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What Is Avocado Hand? A Helpful Guide to Hand Injury Treatment and Prevention

Avocados are a delicious source of vital nutrients which can be spread onto toast, turned into guacamole, or sliced into your favorite salad. But did you know that avocado hand injuries have been on the rise lately? Read on for more details on avocado hand and how to prevent it.

With its smooth, creamy texture and incredible versatility, avocados make a great addition to numerous diets, including the keto diet. Most of this delectable fruit’s calories come from monounsaturated or “good fats” beneficial to people of all ages and health conditions, especially pregnant and menopausal women

Avocados also happen to be packed with tons of vitamins and nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin B2 or riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3 or niacin
  • Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B9 or folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Beta-carotene
  • Dietary fiber
  • Lutein
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

Avocados appear oval in shape and possess a thin, somewhat slippery outer peel that is difficult to get a firm grip on. Much like peaches and other stone fruits, avocados contain a pit at the center which should be removed prior to eating.

Most avocado lovers will slice it in half lengthwise, then hold the half carrying the pit in their non-dominant hand. Then, they’ll typically use a knife blade to help remove the pit, upping the chances for an avocado hand injury. If the knife slips while this is being done, it may cut into the non-dominant hand or fingers. 

Cases of avocado hand range from mild to severe, resembling either small lacerations or even stab wounds. Unfortunately, as avocado consumption has significantly increased over the past several years, the rate of avocado hand injuries has jumped accordingly.

Severe instances of avocado hand may negatively impact the muscles, nerves, and tendons in your hand. An avocado hand injury could also result in heavy bleeding and infections. That’s why it’s important to recognize the major warning signs and to seek immediate medical assistance when needed. They include:

  • Heavy bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t stop after pressure is applied to the wound
  • Deep gashes exposing subcutaneous tissues, muscles, tendons, or nerves
  • Avocado hand cuts affecting any joints 
  • Gaping wounds with edges which cannot be pushed together
  • Loss of sensation near the injury site or in other areas of your hand
  • The inability to properly move your hand or fingers
  • Avocado hand injuries created by a rusty knife 
  • Wounds contaminated with food particles or other substances

Occasionally, avocado hand injuries may require stitches or even surgery to repair the damage. Once your health care provider evaluates the wound, they’ll decide on the best course of action for addressing avocado hand complications. 

Should you receive any stitches, proper cleaning and care is crucial to allowing the tissues to heal properly and avoiding infections. The process is very similar to caring for stitches after delivering a baby. Your health care provider will show you how to dress the wound and keep stitches clean, as well as prescribe a course of antibiotics, if needed.

After getting home, be on the lookout for signs of infection following an avocado hand injury, such as:

  • Worsening pain around the injury site
  • Redness or swelling 
  • Pus seeping from the wound
  • Skin that feels warm near the problem area 
  • Fever or malaise
  • Swollen, painful lymph nodes in your armpits or neck

Mild cases of avocado hand can usually be addressed at home by following the steps outlined below:

  • Apply pressure directly to the wound with a clean, dry bandage, towel, or cloth to stop the bleeding.
  • Raise your hand above your head to reduce blood flow.
  • Once the bleeding stops, run your hand under clean, filtered water that’s safe for drinking.
  • Wash your non-injured hand before touching your avocado hand, or ask someone to wash up and help.
  • Gently pat the area dry with another clean towel or cloth.
  • Apply a sterile dressing, such as a plaster or bandage (preferably waterproof).
  • Keep the avocado hand injury as clean as possible, and change the dressing every day.
  • Remove the dressing once the wound has closed and formed a scab.
  • If necessary, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (e.g., ibuprofen) to relieve pain and swelling.

Even if the avocado hand injury was small and didn’t require any stitches, it’s still crucial to watch out for signs of infection. If symptoms appear, seek medical care right away.

Using a smarter, safer approach to cutting and pitting an avocado (or any other type of food) is the best way to protect yourself. Remember to take the following precautions to avoid getting avocado hand:

  • Make sure the avocado is ripe, since unripe ones are tougher to slice into.
  • Place the avocado on a steady cutting board on a flat surface.
  • Use a sharp knife that allows you to cut into the avocado without exerting too much pressure.
  • Hold the knife securely and place your index finger on top of the blade.
  • Instead of using a knife to pit the avocado, opt for a spoon.
  • Slow down and avoid slicing avocados or anything else when you’re in a hurry or distracted.
  • Never handle knives or other sharp objects after consuming alcohol.

Although cutting an avocado for breakfast, lunch, or dinner sounds easy enough, failing to take the proper precautions could lead to a serious avocado hand injury. Some might even consider it more dangerous than riding a bike without a helmet! 

Serious cases of avocado hand can damage tissues, tendons, nerves, and muscles in your hand and have lasting effects. More often than not, avocado hand injuries stem from incorrect handling of this slippery fruit during the slicing and pitting process. 

Be sure to follow the simple techniques above and familiarize yourself with the warning signs of avocado hand complications. When necessary, seek medical help in a timely manner.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0735675719304462

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2156?manu=&fgcd=%20target=

https://www.jucm.com/beware-as-avocado-consumption-rises-so-does-incidence-of-avocado-hand/

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-how-to-avoid-avocado-hand/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cuts-and-grazes/

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-your-cut-need-stitches-find-out-how-to-tell-2/

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