First Meryl Streep. And then former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman. It even came for The View’s Joy Behar a few weeks ago. What is this “Avocado Hand”—and why is it taking out so many celebrities?!
Avocado hand, for the uninitiated, is not, as you might first think, a rare skin condition that turns your skin green and leathery (although if that exists, don’t tell us please—we’ve nightmares enough). Instead, it’s the injury that occurs when human versus avocado goes terribly, terribly wrong, the slip of the knife that marks the line between guacamole and So. MUCH. BLOOD. It even landed the aforementioned former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman in hospital where she had to undergo reconstructive surgery. Squeamish people, look away, but there was re-attaching of…tendons. *shudder*
And because Celebs Are Just Like Us, avocado hand is a very real danger to normals as well. To prevent this painful (and painfully trendy) condition, we polled several ER professionals for their top tips for avoiding avocado hand next time you get a hankering for guac.
1) Avocado Hand Is the New Bagel Hand
Truth be told, emergency room physician Dr. Claire Hislop hasn’t seen a ton of avocado-related injuries. That said: “Years ago we saw a lot of bagel hand injuries when people were apparently unaware that cutting a bagel while holding it cupped in their opposite hand might be unsafe,” she said in an interview with FLARE. ” It may be a similar phenomenon, in that people need to eventually realize that taking knife and pressing it against your opposite palm to cut food may be a bad idea.” Noted.
2) Beware the Mandolin
A nurse FLARE spoke to told us that one avocado hand injury she saw resulted in “a hand laceration that resulted in stitches.” Oh, and we should probably be careful with more common cooking implements than just knives. “I’ve seen many mandolin slices—would never recommend that kitchen tool!”
3) Practice Safe Scooping
This is an injury that occurs most often when people are using a knife to remove the avocado pit, Dr. Raj Bhardwaj told CBC’s Calgary Eyeopener radio show. It’s no joke. “It’s actually pretty serious because not only do you puncture your palm—and puncture would tend to be worse than actual cuts because they don’t bleed as much—they tend to be deeper, and so any of the bacteria that was on your knife, on the avocado, on your palm, it all gets embedded at the bottom of that puncture and then [there’s] not a lot of blood, so it doesn’t get flushed out as well.” Instead, he recommends always using a spoon for this task.
With files from Jessie Borsellino