Pinworm treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions
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Can a doctor treat a pinworm infection on Maple?
Yes. In some cases, a doctor from Maple will be able to offer a pinworm diagnosis based on your symptoms.
As well, sometimes the doctor will ask you to perform a ‘tape test’. This is where the person suspected of having pinworms presses adhesive tape onto the skin around the anus. The test must be done as soon as you wake up, before using the washroom, in order to be effective.
Typically, if your doctor requests a tape test, you will be asked to perform the test for three consecutive days. You’ll then be asked to bring those pieces of tape to a lab, where they can be looked at under a microscope to determine whether there are any pinworm eggs on the tape.
Can I get a prescription on Maple?
Yes, our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.
You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.
What is a pinworm infection?
Pinworms are tiny, narrow worms. They’re less than half of an inch in length and white in colour.
A pinworm infection (also known as enterobiasis or oxyuriasis) is one of the most common types of human intestinal worm infections. It’s a very contagious condition, which can be spread by accidentally inhaling or ingesting microscopic pinworm eggs.
Usually, pinworms can be found in kids between the ages of 5 and 10, people who live in close-quarter institutions or those who have close contact with people in the first two groups.
What are the symptoms of a pinworm infection?
Pinworm symptoms include:
- Severe or regular itchiness in the anal area, especially at night
- Rash, pain or skin irritation around the anus
- Finding pinworms in stool
- Agitation or irritability
- Restless sleep due to itching and discomfort
- Sporadic abdominal pain
- Itching in the vaginal area
What causes a pinworm infection?
Female pinworms lay eggs in the folds of skin around the anus, before returning to the colon. This is done during the night and as a result, causes the itching symptom in the area where the eggs are laid.
Pinworm infections occur when those itchy areas are scratched, and the pinworm eggs are transferred to hands or other objects. They will then infect a new host if those eggs are inhaled or ingested.
Typically, young children put their hands and other random objects into their mouths on a regular basis, which is why it’s common to find pinworms in kids.
The pinworm life cycle is approximately 13 weeks long. However, because pinworm eggs can survive on contaminated surfaces (bedding, toilet seats, toys or clothing) for up to 3 weeks, they’re very easy to spread. Reinfection is much more likely when contaminated surfaces aren’t thoroughly cleaned while treating a pinworm infection.
How is a pinworm infection diagnosed?
A doctor will offer a pinworm diagnosis after evaluating you for the existence of pinworms or pinworm eggs.
Frequently, this involves doing a ‘tape test’. To perform this test, an infected patient puts adhesive tape on the skin around the anus first thing in the morning, for three consecutive days. Then they take the tape to their doctor to examine the tape under a microscope, where pinworm eggs are visible.
In some cases, your doctor may also request a stool sample, in order to check for the presence of pinworms.
How is a pinworm infection treated?
Depending on the severity of your pinworm symptoms, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications. As well, they may suggest ointments, creams or lotions to help alleviate some of the symptoms.
Because pinworm is so contagious, caregivers or those who live in close quarters with someone who is infected may need to be tested and treated at the same time; to prevent a cycle of reinfection from occurring.
A thorough cleaning of the living space, clothing, toys, as well as improvements in daily hygiene practices, could also be necessary to completely eliminate the infection.
What is Maple?
With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare app for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.
You simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.
Our doctors can assess symptoms, and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.
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