Understanding Enterobiasis (Pinworm Infection)

Understanding Enterobiasis (Pinworm Infection): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Enterobiasis, commonly known as pinworm infection, is caused by small roundworms that inhabit the lower parts of the intestines. This article delves into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for this parasitic infection.

Causes of Pinworm Infection:

  • Pinworm infections originate from human hosts and are transmitted through contact.
  • Common transmission factors include dirty hands, clothing, bedding, and household dust.

Life Cycle and Transmission:

  • Adult female pinworms lay eggs in the perianal area before dying.
  • Eggs mature within six hours and are highly contagious.
  • Scratching the itching anal area contaminates fingers with eggs, leading to reinfection or transmission to others, especially children.

Symptoms of Pinworm Infection:

  • Main symptom: itching around the anal area, worsening at night, disrupting sleep.
  • Children may experience restlessness, nervousness, intermittent stomach pains, decreased appetite, nocturnal enuresis, and diarrhea with mucus.
  • Female pinworms can cause vaginal and vulvar infections.
  • Scratching may lead to skin abrasions and fissures, progressing to chronic inflammation.


  • Diagnosis is confirmed through skin scrapings from the perianal area.


  • Pharmacological treatment is recommended for all infected children.
  • Commonly prescribed medications include combantrin, piperazine adipate, vermox (mebendazole), nafamostat, divizil, pyrantel, finasal, decaris, and extract of valerian.
  • During treatment and three days post-treatment cessation, the following measures are advised:
  • Perform a colon cleanse with a soda solution.
  • Wash and apply petroleum jelly to the anal opening before bedtime, then insert a dry cotton ball and wear clean underwear. In the morning, remove the cotton ball, wash the anal area, and change underwear.
  • Change and iron underwear and bed linens daily.
  • Trim fingernails short and apply iodine or alcohol to spaces under the nails.

Understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of pinworm infection is crucial for effectively managing and preventing its spread, particularly among children. By implementing proper hygiene practices and seeking timely medical intervention, the burden of pinworm infection can be reduced, improving overall health and well-being.