What are Pinworms?

Pinworms look like tiny white threads. They live in the intestines of children and adults which are infected with them. At night, they travel to the rectal opening and lay eggs on the outside of the skin. This causes tremendous itching of the child’s bottom and can cause restless sleep. You can check for pinworms by examining your child’s skin about the anal opening with a flashlight in the wee hours of the morning. Usually, the best time to check your child is around midnight. This infection is spread by passage of eggs from the infected person to others. Pinworms, however, represent no danger to your child.


Pinworms require treatment with medication to relieve the infestation. Your physician can check for pinworms during a routine office visit. When an infection is identified, all family members should be treated for the infection. At the time the family members are treated, underwear and bed linens should be changed and washed in very hot water. The house should also be vacuumed thoroughly. In addition to this, fingernails should be trimmed and the hands thoroughly cleansed. Each family member should use their own clean towel and washcloth. The above measures are necessary to rid the person and the home of pinworm eggs.