Once a family member has been diagnosed with threadworms or pinworms, it is time to treat them. The whole family is susceptible to infection, as threadworms spread easily and, since the eggs are microscopically small, they can be ingested without you knowing it. Treating threadworms is a time-consuming, but important step to take. Read on to learn how to treat threadworms.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Zinc or cortisone cream
- Anti-worm medication
- Soap and hot water
- Vacuum cleaner
Confirm the diagnosis of threadworms with your physician.
Use an anti-worm preparation to treat threadworms. Some of these medicines can be found over-the-counter in drugstores, but others need to be prescribed by a doctor.
Use a topical cortisone ointment or zinc cream around the anus to treat the localized itching caused by threadworms.
Treat the entire family, even if only one person is infected. Threadworms spread easily and can take up to a month to mature and cause symptoms. Thus, it's not only best to make sure that the whole household is free of infection, but also to do a follow-up treatment in approximately two to four weeks.
Take showers in the morning while you are treating threadworm infections. Since the treatment only works on the adult worms, it's still necessary to remove any remaining eggs.
Eat foods high in fiber and low in sugar while using anti-worm medications. The fibrous foods will help you stay regular enough to expel the worms in your digestive tract. Sugar should be avoided because the treatment kills threadworms by interfering with their ability to absorb sugar, so providing less sugar will get rid of them faster.
Provide all household members with their own towels and washcloths. These should be washed daily in the hot water cycle of the washing machine as long as you are undergoing treatment for threadworms. Likewise, bed linens, pajamas and underwear should be changed and washed frequently.
Clean the house carefully. Vacuum any carpeted areas thoroughly to remove any dust to which the threadworm eggs may be sticking, clean the toilet and bathroom with a bleach product and wipe all door handles with paper towels and water to remove any lingering eggs.
Cut the fingernails of infected people short, to avoid both scratching the infection and having eggs stored under their nails. Consider having children wear mittens or gloves to bed to reduce the amount of scratching they do. This will not only help prevent the spread of threadworm eggs, but also reduce the chance of creating a skin infection from too much scratching.
Wash hands carefully after using the bathroom and before eating.
Tips and warnings
- The over-the-counter versions of anti-worm medicines are contraindicated for children younger than two and pregnant women. In these cases it will be necessary to speak to your doctor about a prescription.