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Pin Worm (Enterobius Vermicularis) Infestation

What are pinworms?

Pinworms (Enterobius Vermicularis) are tiny worms, about half-an inch in length and live in the intestines. The female worms crawl out of the anus at night and lay their eggs on nearby skin.

What is enterobiasis?

Infestation with pinworms is known as enterobiasis. It is fairly common in young children.

How is it transmitted?

Transmission occurs when a child ingests (swallows) pinworm eggs which are usually present around the anus. Transmission can occur directly through the infected person’s hands or indirectly from an infected person’s, pyjamas, sheets or surroundings.

How does it present?

  • Some children do not get any symptoms.
  • Some children get very itchy around the anus and vagina.


The area that has become raw because of the scratching may get infected with bacteria.

How do you know if your child has pinworms?

  • Presence of worms in the stool.
  • Pin worm eggs may be found on microscopic examination of an adhesive tape which is applied over the anus and removed.

How is it treated?

  • A single dose of medication (Albendazole or Mebendazole) which needs to be repeated after 2 weeks.
  • The whole family needs to be treated simultaneously.
  • Petroleum jelly may be applied to the itchy area to relieve the itchiness.
  • Bed linen and clothing needs to be washed with hot water and detergent to eradicate all the eggs.


  • Bathe frequently.
  • Use clean underclothing, night clothes and bed sheets.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling of food and after going to the toilet.
  • Trim the fingernails regularly and keep them short.
Last reviewed : 28 August 2020
Content Writer : Dr. R. Sukumar a/l Rajaretnam
Reviewer : Dr. Zainab bt. Kusiar