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Pinworms (cont.)

Which specialties of doctors treat pinworms in adults and children?

Pediatricians, family practioners and internists are all capable of accurately diagnosing and treating pinworm infections. Since simple antibiotics are very successful at curing the infection and complications are unusual, specialists are rarely necessary.

How are pinworms diagnosed?

  • If a person suspects pinworms but does not see them, the "tape test" can be used.
    • It is best done at night during the characteristic intense itching or early in the morning before any bathing or washing.
    • Wrap a piece of cellophane tape around a tongue depressor, sticky side out, and press it to the skin around the anus to collect any eggs.
    • Take the tape to a doctor, who will put it under a microscope to look for pinworm eggs.
    • The doctor may ask the person to use several pieces of tape to increase the likelihood of seeing the eggs. A single specimen will detect approximately 50% of cases; 90% of cases will be detected if the test is repeated three times.
    • Blood tests are not necessary to establish the diagnosis of pinworm infection.
  • The doctor may decide based upon the patient's symptoms that pinworms are present and may treat with medication without doing any tests.
  • If one person in a household has pinworms and other people in the household have the same symptoms, it is not necessary to test everyone before treating.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pinworm »

Pinworm, or Enterobius vermicularis, is prevalent throughout the temperate regions of the world and is the most common helminthic infection in the United States.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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