Could Your Itchy Bum Be Caused By Pinworms?
Updated: Sep 8
Do you, or your children have an itchy bottom? Could pinworms be to blame? One of the most common parasites I see in my clients are pinworms (1). Pinworms are small, white parasites (about the size of a staple) that are extremely transmissible (2)!! They tend to run rampant in children (especially those in daycare and school), because kids often itch themselves and then proceed to put their fingers in their mouths and everywhere else! If you have a family member that has pinworms, it is highly likely that you have them, too. The eggs can last for weeks on bedding, clothing, and other household items, so people unknowingly become infected when they inhale, or ingest an egg.
Having an itchy bum is one of the most common side effects of pinworms. There are other things that can cause you to have an itchy anus, like chronic constipation and hemorrhoids (which can cause small, itchy tears around the anus), skin conditions, or washing too much (or not enough). With that said, however, pinworms are usually the biggest culprit. The female pinworm comes out of the anus at night, while the unknowing victim is asleep, to lay her microscopic eggs; so a lot of the itchiness happens at bedtime. Many parents have reported seeing pinworms around their child’s anus at night, because their child complained to them about having a tickly, or itchy feeling in their bottom. This constant itchiness is not only annoying, but can lead to restlessness and lack of sleep for the child and the parent. Other symptoms of pinworms include: stomach pain, teeth grinding, irritability, insomnia, nausea, urinary tract infections, weight loss, abdominal infections, and itching in the vaginal area (1).
The scientific name for pinworms is “Enterobius vermicularis.” Pinworms are nematodes (roundworms) and have been also been called “threadworms” and “seatworms” (5). Stool tests for parasites are extremely unreliable and will usually give you a false negative result (3). You can collect pinworm eggs and bring them to your doctor, by doing a “tape test.” This can be done by taking a piece of clear tape and firmly stick it around the anus, which causes the eggs to stick to the tape. The tape can then be placed under a microscope to determine if there are pinworms present. You should perform a “tape test” immediately upon waking, because going to the bathroom, washing, bathing, or getting dressed can dislodge the eggs from the skin. Before taking the tape samples to your doctor, it is recommended that you do the test three mornings in a row, so you have a greater chance of retrieving the eggs.
If you, or your child is diagnosed with pinworms, then your doctor will probably prescribe an anti parasitic medication. The most common medications prescribed for pinworms are: albendazole, mebendazole, and pyrantel pamoate (4). Keep in mind….these medications have a poor track record for reliably killing pinworms and re-infection occurs EXTREMELY EASILY, so medication alone is NOT ENOUGH to prevent re-infection!
To effectively eliminate pinworms, follow my protocol below!
*The entire family should be washing their hands frequently. I would not advise using antibacterial soap, as this will upset the body’s natural microbiome, which is meant to help protect you.l
*Keep fingernails short and out of the mouth.
*Wear tight, 100% cotton underwear, so the pinworms have less of a chance of escaping.
*Cotton gloves worn at night can help prevent scratching.
*Change your underwear twice a day (including pj's and yoga pants) & wash them in hot water each day.
*Hang these items to dry in the sun, if you can. UV rays kill the eggs.
*Don’t share towels & washcloths (wash hand towels & washcloths after each use).
*Change your sheets a LOT & avoid shaking the bedding, as this can make pinworm eggs airborne & you might inhale the eggs.
*Mop & vaccum a LOT.
*Wash all linens & bedding in hot water.
*Don’t allow children to bathe together.
*Thoroughly clean all counter tops & surfaces often. I would also recommend avoiding antibacterial cleaners and stick with natural, chemical-free cleaners, as you want to protect your body’s microbiome.
*Apply coconut oil around the anus at night, as it prevents the female from being able to lay her eggs.
*Avoid eating foods that parasites enjoy, like refined sugar, sugary treats and drinks, fast food, fried foods, and processed foods.
*Include these foods into your diet: raw garlic (if you can't tolerate it raw, then add it into your meal, cooked), raw carrots, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds, papaya seeds (they're bitter, so you can grind them and add small amounts to smoothies & soups), apple cider vinegar (1 teaspoon diluted in about 4 ounces of water, a few times per day), and plenty of veggies!
*Talk to a knowledge Practitioner (like me), who can walk you through performing a parasite cleanse. Herbs have been used for thousands of years to address parasites, but it can be dangerous to attempt a cleanse, like this, on your own. There are many factors to consider: Are you pregnant, or breastfeeding? Are you on medications that will interact with the herbs? Is your body ready for a parasite cleanse?
Reach out to me for a FREE 20 minute consultation!
Disclaimer: This post is not intended as medical advice.
https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/pinworm_infection (pinworm picture source)