What Kills Pinworms?

Updated November 21, 2016

Pinworms are a parasite that lives in the human digestive system and are especially common in children. These parasites are present all over the world. Adults look like tiny white strings and can be found in stools. Eggs are invisible without a microscope. Pinworms are spread when humans touch the anus or handle faeces infected with pinworms and do not thoroughly clean their hands and nails. If a person infected with pinworms touches your food or an object that you then touch, you could become infected. Pinworms travel from your stomach to your digestive tract. Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of pinworms.


Go to your doctor if you experience itching around the anus and have seen what appear to be white strings in stools. Move forward with attempting to kill pinworms after a doctor has diagnosed you. Pinworms are highly contagious; therefore if a family member has been diagnosed with pinworms it is a good idea to treat the whole family even if symptoms have not yet presented in all members.


Kill pinworms by taking over-the-counter or prescription medications such as drinkable medicine, chewable tablets and pills that you swallow. Prescription medications recommended by New York University include Mebendazole and Albendazole, while one recommended over the counter brand is Pyrantel Pamoate. In addition to taking medicine, you can kill pinworms by washing your clothes, underwear, pyjamas and bedding as soon as you detect an infection and drying them on high heat.

Relief of Symptoms

Your doctor can prescribe a cream to relieve anal itching if you are unable to sleep or carry out daily tasks due to this irritation.


Kill pinworms permanently and prevent their recurrence by washing your hands regularly, especially after using the bathroom. Wash clothing and bedding every other day if infected with pinworms and at least once a week after the infection has cleared. Two weeks after the first round of treatment, anyone affected with pinworms should insure their elimination by repeating the course, using the same medication. If your child is diagnosed with pinworms, give them the first dose of pinworm medication, then bathe them and scrub under their nails before allowing them to play with other children or return to school.


If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not take over-the-counter pinworm medication without first asking a doctor.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Emma Rensch earned her B.A. in writing for contemporary media from Scripps College in 2011. Currently, she lives and writes in San Diego.