Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
What you can do
When you call to make an appointment, ask about performing the tape test. The test involves pressing the adhesive side of a piece of transparent tape to the skin around the anus of the person you suspect has pinworms when the person awakens. The eggs stick to the tape.
You then take the tape to your appointment so the doctor can look for pinworms or eggs under a microscope.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For pinworm infection, some basic questions to ask include:
- If I don't have pinworm infection, what are other possible causes of my symptoms?
- If one family member has pinworms, does the whole family need to be treated?
- How do I get rid of pinworms in my home?
- How do I prevent reinfection?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask a number of questions during your appointment, including:
- When did the itching start?
- Does it occur mostly at night?
- Is there anything that makes the symptoms better or worse?
- Do other family members have similar symptoms?
- Do you know if you or your child has had contact with someone who has pinworms?
- Have you found any dead worms in bedclothes, underwear or in the toilet?
What you can do in the meantime
If you have anal itching, try your best not to scratch.
- Parasites and health: Enterobiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/DPDx/html/Enterobiasis.htm. Accessed Feb. 16, 2012.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Feb. 16, 2012.
- Fact sheet: Pinworm infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/pinworm/index.html. Accessed Feb. 16, 2012.
- Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012. 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Feb. 16, 2012.
- Pinworm infection. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/pinworm/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Feb. 16, 2012.
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- Stermer E, et al. Pruritus ani: An approach to an itching condition. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2009;48:513.