What is “avocado hand”?

What is “avocado hand”?

Avocados are wholesome fruits packed with nutrients to benefit your entire body. However, when not cutting avocados properly, you may suffer from “avocado hand”, an injury affecting many people, including celebrities like Meryl Streep and Joy Behar.

What is it?

Sometimes, when a person holds an avocado in the palm of their hand while slicing it, they accidentally cut themselves. Without careful measures, kitchen knife injuries can turn very dangerous quickly.

“With all the popular low-carb diets out there, more people are including avocado in their nutrition nowadays. Avocados have very low sugar and high fiber, so it’s no wonder this fruit has become very popular,” says Dr. Estella Martinez, a family medicine physician at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago.

Dr. Martinez emphasizes just because avocado injuries are on the rise, you shouldn’t be afraid to eat them. She recommends watching videos on how to properly cut an avocado, buy an avocado pitter or have another person do the slicing for you to continue enjoying the benefits of this delicious and healthy fruit.

Dr. Joshua Sherman, an emergency medicine physician also at Advocate Trinity Hospital, provides suggestions for safe kitchen care.

“It’s important that we adults continually practice safe kitchen habits and correct our children when appropriate. Such practices should probably include: safe guarding sharp objects, such as knives, using an appropriate cutting board, keeping our hands/fingers opposite the direction of the knife’s cutting surface, not cutting things while held in our palms and using appropriately sized knives.”

Dr. Sherman adds, “If you do become a victim of ‘avocado hand’, seek medical treatment for any injuries that you perceive to be deep, for any difficult-to-control bleeding, difficulty moving the hand/fingers, persistent numbness or any other concerns. We’re here to help.”

Here are five tips when handling kitchen knives to help prevent avocado hand and other injuries:

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  1. Gloria Picchetti July 12, 2018 at 4:00 pm · Reply

    Learn to select ripe avocadoes.
    Use a butter knife or paring knife to make the initial cut through the skin and all around the pit.
    Use a tea spoon to remove the pit.
    Use a serving spoon to take the meat out of the skin.
    Use the butter knife or paring knife to slice and/or dice.
    When avocadoes are not ripe these things are too difficult to do. I have been making guacamole for over 50 years. Please don’t say GWOK O MO Lay! It’s WOK O MO LAY.

  2. Another serious point is that truly sharp knives, well-maintained, are safer. Dull knives require extra force which causes slippage and skids on rinds when the dull blade cuts badly, tears, or turns from dense spots in the fruit rather than following the guide of the hand. It doesn’t matter if it is a so-called gourmet blade, keep it sharpened and you will cut easier, cut more accurately, and best of all, cut what you intend, not yourself.

  3. This is a very serious matter that cuts close to my heart. No pun intended.
    My best friend was a big fan of guac. He sliced many ‘cados (thats what we would call avocados)
    over many years. We had great times picking out ripe ‘cados and chips. He knew so much about garlic and salt and where avocaods are from. I would also say”That knife looks really sharp Bennett! Why do you use such a sharp knife. Bennett would just smile and say
    “Come see Come saa”.
    Last year was the 15th anniversary of Bennetts last bowl of guac. He hasn’t even picked up a corn chip since then. 22 stitches. 3 years of therapy. 2 failed marriges. a home foreclosure. Alcohol and drug addiction. He didn’t shave and grew a beard. Had his avocado tat removed. Lost his favorite t-shirt. Started working for ICE. Doesn’t eat tacos anymore. Is a serious thing! I think they should be banned!
    And also-this is a joke. I cannot believe people are this vapid. wow.

About the Author

Kelsey Andeway
Kelsey Andeway

Kelsey Andeway, health e-news contributor, is a public affairs intern at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She is a senior at Loyola University Chicago earning a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Dance. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys dancing, baking, and taking long walks with her Chocolate Lab.