

I explain exactly what to do if your child has the symptoms of worms in the What To Do If A Child Has Worms section below.

The only difficulty with spotting the symptoms of worms in children easily is if our kids either:

  • Do not fully wake up and realise they’ve got an itchy bottom
  • Or if they are tiny and don’t have the language to tell us they have an itchy bottom.

In this situation, the symptoms of worms may show up in kids behaviour.

Symptoms Of Worms In Kids Behaviour

Constant itching from worm eggs during the night can cause children to have broken and restless sleep even if they do not fully wake up in distress.

Tiredness and irritability caused by poor sleep can therefore sometimes be the first symptoms of worms in your kids behaviour that you’ll spot.

Another symptom of worms in kids behaviour is renewed bed wetting in children who have been dry at night. It’s not quite clear what the connection is but there does seem to be one.

If our kids are obviously uncomfortable and restless during the evening or overnight, it can make sense to follow the steps for treating worms naturally without medication – whilst obviously keeping an eye out for other symptoms – as this can help quickly and simply break the worm life cycle without our kids taking repeated medication.

What To Do If A Child Has Worms

How To Relieve Itching From Worms

The simplest way to relieve itching from worms is to act quickly on the first sign of symptoms i. e. an itchy bottom at night.

If your child wakes, don’t worry about trying to spot the worms, just quickly and quietly with as little fuss as possible wash their bottom with very gentle soap and rinse thoroughly. This instantly removes the worm eggs which cause the itching and starts to break the lifecycle.

Give them clean pyjamas and underwear to put on underneath pyjamas; I’ll explain this further in Why Does My Child Keep Getting Worms. Please do not worry about stripping beds and changing towels at this hour!

If your child has been restless and you suspect worms but they didn’t wake, encourage them to go the toilet as soon as possible on waking and then wash or get them to wash their bottom gently but thoroughly.

As a precaution get everyone else in the family to wash their bottom well in the morning as this will remove any eggs laid on anyone during the night.

Again don’t worry about instantly laundering all sheets and towels or obsessively vacuuming – as too often recommended – the whole house. Eggs can be spread by bedding and furnishing but all that cleaning is a crazy amount of work for what is typically a tiny part of the problem.

Focus your efforts on bottom washing at night when itchy and first thing in the morning and treating worms naturally without medication.

Treating Worms Naturally

Medication – in the form of anthelmintic drugs – are available for the treatment of pinworms and threadworms. But it is possible to treat worms naturally and there is some concern drug treatment may contribute to children repeatedly getting worms.

Medication For Treating Worms

Some doctors and vets have suggested that over prescription of anthelmintic drugs for the treatment of worms in children and animals is causing the development of drug resistant worms.

Some researchers have also suggested that common worm medication undermines the ability of children’s gut bacteria to defend the gut against parasites and makes kids more vulnerable to digestive problems.

There is no conclusive evidence of these claims but there are anecdotal reports from parents of repeated worm infections after medication.

I am not a doctor and cannot give qualified medical advice but if you would like to know how to treat worms naturally this is what I do.

How To Treat Worms Naturally

To treat worms naturally we want to do a combination of the following:

  • Paralyse worms so they can’t wriggle out to lay eggs
  • Prevent worms from laying eggs
  • Kill existing eggs
  • Kill worms
  • Expel worms and eggs from our intestines

Luckily there are a few common natural ingredients – that are also handy natural antibiotics and natural antihistamines – that can do just that:

  • Pumpkin seeds : a small snack of pumpkin seeds can naturally paralyse worms so they can’t get out to lay eggs.
  • Grated carrot : helps our intestines deep clean themselves to get rid of pinworms naturally. A regular little helping of grated carrot and apple cider vinegar is great for restoring gut health generally – and curiously treating period pain – and keeps worms from taking hold.
  • Flaxseed : flaxseed is another traditional ingredient that helps our digestive system clean itself out thoroughly but gently to get rid of worms and other nasties whilst nourishing the good gut bacteria. You can add a little flaxseed regularly to cereal and to baking.
  • Coconut oil : a teaspoon of coconut oil neat or added to a smoothie helps get rid of worms naturally from our digestive system. A little coconut oil rubbed around the anus can help prevent worms laying eggs and worms reentering the body.
  • Pineapple : pineapple is one of the few plants containing bromelain a natural antihistamine which can help to kill worms naturally.
  • Papaya : papaya contains the enzyme papain which is also believed to help kill parasitic worms naturally. You may be able to pick up cans of pineapple and papaya together to keep in stock in your pantry.
  • Garlic : garlic is believed to kills eggs and to prevent worms laying eggs. Some people mix diced garlic with coconut oil and apply topically around the anus to eliminate pinworms naturally. I have never had to resort to this but a garlic rich diet seems to help get rid of pinworms naturally and prevent them recurring. Simply fry diced garlic for a minute and add to a cup of stock for a quick natural pinworm treatment.
  • Ginger : ginger is a natural antibiotic that is useful in all sorts of natural remedies for gut health including bladder infections. It’s traditionally believed to get rid of threadworms naturally in our stomach before they have a chance to get into the intestine. A simple smoothie of tinned pineapple and or papaya with a little ginger and grated carrot plus a teaspoon of coconut oil and sugar free natural yoghurt is a simple natural treatment for pinworms and threadworms.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar : a little apple cider vinegar can help restore gut health generally and help our stomach defend our digestive system naturally against pinworms. It is believed apple cider vinegar can help to prevent any ingested eggs from hatching.
  • Onions : sulfur rich onions also seem to boost our stomach’s defences against worms – and other parasites & infections – so cook with them plentifully and dose up with a side of fried onions or a big bowl of onion soup whenever someone has the symptoms of worms.
  • Oregano : oregano has been used traditionally to protect against worms. A gentle cup of oregano tea with honey may help to get rid of worms and including it in meals can protect against repeated infections.

The two key things to remember about these natural treatments for pinworms and threadworms are to:

  • Combine as many as you can for optimal impact
  • Make them part of your week in, week out family diet as they will then help to provide continual prevention against worms.

I have come to believe ongoing natural treatment and prevention is absolutely key because worms are so endemic amongst young children and our kids can pick them up any time. Knocking worms on the head once doesn’t help if our kids just pick them up again from another kid next week.

So, even if you choose to take prescribed medication for worms, I would still recommend building these natural treatments for worms into your diet. They are all easily available, pantry staples that are great natural remedies for gut health and digestive problems of all sorts.

There are a couple of other natural ways to treat pinworms and threadworms that I don’t actually use but I will take you through here.

Other Natural Treatments For Pinworms & Threadworms

If you have a root around on Google or Pinterest you will find details of these other natural treatments for pinworms and threadworms. They may be effective but they are either pretty obscure or not something you can take as a family easily and comfortably to get rid of worms naturally so in my mind are less useful but you may want to try them:

  • Papaya seeds : research suggests dried papaya seeds can get rid of worms effectively. Unfortunately, they’re not easily available or something you’re likely to have in stock.
  • Diatomaceous earth : I do use diatomaceous earth to get rid of ants naturally and to get rid of slugs & snails naturally and with my chickens but I’m a bit of a wimp and not comfortable using it with my family. If you do want to give it a go there is a very helpful post here on how to use diatomaceous earth as a parasite cleanse for humans.
  • Cloves : simple clove tea can help get rid of worms and is also a useful natural headache relief but in my experience kids – & many adults – won’t drink it.
  • White willow bark : you can buy white willow bark which has traditionally been used to treat worms in specialist health stores but it’s not an easily available natural treatment you can build into your diet.
  • Wormwood : the clue is in the name and wormwood has been used for centuries to help get rid of worms naturally but again this is not a common pantry ingredient you can include regularly in your diet and there can be side effects that require it to be taken with caution.

The biggest problem with these more obscure ways to get rid of pinworms and threadworms naturally is that you can’t take them easily on a regular basis to prevent worms taking hold. This is key, because as so many of us parents learn the hard way kids can keep getting worms.

Why Does My Child Keep Getting Worms?

It is incredibly distressing for kids who keep getting worms over and over again. And pretty horrible for us parents too. Inevitably we feel guilty.

But repeated worm infections are common and both medication and crazy hygiene measures can it seems actually be part of the problem.

Both take a sledge hammer to crack the nut which is fine once in a while but we can’t keep using them week in, week out and young kids are actually exposed to worms the whole time.

So we need to break the cycle of repeated infections with these simple sustainable steps that tweak our hygiene habits & our kids diet.

Simple Hygiene Habits To Stop Kids From Keep Getting Worms

Even if we hot launder all our sheets and towels and pyjamas and scrub our house top to bottom twice a week, our kids can get worms from other kids.

The simple, most effective hygiene habits for stopping worm infections are:

  1. Wear underpants in bed
  2. Wash bottoms first thing
  3. Thorough hand washing at school

Wear Underpants In Bed

Wearing close fitting underpants in bed protects pyjamas and bed clothes from most worm eggs. As underpants are only worn once anyway & laundered you don’t have to do any extra laundry to keep on top of them.

If your child wakes with an itchy bottom – or if you do – wash bottoms and put on clean underpants and quickly rinse those taken off.

Wash Bottoms First Thing

Most kids have a bath before bed. But worms come out and lay eggs at night so it is absolutely essential everyone washes their bottom in the morning.

This only takes a few minutes under the shower, the bath tap or a bidet but it will get rid of worm eggs naturally day in, day out and break the cycle which causes kids to keep getting worms.

Thorough Hand Washing At School

Washing hands thoroughly after the toilet and before meals is a no brainer for reducing the spread of worms but don’t assume it happens at school.

My super sleuth investigations suggests kids scoot off to lunch at high speed without washing their hands first. Be a pain and check if your kids school actually makes sure every single child washes hands before every meal. And nag your own kids. They hate it but it beats worms any day!!

These habits might sound too simple to make a difference but they provide sustainable year round worm protection you can stick to.

A few simple changes to kids diets give extra protection.

Simple Diet Changes To Stop Kids From Keep Getting Worms

Our bodies do have natural mechanisms to protect against worm infections. These simple diet changes can restore gut health to strengthen protection:

  • Include plenty of natural worm treatments in your everyday diet
  • Eat plenty of foods that restore gut health
  • Cut down on sugar as much as you can
  • Eat plenty of fibre to avoid constipation

I know this kind of advice sounds airy fairy but here are four practical ways to build natural worm treatments & gut restoring food into your kids diet that are sugar free and will help prevent constipation.

Pineapple & Papaya Smoothie

This quick smoothie is super rich in natural worm treatments. Enjoy it once a week to help keep worms at bay. Simply combine in a large blender jug:

  • A can of pineapple & papaya (use half in a small jug)
  • Half a small finely grated carrot
  • Teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Thumbnail knob of sliced ginger or a teaspoon of dried ginger
  • Teaspoon or so of flax seed
  • 2 or 3 spoons of natural, sugar free yoghurt
  • Ice cubes or frozen banana pieces (I freeze most of my bananas in pieces as this helps to prevent fruit flies).
  • Enough water to blend

Onion & Garlic Base

Getting kids to eat plenty of onions and garlic – day in, day out – can help to stop kids from keep getting worms but lots of picky eaters aren’t keen.

If you cook up a good batch – 4 or 5 onions worth plus a small head of garlic – and blend it smooth enough for even the pickiest of eaters you can then freeze it in ice cube trays and quickly add to their meals every day.

Grated Carrot Baking

If your kids will eat it, a little side of grated carrot with apple cider vinegar every day or so is an easy way to help kids from keep getting worms.

But if your kids won’t go near raw carrot, remember you can bake with grated carrot. Check out some of these intestine cleaning carrot recipes that are low on sugar and help prevent constipation:

Flax & Pumpkin Seed Energy Bars

Simply snacking on pumpkin seeds or chucking them and some flaxseed on cereal is a super easy way to build natural worm treatments into your diet.

But if you want to cut down on sugary snacks and biscuits you could also make these energy bars which include both pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds.

And there you. Absolutely, everything you need know to know about how to get rid of pinworms and threadworms naturally and critically how to stop kids from keep getting worms. If you find these tips helpful please do share.

And for more simple natural remedies for gut health and tips on natural relief for common childhood ailments do check out these posts:

Causes, 17 Home Remedies + Prevention

Pinworms are parasites that are a common source of infection in humans. These are usually about half an inch in size and can be easily seen with naked eyes. Children are at a higher risk of contracting this infection (1). However, adults can also be infected by these contagious worms if they don’t take the necessary precautions.

Is your little one harboring pinworms? Are you looking for a fast and effortless cure for this infection? Read on to know more about the causes and symptoms of pinworms and some of the simple home remedies that can be used to treat the infection.

Note: Pinworm infection may typically take one week to go away. It cannot be treated overnight. Medication is the only way to get rid of pinworms quickly. However, these remedies can be used to treat the infection without any risk factors.

What Are Pinworms?

Pinworms are tiny and white worms that live in the colon and rectum of the infected individuals. They are also called Enterobius vermicularis, and the infection is usually known as enterobiasis or helminthiasis.

The infections caused by pinworms are highly contagious and are a result of the ingestion of the tiny eggs laid by them. While children are more vulnerable to them, they can also cause infection in adults (2).

Read on to understand the causes of this parasitic infection.

What Causes Pinworms?

Pinworm infections are solely caused due to the accidental inhalation or ingestion of the eggs by a human or animal. These eggs are usually transferred via contaminated foods, drinks, or other infected utensils. The eggs are extremely small and cannot be seen with naked eyes (3).

Once they enter your body, they hatch and turn into adult worms within weeks. The adult worms continue to move in the body and lay more eggs around the anus region of the infected person, and these become infective within a few hours. This cycle will continue until the infection is cured, and the entire household of the infected individual is disinfected.

We will now look at some of the common signs and symptoms observed in an individual infected by pinworms.

Signs And Symptoms Of Pinworms

  • Frequent itching and irritation in the anal area
  • Disturbed sleep due to an irritated anal region
  • Presence of pinworms in stools
  • Nausea and occasional abdominal pain
  • Irritability and restlessness due to lack of sleep because the worms lay their eggs at night.

Pinworms can be very irritating and troublesome in the long run. Hence, it is best to treat the condition as soon as you observe its onset. The natural and cost-effective remedies mentioned below can help you deal with pinworm infection. Some of these home remedies do not have scientific data to support their effect on pinworms. They are based on anecdotal evidence. Hence, it is important to consult a doctor. Also, make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients before proceeding with a remedy.

How To Get Rid Of Pinworms Naturally

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Garlic
  4. Hot Water
  5. Essential Oils
  6. Grapefruit Seed Extract
  7. Lemon Juice
  8. PineappleJuice
  9. Carrot Juice
  10. Alcohol
  11. PumpkinSeeds
  12. Vaseline
  13. Bitter Gourd Juice
  14. Yogurt
  15. Wormwood Tea
  16. Castor Oil
  17. Onions

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains about 6% acetic acid, which can lower the pH of your body. This creates an uninhabitable environment for the pinworms, making their survival inside your body difficult. However, there is a lack of research on how apple cider vinegar is useful in treating pinworms.

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and mix well.
  2. Add honey for flavor and consume this solution.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times daily.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties (4), (5). These properties can help eradicate pinworm infection and its symptoms.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a teaspoon of coconut oil every morning.
  2. Also, apply a small amount of coconut oil to the infected area every night.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

3. Garlic

Garlic is an herb that exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties (6), (7). It also exhibited oxyuricide properties in treating pinworm infection (8). However, more studies are needed to establish its efficacy.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Petroleum jelly

What You Have To Do

  1. You can chew on a few garlic cloves daily or add them as a seasoning to foods.
  2. You can also mince garlic cloves, mix them with petroleum jelly, and apply this paste to the affected area, preferably every night.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

4. Hot Water

Since pinworms are highly contagious, it is of utmost importance to disinfect your entire household with hot water to get rid of them. This will also help prevent their recurrence.

You Will Need

  • Hot water
  • Soap and detergent

What You Have To Do

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after contact with any utensils that have a possibility of being infected.
  2. Also, soak all the clothes and fabrics that might be infected in hot water for at least 30 minutes before washing them.
  3.  You can also disinfect the washrooms by cleaning them daily with hot water and soap.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily until you get rid of pinworms.

5. Essential Oils

a. Tea Tree Oil

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of tea tree oil can help in this regard (9). Tea tree oil also has antiparasitic properties (10). However, there are no direct studies to support its efficacy in killing Enterobius vermicularis (pinworms).

You Will Need

  • 1-2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the tea tree oil with coconut oil and apply this blend to the affected area every night.
  2. You can also use tea tree oil directly, but it may irritate those with sensitive skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

b. Clove Essential Oil

The eugenol in clove essential oil exhibits powerful germicidal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties (11), (12). These may help treat pinworm infection.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 drops of clove essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply clove essential oil directly on the infected area.
  2. Alternatively, if you have sensitive skin, you can dilute it with coconut oil to avoid irritation.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every night.

Grapefruit seeds contain polyphenols that exhibit strong antimicrobial activity. (13), (14). This may help prevent pinworms.
Caution: Consult your physician before going ahead with these supplements.

You Will Need

  • 200 mg of grapefruit seed extract supplement
  • What You Have To Do
  • Consume grapefruit seed extract supplements daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice a day for a week.

7. Lemon Juice

The acidic nature of lemons lowers the pH of your body. This may make the survival of pinworms difficult. However, more scientific studies are needed to prove this effect.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Squeeze half a lemon into one glass of water.
  2. Add honey for flavor and consume this drink daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice at least once daily.

8. Pineapple Juice

Pineapples are a rich source of an enzyme called bromelain, which exhibits antimicrobial activities (15). This may help you to get rid of pinworms. However, there are no studies linking pineapples to treating pinworms.

You Will Need

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1 glass of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Peel and cut the pineapple.
  2. Blend the cut pineapple pieces with a glass of water.
  3. Drink this juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice once daily.

9. Carrots

The high fiber content of carrots can help improve bowel movements and add bulk to stool (16). This can push the pinworms out of your body via your stool. However, there are insufficient scientific studies to prove the efficacy of carrots in treating pinworms.

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  1. Wash the carrot thoroughly.
  2. Peel it, shred it, and have the pieces with your meal or as a snack.

How Often You Should Do This

Eat about a cup of shredded carrots 1 to 2 times daily.

10. Rubbing Alcohol

The isopropanol in rubbing alcohol has disinfecting and antimicrobial properties (17). It can help kill the pinworms and also prevent the recurrence of the infection.

You Will Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls or wipes

What You Have To Do

  • Take some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe the infected anal region with it.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times a day.

11. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins contain compounds called cucurbitacins that are known for their anthelmintic activity (18), (19). This activity can paralyze the worms, making it easier to expel them from your body (20).

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2-1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the raw pumpkin seeds with enough water to make a creamy paste.
  2. Consume this on an empty stomach.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every morning.

12. Vaseline

The healing properties of Vaseline may help relieve itching and irritation. But this is only for temporary relief and cannot be used to prevent the pinworms on a long-term basis.

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply a generous amount of Vaseline on the infected area.
  2. Leave it on overnight.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

13. Bitter Gourd

The cucurbitacin in bitter gourd possesses antiparasitic properties that may help expel worms from the body (21).

You Will Need

2 medium-sized bitter gourds

  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the bitter gourds with water.
  2. You can add honey or any fruit juice to this blend to combat the bitter flavor.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice intermittently throughout the day.

14. Yogurt

Yogurt is rich in probiotics that can restore the natural balance of bacteria in your digestive system. These bacteria are capable of destroying and eliminating harmful bacteria and germs from your body (22), (23).

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a cup of plain yogurt.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

15. Wormwood Tea

The antiparasitic nature of wormwood extract helps kill parasites (24), (25). This may help prevent pinworms and combat the infection.

You Will Need

  • 3-4 drops of wormwood extract
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a few drops of wormwood extract to a cup of hot water.
  2. Consume this tea.
  3. You can also add honey for flavor.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times a day for a week.

16. Castor Oil

Castor oil is quite popular for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that are known to destroy and eliminate harmful worms and parasites from your body. Pinworms usually hold on to the walls of your intestines and are hence not excreted from your body. Castor oil can dislodge them from your intestines due to its laxative effects (26), (27). This, in turn, may push the pinworms out of your body via excretion.

You Will Need

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a teaspoon of castor oil.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

17. Onions

Onions are rich in sulfur. These sulfur globules may help eliminate parasites from your system in a day or two (28). However, there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove this effect.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 medium-sized onions
  • Water

What You Have To Do

  1. Peel the onions.
  2. Wash them thoroughly and cut them into thin slices.
  3. Put them in a bowl and add a pint of water.
  4. Let the onion slices soak in the water overnight (for at least 12 hours).
  5. Strain the water using a cheesecloth.
  6. Drink this up.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times a day for 2 days.

These home remedies can help accelerate your recovery from pinworm infection. Additionally, you need to follow some tips to avoid the recurrence of the infection. They are as follows.

Tips To Prevent Pinworms

  • Include foods that are rich in fiber in your diet. Raw vegetables, such as carrots and cabbages, whole fruits, and grains can increase the efficiency of treatments against pinworms.
  • Consuming probiotic foods, like yogurt and buttermilk, can help in the elimination of pinworms from your system.
  • Everyone in an infected household must adopt hygienic practices like washing their hands before every meal, showering daily, washing clothes with hot water, and cleaning the washrooms daily to prevent the spreading of the infection.
  • The infected person’s household must be disinfected completely in every way possible. From vacuuming the carpeted areas to scrubbing the floors and changing all the sheets and towels, the entire household must be cleaned following a recovery from pinworms to avoid reinfestation.

Making these lifestyle changes will prove beneficial in the long run and prevent the recurrence of pinworms.
If left untreated for a long period, pinworms are known to lead to some complications that may range in their severity. Some of these complications are as follows.

Long-Term Side Effects Of Pinworms

  • Urinary tract infection: Pinworms can enter the urethra and infect your bladder (29).
  • Weight loss: As we are aware, pinworms are parasites that feed on the host’s nutrition. This may lead to weight loss in the affected individuals.
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases: Pinworms may cause pelvic inflammatory diseases in females by infecting the linings of the fallopian tubes or ovaries (30).
  • Recurring infestations: One of the major drawbacks of a pinworm infection is its ability to resurface if proper hygiene is not maintained by infected individuals and their family members.

Now that you know the complications caused by pinworms when left untreated, it is better to be aware of and treat the infection at the earliest. The remedies mentioned in this article can only complement your medication and not replace it. Hence, consult your doctor to understand which remedy can help accelerate your recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to tell if you have worms in your stool?

The presence of small, white, thread-like structures confirms the presence of worms in your stool.

What does it feel like to have worms under your skin?

If you feel an itchy and crawling sensation under your skin, there is a possibility that you are infested with worms. However, in some cases, the reason for these sensations could be a minor insect bite, diabetes, or even skin or nerve damage. Always discuss any concerns with your doctor.