WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Embarrassing Bodies: Back to..., 12:10am Monday 22nd September 2014 on More 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Conditions

Threadworms

Threadworms

If we’re talking worms, then we’re talking parasites – small intestinal parasites, to be precise. It sounds hideous, but the threadworm (or ‘pinworm’) is the most common worm parasite infestation of children in the UK (although, any age can be affected). They are usually passed on through poor hygiene, live about 5-6 weeks in the gut, and then die. But before doing so, the female worms lay tiny eggs around the anus, which leads to itching during the night. The resultant scratching can lead to eggs getting onto our fingers and under our nails, which we may then swallow, beginning the cycle of infestation again. However, threadworms can usually be eradicated with medication and strict hygiene. But if you think humans have it bad, then you should consider grasshoppers, who play host to ‘hairworms’ which essentially brainwash the insects with a cocktail of chemicals that makes them commit suicide by leaping into water. In light of that – an itchy bottom is nothing!

Remember that you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

If your child is itching down below, they may have thread-worms, check our guide for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

help its back now my son is at school the strange thing is there not white there dark what are they i need an answer.its infected ne and my partner im worried it will infect my 6 month old





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I've had threadworms for years now. Have taken repeated doses of Vermox and still remain infected. What next?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My 9 year old son has worms yet again! He is now going into year 5 and has had them since year 2. Got to the stage of giving him vermox on a regular basis to try to break the cycle. Has a lapse and here they are again! Really at wits end now and could do with some help or a miracle. Would a laxative type of medication help to clear the stomach and bowel?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hi ive just started having thread worms im 14 years old and i dont want to tell my parents i have good hygiene and shower every day however i dont clean my bed everyday does anyone know how this may have started ?? ive also had thread worms in the past and i really am fed up of it and im at the stage of wanting to die does anyone know a full cure for this ? thx





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hi im 13 and will be 14 in 6 days =) anyway i have threadworms quite frequently and hate them they are so uncomfortable and quite frustrating at start i never told my mom because i dont really like speaking about things like that but after about the 10th time i had them i had to tell her because like you i really wanted them to stop when i told her she was really understanding and brought the medicine and they went really soon they haven't come back yet but i'm trying to prevent them from coming back. They spread easily because the threadworms lay tiny eggs that are to small to see. These can get in your bedcovers and can get on your hands too you probably got worms from school and someone else in your class has them. Especially if the eggs get under your nails,if you digest them then the cycle of the worms will carry on . So i keep my nails quite short and get rid of the dirt under them everyday.Having a shower everyday like you do will help too. And when u tell your parents ask them to wash your bedcovers because it will help! Sorry this is quite a long reply but really hope it helps =)

I'm sorry you feel so bad Sarah. It is so common though, and nothing to do with you having done something wrong. If you really don't want to tell your parents, you can go to a chemist and buy some threadworm treatment over the counter, but I would tell them as it's best to treat the whole family. Threadworms are little buggers, they spread very easily as the eggs live outside of the body for ages, they can be in the household dust, on bedsheets etc. Don't feel bad though. Once you've taken your treatment it is a good idea to use a nailbrush every morning and also wash your bottom every morning (I know, TMI!) in case the blighters have laid their eggs on you overnight (as they do) We are fed up of them in our house too, really annoying that they keep coming back. If you bite your nails, try and stop that too. Good luck and nothing to be ashamed of, it really is very common xxx

My family got treated part from me as I'm 13 weeks pregnant but was given a prescription which I had to wait till 12 weeks to take but found out it's been taken off the shelf, now I have no medication for a pregnant women to take it's been 3 weeks in total and still have threadworms which is really making me paranoid for my health and baby's. What can I take that's safe and home remedy to make them go quicker other then the hiegene as it making me very depressed





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi what did u do in the end? My lovely nephews passed them on. Iv had them about 4 weeks now !!

15 weeks I asked for what they treated my family with even though not really for pregnant women but I used it and I'm fine so is the baby

Show all replies in this thread

I've had thread worms about 6 years now and I've had enough. however, I'm to scared to go to my doctors to get medication. can I buy them over the counter? is it normal to have these? I'm worried. thanks in advanced.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Just go to the pharmacy and get Ovex. Perfectly normal.

Just go to the pharmacy and get Ovex. Perfectly normal.

I'm 14 and I found out I have thread worms I don't know for sure though. I'm scared to tell my parents. More embarrassed actually. I haven't gone to the doctors and I'm scared. Will I have it my whole life? I have no idea how to tell my mom. Please I need help. I'm scared! Also my butt is very itchy and I cannot sleep at all. Help me please





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I've had thread worms for what seems like years! I was embarrassed about it as well but I done something about it when i was 15 since it felt like it was getting worse and worse. I told my parents and ordered thread worm tablets and the problem disappeared! Just after one tablet. But the problem came back due to poor hygiene once again and not spraying the area clean. Trust me, one pill and it went away and your parents will understand. Just make sure to clean areas of your house. (Mainly the bedroom or the area you sleep) and the infection should stop.

There is nothing to be embarrassed about, you can get threadworms very easily, it is not only down to poor hygiene, you can get from animal fur, touching a door handle even shaking hand with someone, all you need to do is get over the counter worm treatment, but you need to tell your family as they will need to take the treatment with you.

Recently found one and I have pictures I wish to confirm if they are thread worms and can it be sexually transmitted





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Two years ago, i got a random infestation, my hygiene was not poor or anything like that so it was a shock.. My mum got me tablets but after two days they had all passed through anyway, i did take them though and they had gone. Although the following year in the same period of two to three weeks i found 1, just 1 worm, which scared me again, but without medication, this was the only one, recently, another year on, the same thing happened, it was a few days ago and i have not yet experienced any further infestation. It is always during summer, is this significant? Will I always get this? Please help, thank you.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

You never get rid of threadworms once you have them. Ive had them 5 years now. You have to imagine you are like a dog or cat and just need to take worming tablets regularly until someone can come up with a medicine which will kill them all for good. Dont listen to a doctor who tells you its impossible to keep having them. You absolutely can. They always stop breeding in the summer months and its the only time you get a couple of months relief. Good luck.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm in the same position and think its horrendous. I plan to get an appointment with a parasite specialist and will share any news - I can't let them win, it's not right. So glad to hear that I'm not alone. And on the note of hygiene, I take my underwear and pyjamas off in the morning in the shower, roll them up then soak them in detol before washing. It makes me angry when they talk about 'poor hygiene'.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Consultation: Second Adult Circumcision

    In Videos - Dr Jessen examines a patient in need of a new circumcision

  2. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  3. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  4. Doctor Responses: Eczema and Skin Conditions

    In Videos - Dr Dawn advises on the most common questions sent in to the Embarra…

  5. Consultation: Soreness on the Penis

    In Videos - A patient is examined for soreness around his penis

  6. How To Check Your Testicles

    In Videos - Dr Harper's guide to how to self-check your balls against testicula…

  7. Dr Christian Jessen

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Christian

  8. Dr Pixie McKenna

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Pixie.

  9. Dr Dawn Harper

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Dawn.

  10. Bodies Behaving Badly

    In Episodes - Episode 1 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies examines conditions includ…

  11. How To Check Your Breasts

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper explains how to self check your boobs for breast can…

  12. Breasts

    In Episodes - In this second of four specials, the Embarrassing Illnesses doctors…

  13. Men

    In Episodes - The EI Docs go in search of the most elusive creature in the doctor…

  14. Vaginas

    In Episodes - The EI team roll into Norwich to setup a clinic in one of the count…

  15. Teens Below the Belt

    In Episodes - Episode 4 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies tackles conditions includi…


More Information

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Threadworms (Enterobius vermicularis) are small worm parasites that infect the intestines of humans. Read More »

Be On Embarrassing Bodies

The clinic is opening again for a new series.
Apply for Embarrassing Bodies >