Pinworms are the most common parasitic infections in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic. Though largely affecting children, these tiny ringworms, which measure at most a quarter of an inch, can infect adults, especially if they live or work with children. Fortunately there are many remedies for this mild ailment.
Taking steps to prevent pinworm infections does not only decrease the rate of initial infection, but it can decrease the likelihood of reinfection. To prevent pinworm infection, be sure to practice good hygiene. This means wash your hands regularly throughout the day and especially before you eat and after you use the restroom. You may want to use antibacterial hand sanitizer if no bathroom is nearby. Also, be sure to regularly trim your fingernails, as pinworm eggs can get stuck to the underside of the fingernails and reinfect carriers. Finally, if a pinworm infection has occurred within your household, be sure to thoroughly wash all potentially infected bedding and clothing to prevent further contamination.
The only proven home remedy for pinworms is garlic. Garlic has the ability to naturally destroy pinworm eggs, thus eliminating the infection. There are multiple ways to use the garlic method. You can eat a couple small garlic cloves on a daily basis until the infection clears, or you can add garlic to meals to increase your garlic intake. A more extreme measure consists of combining Vaseline with a half a pinch of a garlic paste, derived from crushing the garlic. This then should be applied to the anal area until the infection is gone.
The most effective method to treat a pinworm infection is through the use of medication. Your doctor will likely prescribe one of two drugs, either Vermox or Albenza. Vermox, also known as mebendazole, has been shown to be effective against pinworms 95 percent of the time. A common dosage is one tablet, which can take up to three weeks to eliminate all pinworms. Albenza, also known as albendazole, works similarly to Vermox and has a similar rate of effectiveness.
Another option is the over-the-counter Reese’s Pinworm Medicine, or a generic equivalent. This medication, which comes in liquid and pill form, relies on a chemical called Pyrantel Pamoate to eliminate the infection.