Pinworm treatment

Written by bruce heath
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Pinworm treatment
(Illustration showing cutaway of intestinal tract revealing pinworms courtesy of

There are several ancient and modern home remedies for pinworms that really work, as well as over-the-counter preparations and prescription medication -- and even a common household spice found in everyone's pantry that is very effective in getting rid of pinworms.

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What Are Pinworms?

Pinworms are tiny, white worms about 1/2" long that live in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. Although adults can also be infected, they are more commonly found among school-aged children who have direct contact with the ground or playground sandboxes. The eggs of the pinworm usually enter the body when swallowed by a child in food, or from the toys or clothing of other infected children. Once in the digestive tract, the eggs hatch and quickly grow into adults.

Treatment Must Include All Family Members

If there is a pinworm infection of one member of the family, the entire family must exercise thorough hygiene. Hands must be washed using soap and water for at least 30 seconds after using the toilet, after contact with a pet and before touching any food. To decrease the chances of pinworm eggs being stored on the body while maturing, fingernails should be trimmed short and body creases and cavities should be cleaned thoroughly.


Bed linens, nightclothes and underwear shold be changed often, washed in extra-hot water and ironed to destroy pinworms or their eggs. If your pet is suspected of having the infection also, he should be treated by your vet to rid the animal of worms.

Home Remedies and Self-Help Treatments

There are many harmless self-help treatments, both ancient and modern, that have been successful in removing intestinal worms. Garlic, both fresh cloves and in capsules, is especially effective when chewed or taken orally. Papaya seeds, chewed, then swallowed on an empty stomach; almond bran and fig juice, found in health food stores; chaparral tea, on an empty stomach three times a day; and pumpkin seeds, of folk medicine fame, have all been successful.

The Simplest Sure Cure

But the simplest and most accessible treatment of all is the use of sodium chloride, or common table salt. Children who develop pinworms are often found to be deficient in salt. A heavily salted diet lasting one to two weeks has been extremely effective in getting rid of pinworms.

Over-The-Counter and Prescription Medications

For more severe infections, there are several good over the counter medications available. Reese's Pinworm Medicine, taken orally in 5 mg per pound of body weight daily, contains the active ingredient pyrantel pamoate, and can be given to adults and children over the age of two. Be sure to read the package directions carefully.

If all else fails, see your medical doctor. Prescription drugs should do the trick, with the advantage that only one dose may be needed. Povan and Antepar are both powerful anti-pinworm drugs and have a cure rate of over 90%, taking anywhere from one day to a week.

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