A threadworm is a type of worm that you can contract abroad. These do not occur in the Netherlands. If you go on holiday abroad, it is important to watch out for certain parasites, including pinworm. This is also called a worm infection by filaria.
What is pinworm?
Threadworm is a worm that can be transmitted by small flies and mosquitoes. The larvae of the pinworm penetrate your skin. The adult pinworms often settle in the lymphatic vessels. The larvae move under the skin and can end up in organs and even in your eyes via blood and lymphatic vessels. An adult wireworm can grow to 1 to 6 cm. If these worms remain in your lymphatic vessels for a long time, they cause congestion and swelling.
How do I recognize pinworm?
There are a number of characteristics by which you can recognize a pinworm infection. Below are the features:
- Itching under the skin of the larvae.
- Bumps and strands under the skin of adult pinworms. This can often be found under the skin near the legs, groin or lower abdomen.
- Your skin may become red and suffer from hives (red itchy spots)
- Fever and a flu-like feeling.
- Closed lymphatic vessels, which can cause your leg to swell.
- When pinworms get into the eyes, they cause blindness.
If you have these symptoms, it is wise to go to the doctor immediately!
Can I do something about it myself?
The only thing you can do against wireworm is to protect yourself during your holiday. Since pinworm mainly occurs in tropical areas, it is advisable to take the following measures:
- Cover your entire body with clothes
- Use anti-mosquito lotion
- Close the windows and doors of the place where you sleep properly
- Sleep under a mosquito net
You can't do much else about wireworm yourself.
Can the pharmacist do anything for me?
You can get a prescription for various medications through your GP. There are three medications that can be prescribed to you. You can then collect the prescription medicines directly from the pharmacy.
Which medications are used for pinworm?
The three medications given for pinworm are Albendazole, Ivermectin or Doxycycline. Albendazole is usually given. You take this medicine if you are not pregnant. Albendazole ensures that the worm can no longer absorb nutrients, causing the worm, the larvae and the eggs to die.
Ivermectin paralyzes the worm, causing it to die. Doxycycline is often used in combination with another medication.
Can I buy medicines online?
It is possible to buy medicines online with a prescription. If you have a prescription from your doctor, you can get the right medicines you need from an online pharmacy.
Buy medicines without a prescription
You cannot get medication for pinworm without a prescription. The only thing you can get without a prescription is doxycycline. This in itself is not of much use in the case of a threadworm infection. That is why it is very important to go to the doctor first.