Pinworms

  • Alternative Names

    Enterobiasis; Oxyuriasis; Threadworm; Seatworm; Enterobius vermicularis; E vermicularis; Helminthic infection


    Symptoms
    • Difficulty sleeping due to the itching that occurs during the night
    • Intense itching around the anus
    • Irritability due to itching and interrupted sleep
    • Irritated or infected skin around the anus, from constant scratching
    • Irritation or discomfort of the vagina in young girls (if an adult worm enters the vagina rather than the anus)
    • Loss of appetite and weight (uncommon, but can occur in severe infections)

    Signs and tests

    Pinworms can be spotted in the anal area, especially at night when the worms lay their eggs there.

    Your doctor may have you do a tape test. A piece of cellophane tape is pressed against the skin around the anus, and removed. This should be done in the morning before bathing or using the toilet, because bathing and wiping may remove eggs. The doctor will stick the tape to a slide and look for eggs using a microscope.