Exams and Tests
- If a person suspects pinworms but does not see them, the "Scotch 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 3/27/2014
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