(Natural News) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pinworm infections are the most common type of human worm infection in the U.S. Pinworm infections can spread easily, but they can be treated or prevented using natural remedies like garlic.
What is pinworm infection?
Pinworms are tiny white worms that cause infections also known as enterobiasis or oxyuriasis.
These infections can be addressed with medication, but some patients may also experience reinfection. Infection spreads if a person unintentionally ingests or inhales pinworm eggs. These microscopic eggs can be deposited onto a surface or object by an infected individual.
After pinworm eggs enter the body, they remain in the intestine until they hatch and mature. Adult female pinworms move into the colon and at night, exit the body through the anus.
Once female pinworms lay eggs in the folds of skin around the anus, they return to the colon. The eggs they leave often cause symptoms like anal itching and irritation.
Individuals who are at risk of pinworm infection include:
- Children who attend day care, preschool, or elementary school.
- People who live in institutions or other crowded accommodations (e.g., dormitories).
- Family members or caregivers of infected individuals.
- Children or adults who don’t wash their hands regularly before eating.
- Toddlers who habitually suck their thumbs.
The symptoms of pinworm infection
Sometimes, people with pinworm infections don’t experience any symptoms.
However, those who get infected may still experience the following:
- Frequent and strong itching in the anal area.
- Difficulty sleeping because of anal itching and discomfort.
- Pain, rash, or other skin irritation around the anus.
- The presence of pinworms around a child’s anus
- The presence of pinworms in stools.
Prevention is the best way to avoid pinworm infections and minimize the likelihood of reinfection.
Follow these tips to avoid getting infected:
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly throughout the day. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the restroom.
- Trim your fingernails regularly. This prevents pinworm eggs from getting stuck under your fingernails and reinfecting carriers.
- Thoroughly wash all potentially infected bedding and clothing. This can prevent further contamination if a pinworm infection has already occurred among family members.
Home remedies for pinworm infection
Prescribed medications may have negative side effects. Fortunately, there are natural remedies which can help address pinworm infections.
Consuming one cup of raw, shredded carrots twice a day helps the body “push” the worms out of your intestines. Carrots are rich in fiber, and consuming the vegetable can help boost your digestion and promote healthy bowel movements.
Coconut oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help clear a pinworm infection.
This treatment involves a two-step approach. First, swallow one teaspoon of pure coconut oil every morning. Second, apply a small amount of coconut oil to the affected area before you go to sleep at night. (Related: Wormwood is a natural remedy for treating intestinal parasites.)
Garlic helps kill any existing eggs, and it prevents female pinworms from laying more eggs. If you have a pinworm infection, consume garlic in small doses or apply it topically like a salve.
To add more garlic to your diet, dice a garlic clove and add it to pasta or sprinkle it on a piece of bread. Alternatively, you can also eat the garlic on its own.
You can make a natural salve by chopping several garlic cloves and grinding them into a paste. Mix the garlic paste with a small amount of petroleum jelly or a base oil of your choosing.
Dip a clean cotton swab into the mixture, then apply the salve to the affected area. Avoid using this garlic salve if you have sensitive skin, if the area has a burning sensation, or if you have broken skin, hemorrhoids, or inflammation in the affected area.
Use these home remedies if you want to naturally treat a pinworm infection.