Common Symptoms

  • Anal itching that is worse at night
  • Females may also have vaginal itching
  • May see whitish gray and threadlike worms at anal opening

Pinworms are nematodes called Enterobius vermicularis and is essentially harmless. There are no serious health concerns associated with pinworms. People can become infected by scratching the perianal area and transferring infective eggs to the mouth with contaminated hands. Person-to-person transmission can occur by eating food touched by contaminated hands or by handling contaminated clothes or bed linens. The eggs are swallowed, later hatch, and the pinworm makes its way to the anus to again deposit its eggs. Over the counter pinworm medications such as Reese’s Pinworm medication can be used to treat this condition. This medication is not recommended for use in children under two years of age. Also, when the infection is resolved, the child’s underclothes, bedclothes, and sheets should be washed carefully to reduce the risk of reinfection. Simultaneous treatment of the entire household is warranted, given high transmission rates within households.