10 Pinworm Infection Symptoms

By sarah-jane
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Henderson, Roger. 'Threadworms.' Symptom Checker, Health Information and Medicines Guide, patient.info/doctor/threadworms-pro
  • 2. 'Pinworms.' Children's Hospital Colorado, www.childrenscolorado.org/conditions-and-advice/conditions-and-symptoms/symptoms/pinworms
  • 3. Lavery, Michael J., et al. 'Nocturnal Pruritus: The Battle for a Peaceful Night’s Sleep.' PubMed Central (PMC), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4813276
  • 4. Evergreen Dental. 'Kids Grinding Teeth In Sleep – Could The Cause Be Parasites?' Evergreen Dental, 19 Oct. 2018, www.evergreendental.com.au/kids-grinding-teeth-in-sleep
  • 5. 'Pinworm Infections.' Nemours KidsHealth, kidshealth.org/en/parents/pinworm.html
  • 6. Worthington, John J., et al. 'Adaptive Immunity Alters Distinct Host Feeding Pathways during Nematode Induced Inflammation, a Novel Mechanism in Parasite Expulsion.' PLoS Pathogens, vol. 9, no. 1, 17 Jan. 2013, p. e1003122
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

Pinworms, also known as threadworms, are small parasites that can live in the digestive tract. Infection occurs when people swallow pinworm eggs, commonly via contaminated food or drinks or poor hand-washing hygiene. The eggs hatch in the small intestine, and the parasites live in the large intestine. Mature female threadworms lay eggs around the anus, continuing the infection.

Pinworm infection is common around the world, typically affecting children more than adults. There are generally no serious complications from an infection. Management includes increased hygiene measures, sometimes alongside medication. Some people experience a range of pinworm infection symptoms, while others have no noticeable symptoms.1Henderson, Roger. ‘Threadworms.’ Symptom Checker, Health Information and Medicines Guide, patient.info/doctor/threadworms-pro

Itchy Anus

Known medically as pruritus ani, itching around the anus is a common symptom of pinworm infections. Female pinworms lay their eggs outside of the anus, laying more than 10,000 eggs on average. Mucus surrounds the eggs, which can irritate the skin and cause intense itchiness.

As adult threadworms typically lay their eggs at night, itchiness may be worse when a person is in bed trying to sleep. People should avoid scratching, as this can cause eggs to collect under the fingernails, which can then cause reinfections or infect other people.

Pinworm Infection

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