Taking medication will help kill threadworms, however it does not kill the eggs, which can stay alive for 2 weeks outside of the body. Therefore to it is important to follow strict hygiene measures during the infection and for a few weeks afterwards. This will reduce the chances of you other people in your household getting infected or you getting re-infected.

Self-help measures you can take to help clear threadworm infection and stop reinfection include:

  • Washing hands regularly, including scrubbing under fingernails – particularly before eating, after using the toilet or changing nappies
  • Cutting fingernails short – this will help stop eggs from being trapped underneath them upon scratching and will also prevent the skin being damaged when you itch
  • Avoid biting nails or sucking on fingers or thumbs
  • Bathing or showering every morning
  • Thoroughly washing all clothing such as sleepwear, bedsheets and towels – you should avoid shaking the clothing or bedding when washing as this could result in eggs from being spread to other surfaces
  • You should clean your household thoroughly ensuring all surfaces are disinfected and floors are mopped and vacuumed
  • Ensuring children wear underwear at night, which should be changed in the morning
  • Avoiding sharing towels or flannels

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored May 18, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Jun 15, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm