WORMS

Infestation by threadworms is common in young children. Threadworms are thread-like and white in colour and are usually seen in the stools or around the back passage. Children easily pick up threadworms from each other through contact with skin or objects contaminated with the eggs of worms. The first sign that worms are present is that the child is scratching the area. Itching is a classic symptom of threadworm infection and is caused by the irritation from the worms eggs, which are laid around the anus. Itching may be worse at night, because at that time the female worms emerge from the anus to lay their eggs onto the surrounding skin. The eggs are secreted together with a sticky fluid onto the skin, which causes further irritation. If the area is scratched the eggs can be caught under the nails and are easily transferred to the mouth again. Poor hygiene, particularly not washing hands after using the toilet, is a major factor in the spread of infection. Threadworms are not dangerous and usually a simple course of treatment and good hygiene measures resolve the problem.

TREATMENT
Mebendazole: is the most effective treatment of threadworm. It works by killing the worms in a single dose. A second dose would only be needed if hygiene measures are not carried out. It is suitable for use in adults and children over 2 years of age. It cannot be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Visit your doctor or pharmacist:
  • If the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If a worm other than threadworm is suspected (important if the patient has recently travelled abroad)
  • If the patient has other symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea or vomiting
Helpful Tips from Mulligans Pharmacy:
  • At Mulligans Pharmacy, we understand that our customers may need treatment for symptoms of a personal or sensitive nature. Our pharmacists are always available for a discreet chat in our private consultation room at your request, or you can ask a Mulligans Pharmacist a question in confidence here.
  • It is advisable to treat all family members at the same time even if only one person is showing symptoms
  • Remember that this type of infection is common and can easily be picked up at schools and nurseries
  • All household pets should be wormed regularly to prevent contamination from this source

Stop the transfer of eggs from the anus to the mouth by:

  • Washing the anus each morning and after going to the toilet
  • Wearing pyjamas or underwear at night to prevent the child scratching the area
  • Washing hands, in particular the nails, before eating and after going to the toilet
  • Keeping fingernails short
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