Most weekend brunches are just not complete or Instagram-worthy without avocados, but the avocado trend is leading to an alarming amount of people in the United Kingdom accidentally lacerating their own hands while cutting into the healthy fruit.
The new trend — called “avocado hand,” appropriately — has doctors and surgeons in the UK worried, according to The Times of London. In fact, it has become so commonplace that doctors at the St. Thomas hospital in London prepare themselves for a “post-brunch surge” of avocado slicing injuries on Saturday afternoons.
Dr. Simon Eccles, secretary of the association and former president of the plastic surgery section of the Royal Society of Medicine, said that he treats about four patients a week at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London who’ve cut their hands while slicing into an avocado.
“People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them,” Eccles told The Times.
These are not just small cuts or scratches. The Independent reported that people have sliced their hands cutting avocados so badly that they’ve needed surgery and in some severe cases even caused nerve damage.
“Recently the health benefits of avocado have been advocated, with an increase in their popularity – and a consequent increase in related injuries,” David Shewring, Vice President of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, told The Times.
However, this does not mean doctors are advising against eating avocados — after all, they are filled with lots of healthy nutrients. Rather, they just want to educate the public on how to properly handle an avocado.
“We don’t want to put people off the fruit but I think warning labels are an effective way of dealing with this,” Eccles said. “It needs to be recognizable. Perhaps we could have a cartoon picture of an avocado with a knife, and a big red cross going through it?”
The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons has suggested attaching labels to the skin of avocados with directions for properly cutting into them.
Shewring advises people to use the following method: “Wrap the avocado in a towel leaving the pip exposed. Carefully use the edge of a heavy sharp knife to chop into the summit of the soft pip, so that it is slightly buried. Holding the knife, so that the pip is stabilized, use a towel to twist the pip out.”
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.