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

New: Embarrassing Bodies..., 10:00pm Tuesday 7th April 2015 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.

Is it possible for the worms to migrate or spread to eyes,nose, ears, throat and under the skin surrounding those areas? My family has been struggling to get rid of threadworms' for the past year but as small children don't follow strict hygiene measures at all times we're still working on it. Now it feels they are crawling in all my cavities at night, causing white linear or blotches on my skin where crawling sensation just occurs in my face. This is also giving me horrific headaches and very sore eyes. Doctors tell me I have allergy ( apparently allergy can walk )to pollen. Daytime still red eyes, runny nose and headache, nightime as a terror syfy movie. Don't know what to do, had to take steroids, antibiotics and antibiotic cream, nose sprays and now antihistamines. Paracetamol and ibuprofen do nit relieve headache either. Losing my mind here thinking I have worms in my brain and they are just guessing it might be sinuses or allergy. Not even a blood test taken after 2 visits to after hours and one in emergency room.Not sure what to make of all these strange anomalies as I never got any allergic reactions in my entire life. 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 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

Hi my daughter is 12 and this is the second time,she was given Ovex but she has great hygiene skills,she is ocd about it now,her bedclothes are changed every 2-3 days mattress hoovered bedroom dust free, I have followed all the guide lines to the letter so any advice would be most welcome !!!





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

Maybe your daughter still had some eggs left over so needed a second dose.Ovex kills the worms(starves them of glucose and they die)but it doesn't get rid of the eggs.Ovex didn't work for me I found Pripsen much better it paralyzes the worms and contains a laxative sena which helps to pass them out of your system.You need two doses the first dose gets rid of the adult worms and the second dose treats the young worms that have hatched and aren't old enough to have laid any eggs.If Ovex isn't working for your daughter maybe you should ask your doctor about pripsen.Anyway,hope your daughter gets better soon.

I have had them for 6 months straight and have tried loads of medications and things like that but it won't work. They are really starting to annoy me. can someone tell me how to get rid of them. I am in year 7 and I am getting embarrassed when I itch around the area they are in. Please can someone help me by suggesting a method for removing them.





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 ten year old is very difficult keeps getting worms. I have tryed to explain he needs to stay clean but he just thinks it's funny any advice would be must greatfull. 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

Ive had threadworms three times now please help!!!!





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 there, im a mummy of 2... my son had worms for a while "i didnt know at the time what it was" untill my mum brought it up, then clicked ive had the same things as him so went and bought pills for it over the counter... he is still scraching his bum so i dont think its worked!! Is it true you cant get rid of them its worrying me sick :\ he must of got them from school as ive got OCD and EVERY is bleachd every day the loo, floors, kitchen ect an hand gels after washing ha.ds when using the loo its really getting to mee :(





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 ive had threadworms i have them at the moment and its the third time!!! After the second time it was shower after getting up and going to sleep and washing hands before and after meals i really want to get rid of them but ive heard about a thing called retroinfection which means they die in you but the eggs can still hatch this means you could possibly never get rid of them

I think its important to point out that it says in the article that they are caught through poor hygiene .. which is maybe what is leading some people to talk of feeling ashamed, embarrassed or dirty. It is other people's poor hygiene that enables you to pick up this infection in the first place .. any of us can get it from anywhere! Be annoyed, but not embarrassed! It doesn't reflect on 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

hello,im a mum of 7 and my twins have treadworms i didnt know what it was and then my best mate told me about them the tablets they we given to the twins didnt work what should i do ???

It is incredibly common and really nothing to be ashamed of at all! Just go to your doctor and get a prescription (or if not pregnant just go to the pharmacist). It is so very easy to get rid of them, but it just gets worse if you don't.





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

What kind of medicine??

Hi Lucy - just one-a-day tablets usually. Ovex is one brand name I recall..

Has anybody got photographs of what I should be looking for?





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

At the top of this article! They are tiny .. about 2-3mm long, white and wriggly.

anytime i ever had them as a kid they went after been dosed





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





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. In Detail: Urethral Reconstruction

    In Videos - An in detail look at an operation to reconstruct a man's urethra.

  7. How To Check Your Testicles

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

  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. Dr Christian Jessen

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Christian

  11. Bodies Behaving Badly

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

  12. How To Check Your Breasts

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

  13. Breasts

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

  14. Men

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

  15. Vaginas

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


More Information

Content supplied by NHS Choices

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

Help Beat Cancer

Download our free mobile game to help Reverse The Odds in the fight against cancer.

Available on App Store, Google Play and Amazon App Store >