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What causes pinworms (enterobiasis)?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Pinworms are not dangerous, but they do spread. What happens is the little eggs get in your mouth, they hatch, they become active worms in the colon, and then the mothers go out of your anus at night when you're sleeping. They secrete little eggs and a chemical that makes your bottom itch. So you itch your bottom, you get the eggs on your fingertips, you put it on the toys you're playing with or a dish, and then it gets converted to someone else.

If you think your child has pinworms, place a piece of tape over their anus at nighttime, and when the mother comes out and lays the eggs, you'll capture the eggs in the tape. Then take the tape to your doctor. It sounds spooky, but it's very effective. You catch the eggs, you make a diagnosis, and there's a simple treatment of oral pills without many side effects. It's not a big deal.

Parasites are incredibly common and not just found in children. Ninety percent of humans will have a problem with parasites in their lifetime.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.