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Pinworms

Pinworms (zoological name Enterobius vermicularis) are also known as threadworms and they generally infect the intestine. These parasites are tiny, slender and white worms grow up to somewhat below 1/2 inch in length. Infections by pinworms are quite widespread and these worms may infect people belonging to any age group, socio-economic standing or culture.

Invasion by pinworms take place when people ingest the eggs of this parasitic worm. Generally, the eggs of pinworms are relocated via the fingernails, food, clothing, bedding as well as house dust. In the event of a house being polluted, it is very likely that pinworms will reach or infect every member of the family. When people swallow the eggs of pinworms, they hatch and subsequently travel to the large intestine. In such a friendly environment, these parasitic worms survive and develop into adults. During the night, the adult female pinworms migrate through the intestine to the region in the vicinity of the anus - the place where these worms drop their eggs.

The depositing of their eggs by pinworms in the area around the anus is a prickly as well as irksome experience that results in scraping in the area around the anus. When people scratch the area, some eggs of the pinworms stick under the fingernails. Subsequently, if people do not scrub their fingernails properly, it is extremely possible that the eggs of this parasite will enter the mouth - by means of eating something or touching the lips. This cycle repeats yet again. Owing to such unrelenting itching sensation, the patient may find it problematic to sleep.

Basically, there are several kinds of parasitic worms. A number of these parasitic worms have the potential to result in grave problems, for instance, malnutrition and diarrhea. Hence, it is pertinent that an appropriate diagnosis is done. Correct diagnosis of infection by pinworms is possible by placing cellophane tape on the perianal (the tissues surrounding the area of the anus) area in early morning. After taking out the tape, pathologists may inspect it for presence of pinworm eggs which might have been dropped there during the night. At times, live worms may also be seen during the examination of the cellophane tape. Live worms may also be seen occasionally while directly examining the anus area.

In case you neglect pinworms or any other type of infections caused by parasites and do not completely get rid of them at once, they may result in the congestion of the intestine, especially the appendix. When children are infested by pinworms or other parasites, they may even retard their regular growth and development. Pinworms may also be responsible for infections of the urinary tract. When girls who are infected by pinworms scratch the affected parts, it may result in the infection of the vagina.

In order to thwart pinworms from being transferred from one individual to another, or also avoid being re-infested by these parasitic worms, it is likely that your doctor will recommend that every member of the family undergo medical check-up and subsequently be treated, particularly in unrelenting cases. Always tell your kids time and again to wash their hands frequently, particularly following the use of the toilet, after playing outdoors and prior to eating anything. Ensure that your children take proper shower or bathe daily and change their underwear every day. In addition, make sure that your children keep their fingernails short and always clean. Also tell them that they should not scrape in the region of their bottom or bite their nails. At the same time, it is important to wash the pyjamas of the children very often. Always bear in mind that pinworms are very widespread among children and they are not so destructive. One is able to eradicate pinworms completely and easily by abiding by a number of preventive measures and also taking a brief course of medicines.

Infections caused by pinworms involve a number of risk factors - for instance, age of the patient, the living conditions as well as temperate climatic conditions.

Age
Children aged between 5 and 10 years are known to be most susceptible to infections by pinworms. The minuscule eggs of this parasitic worm are transferred to the different members of the family, other children in school or a child care center and even the caregivers.
Crowded living spaces
It may be noted that individuals who live in any institution are generally faced with a greater risk of developing infections by pinworms.
Temperate climate
Although pinworms are found across the globe, they are generally more widespread in countries where the climatic conditions are temperate or non-tropical.

Supplements and herbs

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

A number of herbs and supplements have been found to be effective in treating pinworm infestation. For instance, garlic is a natural anti-parasitic herb and, hence, you may give your child who has been infected by pinworms one or two garlic capsules, twice every day for a period of two consecutive weeks. In the event of your child being aged over one year, you can give him or her one fresh garlic clove crushed in honey twice or thrice every day for a period of two to three consecutive weeks.

Alternately, you can also give your child a tincture prepared with black walnut, as it has been found to be effectual in treating pinworm infection. Black walnut is a very potent herb and, hence, it is not appropriate to give this herbal preparation to infants and small children. If your child is aged 12 years or above, you may give him/ her three drops of the tincture, thrice every day, for a period of not in excess of seven days.

The extract of grapefruit seeds is also a potent anti-parasitic. Generally, while treating pinworm infestation, herbal medicine practitioners prefer an exceedingly concentrated form of the extract, for instance, Nutrabiotic, Citricidal or Paramicrocidin. Dilute approximately five to ten drops of the extract in a glass of water or any fruit juice and give it to your child suffering from pinworm infestation twice or thrice daily, for a period of three to seven days. It may be noted here that the grapefruit seed extract is very astringent and, hence, you might require encouraging the child to take this herbal formulation.

In addition coconut, in the shaved or shredded form is also useful in treating pinworm infection. You may give your child some amount of shaved or shredded coconut along with his/ her breakfast and give them a dosage of castor oil around three hours afterward. In fact, castor oil works as a laxative and ought to facilitate in expelling the pinworms that are taken care of by coconut. Even consumption of carrot helps to treat pinworm infestation. As your breakfast or morning meal, consume a cupful of shredded carrot. It is important not to eat anything else with carrot at that time. Since carrots have high fiber content, they are effective in providing relief from constipation, thereby facilitating the body to get rid of the pinworms.

Another herb known as wormwood (botanical name, Artemisia) also possesses potent anti-parasitic attributes that facilitate in clearing up the pinworm infestation. You may give your child suffering from pinworm infection one dose of woodworm two times every day for a period of a week.

Additional things you may do

In addition to adopting precautionary measures to avoid pinworm infestation and using herbs and supplements to cure the infection, there are several other things that you may do to tackle this parasitic worm. If you are combating pinworms, it is strongly advocated that you include foods rich in fiber content, such as carrots and other uncooked vegetables, in your regular diet and, at the same time, limit your consumption of processed carbohydrates, animal foods and sugars.

Besides these, you should also take one or two fresh cloves of garlic regularly - in effect, it is the best home remedy to treat pinworms. Garlic can be consumed in raw as well as cooked forms. On the other hand, you may also apply a paste made by crushing garlic cloves and petroleum jelly externally on the opening of the anus to treat pinworms by obliterating the eggs of this parasitic worm. In addition, ingesting raw fruit seeds like papaya seeds, watermelon seeds, sprouts and pumpkin seeds is also known to be effective in curing pinworm infestation.

Furthermore, it is necessary to sustain an excellent hygiene by always keeping your hands clean because scratching the infected areas may allow the worms or their eggs to get under you fingernails. You should wash your hands regularly with anti-bacterial soaps. Also wash your clothes and bedding on a regular basis and abstain from biting your nails as this will help you to keep away from pinworms.

Taking a bath with warm water or cleaning the area around the anus with a warm damp cloth will help you to get impermanent relief from the itching caused by pinworm infestation in the anal region. In addition, you may also make a paste using garlic and Vaseline and apply it externally on the area in the region of the anus. This is a particular home remedy for pinworm infection.

Remember that consuming plenty of foods that are rich in fiber content is a very useful natural remedy for pinworm infestation. Also take in sufficient amounts of vegetables and grains in your every day diet with a view to eliminate pinworms from your body. As mentioned earlier, eating carrots is deemed to be among the most effective remedies for pinworms. It is advisable that if you are suffering from pinworm infection you take one cup of shredded carrot as your morning meal and do not eat anything else with this meal. Eating carrots will help you to eliminate pinworms as well as all types of threadworms. In addition, taking a fruit diet, including watermelon, papaya and pumpkin, which contains plenty of water, facilitates in eliminating pinworms effectually as well as naturally.

Lupine seed is another very effective home remedy for pinworms. Take about six to seven lupine seeds and let them to suffuse for some time in a glass of tepid water. Filter the solution and drink the concoction at least four to five times daily. While this particular home remedy works gradually, it is very helpful in getting rid of pinworms. In addition, eating raw pineapple is one more easy and natural therapy to eliminate pinworms. It may be noted that raw pineapple possesses potent anti-parasitic attributes and, thus, is effective in killing pinworms. One of the main symptoms of pinworm infestation is itching in the anal area and one can get relief from this by taking a bath with lukewarm water combined with some amount of Epsom salt. It is advisable that you should take a bath with warm water containing Epsom salt at least once every week.

Aromatherapy is another wonderful remedy for pinworms. In effect, it is considered to be one of the best home remedy for pinworm infections. However, in the event of not any one of the home remedies discussed above helps you to get rid of pinworms, it is advisable that you talk to your doctor right away.

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