How to Use This Blog

A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling, a particular place, a circumstance, a stage of life, etc. Let's walk the road of adoption together. The journey is so much better with company!
Much of this information is useful for any adoption, but this blog is designed to be a
I hope this blog will be helpful to you in your adoption whether you are considering, waiting or home. I started this blog when we were adopting and found there was next to nothing on the web in any orderly manner. I set about to collect information for myself and then for others. Now, there are more sites for resources, but still not much that brings it all together. I hope this blog will serve as a sort of clearing house for Ethiopian Adoption Information. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge through commenting.
You can search by topic in three ways. 1. Go to the "key word" tabs on top and open pages of links in those topics. 2. Use the "labels list" in the side bar or 3. use the "search bar" above the labels list. You can also browse the blog by month and year in the Posts section or in any of the above as well. The sidebar links are to sites outside of this blog. While I feel they provide good information, I can not vouch for each site with an approval rating. Use your own discernment for each. If you have more to add to the topic, please add it in the comment section of that page or post.
And, please link to The Wayfarer Adoption Blog by putting my button on
your blog so others can use this resource too. Please link to this blog when ever you can and whenever you re-post things (or images) you have found here. Thanks!
The solid tabs are links to my other blogs for books and family. Check them out if you are interested.
Welcome to the journey!

Monday, April 26, 2010

skin care, rash, products, Vitamin D, sunscreen

When my son had Strep Throat the first time he got this rash all over his body.  Now, my other kids have never had Strep and I have never seen a Strep rash. So, I go to look up skin rash on the internet. I had no idea his sore throat and skin rash were related. I thought he just got into something. So, I look up skin rash...... all the descriptions and photos are for white people. I was so perturbed! My first taste of inequality and I am ashamed that this has gone on so long. So, if you are a medical person, get some info up on the net for people with brown skin. It is high time. Anyway, we went to the Dr. and well, that is Scarletta, the fancy name for Strep rash, because of what color it is on white people. It was not scarlet on my son's brown skin. It was deep purple.
Here is an example. Two great sites for diagnosing skin rashes on babies and other family members. No mention of what it looks like on darker skin. Great information, keep in mind the rash your child has may look darker or a different color due to skin tone.

So, I have done a little on line work. And I stress "little" because that is all there is. Maybe you too will benefit. Or maybe you can help be the remedy to this resource problem. If you know of good sites on any of these skin topics please add them in the comments for this post and thank you.

Skin irritations:
If you cut your son's hair short-
Same page as above click the children tap and find info on ring worm of the scalp. I was surprised to find it here.
This is the best one out there-but is so limited.  this one actually has photos, but it is not a diagnosis site- and only has stuff a dermatogist treats, no strep rash here. It is a dermatologist Dr. office site. 

Skin care:

Skin care products:
I noticed that in the ethnic section at WalMart there are acne products for darker skin.
We use Palmer's products on the boys and love it. I am allergic to Shea Butter...... Cocoa Butter is also a wonderful product. I also use a leave in conditioner for curly hair on the hair, I like the sort that you spray on. Also the no more frizz leave in conditioners seem to do well for the boys, but sometimes there is too much residue. I don't tend to like petroleum or shea based products for hair because they attract dirt and well, boys already attract enough of that.
I bet you can find a selection in what ever store you frequent: WalMart, Target, Kmart, Kroger's, grocery store, etc....

Sun and Vitamin D:
I do know that dark skin is sensitive. Excema is common. Sunburn is also a concern. I am saying this because I have heard it said that darker skin does not burn. This is not true. You should be just as hyper vigilant with your dark skinned children and sun as your light skinned children and sun. This is a common myth. Put sunscreen on them.
Mayo Clinic
American Cancer Society

This leads me to the rabbit trail of Vitamin D. I have heard and read that Vitamin D is absorbed primarily through eyes and secondarily through skin. (I also understand that this is up for debate and no one really knows all that much about it, but everyone seems to have an opinion that sounds really good).  If you use uv block sunglasses and sunblock, and or cover up outside you block Vitamin D absorption. Of course we have great reasons to do this. Be sure you get your kids supplements. In addition, darker skin and eyes do not absorb as much vitamin D as lighter skin and eyes. Read article here and here. So, be sure to get the supplements. Milk usually has it. But, many kids born in Ethiopia have lactose intolerance and dairy allergies. Vitamin D can be found in other things and supplemental vitamins. Check it out. Wikipedia on Vitamin D. All about Vitamin D. Vitamin D Council has some interesting info. But I would argue with them on their estimation that dark skin does not burn. This is a myth.

From: with dark skin
People with dark skin
Greater amounts of the pigment melanin result in darker skin and reduce the skin's ability to produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Some studies suggest that older adults, especially women, with darker skin are at high risk of developing vitamin D insufficiency [41,56]. However, one group with dark skin, African Americans, generally has lower levels of 25(OH)D yet develops fewer osteoporotic fractures than Caucasians (see section below on osteoporosis).

From: Americans and other people of color. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin. The pigment interferes with the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.

So, use that sunscreen and eat foods high in vitamin D and take the supplement, but not too much. Tricky. Now, let's see if I can put this into practice too!


  1. It has been brought to my attention that a new study has been done on persons of EUROPEAN descent. In this study it found that vitamin D production was not effected by genetics. I would be interested to see a coordinating study on persons of AFRICAN descent.

  2. Thanks for the info on skin. My daughter has been home from Ethioia for 7 weeks now and we have spent 5 of thse weeks trying to find out why the glands in her neck are constantly swollen and her scalp is so ittitated. The resource link you posted have helped to ease my mind:0)

  3. So glad this blog is helpful. I am always glad to hear about it fulfilling it's purpose! Welcome home and congratulations on your new daughter.


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