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. this is nuts, hands down.

  2. Gloria Picchetti November 14, 2018 at 3:48 pm · Reply

    If the avocado is ripe you can use a butter knife and not get injured.

  3. it must be a whole lot of different kinds hands too.

  4. Are they freaking kidding??? Why don’t they just wrap themselves in bubble wrap and avoid any possible risk of injury ever.

  5. Any chef will tell you a paring knife is the ONLY knife you should use to cut in the direction of yourself. They are a) small and b) dull in comparison to other “chefs” knives. Also, don’t be an idiot.

    A Jaded ER Nurse &
    Former Restaurant Worker

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.