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Pinworms (cont.)

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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Pinworms - Symptoms

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Pinworms In Adults - Experience

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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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