Can a Bug Bite Cause Basal Cell Carcinoma? Or Chronic Inflammation/Irritation?

I was bitten on the side of my neck by an unknown insect (not a mosquito) in South Africa one year ago. The bite never completely healed and recurrently got inflamed with itching and bleeding. For an entire year the site was inflamed and irritated with episodic bleeding.My dermatologist finally decided to excise it surgically. The biopsy showed basel cell carcinoma. Could the chronic inflammation of this bug bite that never healed have caused the carcinoma, or was this just a coincidence? Can chronic (one year) inflamation that resulted from the bug bite could have caused the cancer. Or was it a complete coincidence that I developed a basal cell cancer at the exact same (non sun-exposed) site where the bug bite occurred.

Doctor Answers 2

Bug Bites Do Not Cause Cancer

The bug bite was most likely a co-incidence. Chronic inflammation seems to be a factor in the development of squamous cell carcinomas, especially of the oral cavity but basal cell carcinomas have not been linked to bug bites. 

Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Bug bites do NOT cause basal cell carcinoma

Here is a short list of things that do NOT cause basal cell carcinoma:

  1. Bug Bites
  2. Cat Scratch
  3. Acne
  4. Minor trauma

Basal cell carcinoma is caused by the sun in addition to other factors, possibly genetic, that we are not aware of.


Robert S. Bader, M.D.


Robert S. Bader, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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