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    Can tick bites cause skin cancer?

Posted on Mon, 24 Jul 2017 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I had a deer tick on the back of my neck over a month ago. It was there less than 24 hrs. ( I know this because I am especially sensitive to tick bites, meaning they itch for a long time and a bump appears that also lasts a long time ). What is unusual about this bite is that it has been well over a month and though I go out of my way to NOT scratch it, it will always scab over anyway, scab falls off, red bump remains, itching restarts, etc. It resembles what would happen if one had skin cancer ( which I have had once, many years ago ). Should I see a dermatologist? Any ideas on what is causing this and/or how to get rid of it. Another unusual thing about this bite is that what looked like swollen lymph nodes appeared to the left side of the bite shortly after, but they disappeared after a week.
Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Possible squamous cell carcinoma

Detailed Answer:
Dear Ms,

I have gone through your question and I understand your concerns. It is recommended that you send a photo of the lesion so that I can inspect and help you further.

You also need to know that squamous cell carcinoma can appear as a reddish scaly patch that remains over a period of time and continue to develop slowly unlike skin rash which usually disappear quickly This type of cancer typically is found on the head, neck, hands or arms. Yes you can visit a dermatologist and get it evaluated.

I hope you find this helpful
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
Follow up: Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 15 hours later
When I was a child (I lived in a small provincial-like community) I was told by my brothers (who were always trying to scare me) and some neighbors that if a tick is not removed intact it can cause cancer at the site of the bite. I considered it to be an "old wives tale" but now I am beginning to question where did that idea come from and is it possible to get cancer from a tick bite? Yeah, I'd really like to know if it is at all possible?? Or could it be mere coincidence that I have this 'thing' at the exact site of the bite? I suppose anything is possible. In the meantime I am unable to send you a photo as I do not have the means to do so, but I do plan on making an appt. with a dermatologist to have it checked out.
Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
No, not true

Detailed Answer:
Dear Ms, tick bites are not reported to cause skin cancer , but some types of cancer can start as a rash that resembles tick bite .. I hope you find this helpful.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Salah Saad Shoman

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2444 Questions


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