Natural Treatment for Pinworms
So my 5 year old couldn’t sleep a while back. She would drift off then wake up complaining of something hurting in her bottom. She was so upset she couldn’t decipher if it was inside or outside. Being the natural remedy guru I think I am:) I put creams, salves and essential oils all to no avail. She kept saying she had to go to the bathroom, but couldn’t go. My nurse instincts thought a possible UTI, but there wasn’t any burning. I was at my wits end, sleepless and at a loss. I finally took a closer look at her anal area (yes, anal is a weird word, but it is basically your butt hole- sorry to be so blunt) and much to my dismay there was a little white worm crawling around on her skin about the size of a torn pinky fingernail. DANG! I knew what this was, it was pinworms.
If you have never seen them before it is a little freaky to see a worm crawling out of your child’s bottom. No fun! Pinworms are tiny little worms also known as E. vermicularis, and although seem alarming, they rarely cause serious problems. Gross, yes, but don’t seem to make one sick or ill. Don’t be mad at the dog… they didn’t come from Fido, pinworms are only found in humans.
THE FREAKS COME OUT AT NIGHT!!!
The female comes out of the anus at night and lays her eggs and that is when your child may often feel the most uncomfortable and itchy. One female can lay about 10,000 eggs in her lifetime. The life cycle gets easily carried on because if someone scratches their perianal area and the eggs get under the fingernails, the eggs can get easily reingested orally or shared with friends.
But don’t fear, there is hope and a natural way to treat them and get them under control. I reached for my homeopathic remedy called CINA, gave a dose, and thankfully she was able to sleep through the rest of the night. More treatment began the following day.
First of all we continued the CINA at 30C twice daily for 15 days. (if you are not familiar with homeopathy, see this blog post, or sign up for my free natural remedies E course for moms)
Second we added Diatomaceous Earth (FOOD GRADE ONLY) one teaspoon mixed in applesauce at least once a day. DE as it is called actually kills the adult pinworms and not the eggs, so it is important to keep the treatment up. I would suggest atleast 90 days or so, and some people just take it every day. One easy place to find it is here.
Next we added an herbal remedy for worms. I am not a DIY kind of girl, so I didn’t make my herbal remedy at home, I simply bought from a company that I love. A product called HAPPY from Bioray Kids is specificially formulated to get any kind of unwanted worm/organism out of a child’s body. (Honestly, I would recommend that everyone do a bottle of this once a year, just as a preventative)
We did all of the above for 15 days just to clear them all out, but I would suggest keeping up with the DE indefinitely. Bummer is you need to treat the WHOLE family as the eggs are tiny and are easily passed from person to person without notice.
They can be easily passed among small children in close quarters, hence the need to teach them to wash hands not necessarily with antibacterial soap,but with just plain soap, water and FRICTION.
It would be wise as well to wash all sheets, towels and clothes before using twice during this time . change underwear daily and no bath sharing. Do not scratch the infected area or place your fingers in your mouth.
There is an over the counter medicine out there that can work and I have heard and seen success with. It basically paralyzes the nervous system of the pinworms and they eventually come out with the poop. The most common brand is called Reese’s and the main ingredient is Pyrantel Pamoate. Other brands include “Pin-X”, “Pin-Rid”,”PYRANTRIN” formally called “COMBANTRIN”, “Anthel”, “Helmintox”, “Helmex”. The side effects include: ” abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache or dizziness sometimes occur after taking this drug”.
There doesn’t seem to be much fanfare about pyrantel pamoate and it’s potential toxicity to the body, but here is what I do know. It does recommend that children under 2 not use it, not sure why, but if children under 2 can’t use it, makes me wonder why 3 and 4 year olds would be ok to use it. Also, typically with these kind of OTC drugs to rid the body of parasites or worms you see a trend in the parasites developing resistance to them. Knowing that, I chose to go what seemed the safest and most natural route for our family. Thankfully no one else seemed to be infected. We did however, repeat the whole treatment a month later just to be safe as the life cycle can be about 21 days and wanted to make sure we didn’t miss any.
So the next time your child wakes up screaming in the middle of the night complaining of itching or burning in their rectal area, be sure to get a flashlight out to check for pinworms. If you don’t see them on first look, another way is to use some scotch tape to the affected area and they will come off on the tape. So now that we’ve gone to TMI, best of luck if your child shows up with them!
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