Zits is the Most Common Slang Word for Pimples

How Can Our Use of a Word such as “Zits” Impact Acne Treatment?

At some point acne became known by the unappealing term, zits. Many teenagers are affected by acne, in fact, as many as 80% to at least some extent, and most often teens and adults alike refer to acne as zits. Obviously, your dermatologist will use the more formal, scientific terms for the various types of acne, but to most of us, acne blemishes are referred to as zits.

Is Zit Even A Word?

The word zit occupies an entry in the English dictionary and is defined as a slang term used to describe a pimple. I do have some difficulty with the word zits. Acne can be emotionally draining, and having acne can make a teen’s social life miserable at times. Referring to pimples as zits seems to intensify the emotional toll that acne can take. It sounds much better to exclaim, “My doctor prescribed a cream for my blemishes” rather than saying, “My doctor gave me a prescription to clear up my zits.” It’s similar to the slang terms that we use for vomit. “Puke” just doesn’t sound attractive no matter how you say it, and the word zits doesn’t sound that appealing either.

A Not-So-Pretty Name For a Not-So-Nice Condition

By avoiding the slang term “zits”, we can lessen some of the stigma associated with acne. This can actually improve treatment outcomes because if there is less of a stigma attached to acne than more people will seek treatment which means more people will enjoy clear skin. Many acne sufferers avoid treatment because they are too embarrassed to talk about their acne. The negative way many people view acne certainly contributes to their embarrassment.

Let's Make a Change

Promise me the following -- that the next time you are discussing acne, you refer to zits are either pimples or blemishes. Perhaps, those around you will also refrain from using zits by hearing other more positive terms to describe zits. Eventually, this might catch on, and zits will be a long-forgotten word.

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