How to Treat Intestinal Worms at Home
Roundworms commonly refers to an infection of the intestine caused by white and fine parasites, which, to be more specific, live in the large intestine. They then lay their eggs around the anus, which leads to symptoms such as intense itching, irritation and redness in that area. Anyone can contract pinworm - its medical term - but it is most common in children between 5 and 14 years old. This is because infection is spread more easily during this period. It is important to see a doctor to start the appropriate treatment. In addition to this, essential hygiene and care should be taken into account. Keep reading this OneHowTo article to know exactly how to treat intestinal worms at home.
An infection of roundworms is acquired when a person ingests the microscopic eggs of these parasites completely inadvertently. These can be found on hands of affected people, especially in the area around the nail, and on objects that they have touched. Once ingested, the eggs reach the small intestine, where they become larvae. These move to the large intestine which is where they grow and become adults. They will adopt the shape and size of those fine, white worms seen in the perianal area or stool.
After about two months of infection, the female parasites reproduce and lay their eggs in the edges of the anus. This is when the person affect begins to experience symptoms such as:
- Itching or irritation in the anal area, which is usually more intense in the night.
- Irritability, nervousness and difficulty sleeping peacefully.
- Irritated and reddened skin due to continuous scratching with fingernails.
- If the infection is transferred to the vaginal area, girls or women may experience itching and irritation in their genitals.
- In very severe cases, the affected person may suffer a loss of appetite and weight loss.
If you notice any of the above symptoms or suspect that your child may have pinworms, it is essential that you see a doctor as soon as possible. The specialist will explore the perianal area in search of these small worms to confirm the diagnosis. However, they may not be visible at this time as they tend to be observed at night, when they leave their eggs around the anus. For this reason, the doctor may ask you to perform a self-examination at home wherein you should place a piece of sellotape over the skin surrounding the anus and then remove. It is desirable that you carry this out in the morning just before going to the bathroom or taking your morning shower, as the eggs will most likely have disappeared later than this. Then the specialist will examine the tape using a microscope to find the eggs of the worms.
If, however, you think your child may be suffering from pinworm, we recommend waiting for them to sleep at night. When they do, proceed to check their perianal area carefully. Separate their buttocks and flash a torch around the edges of the anus to see if this type of parasite is present. Another way of checking if your child has pinworms is to check the appearance of their stool, which will often be covered with a species of whitish thread-like worms.
To treat intestinal worms, a doctor or paediatrician may prescribe some kind of anti-parasitic oral drug, which generally kills adult parasites in a single dose. However, it is also normal that a second dose of the drug be administered about 2 weeks later to remove all the eggs that appeared subsequent to the first treatment. Following medical advice with regards to treatment and duration of treatment is fundamental for effective results.
Likewise, as it is highly contagious, it is likely that another member or other members of the family are also infected, which is why suitable treatment should be followed.
As well as proper medication, it is very important to bear in mind a series of hygiene practices and measures both to alleviate symptoms and to prevent other people from contracting and suffering from intestinal worms.
- Someone with intestinal worms should avoid scratching the perianal area to prevent causing skin irritation or infection. Soaking in a warm bath for at least 20 minutes can help to alleviate symptoms. Also, the rectal and genital area should be washed with pH-neutral soap and water.
- It is preferable that the affected person sleep with closed pyjamas to avoid scratching and thus spreading the eggs onto the sheets and other surfaces.
- Keep fingernails short to prevent damage during scratching.
- Both the affected party and other family members should wash their hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, before meals, after changing a nappy, etc.
- Washing clothes, underwear and bedding used by the affected person before end of treatment is also advised. Their clothes should be separated from the clothes of other family members, which should be washed with hot water in the washing machine.
- Disinfect the toilet very well.
Finally, as a supplement to the above, you could try some natural medicine to combat this type of parasites and increase your digestive comfort. Some of the most effective options include an infusion of goldenseal, epazote or wormwood. Pumpkin seeds, papaya, garlic or grapefruit extract are also recommended.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Treat Intestinal Worms at Home, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.