questionsany good products to look for for pre-sunburns?

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Use butter, It sounds gross but it really works. Just get a stick of butter and rub it all over your body and hang out for a good 20 to 30 mins and BOOM NO SUN BURN!! It sounds really dumb but it works!

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There are a lot of green gel aloe types that helps for sunburn. I would imagine the same would work as it was getting there. Throw it in the fridge and it feels really good on a sunburn. The one we use is banana boat I think.

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I realize that you said pre-sunburn, but I'm sure that you looked at this question in case you don't get any good answers. I am not familiar with any pre-sunburn antidotes, but I've always been a fan of aloe-based products after the fact. Hope it works out!

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http://www.walmart.com/ip/After-Sun-Aloe-Vera-Cooling-Gel/14122657

i buy this stuff by the case (almost) and hand a bottle out occasionally. as soon as i start turning pink or realize i've been stupid in my sun exposure i start putting it on.

it contains lidocaine as a skin numming agent and aloe to help heal the burn. i have been cherry red and never peeled when i use this stuff. it is amazing

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Vinegar. Soak a washcloth in it, wring out the excess, lay the cloth over the sunburned area for a few minutes. Repeat. Repeat some more. It's weird, but it seems to help take a lot of the initial sting out of the burn. You'll smell a bit like a fresh salad for while; don't know if that's a plus or a minus.

(And I'm sure you know you don't really have a "pre-sunburn." You're already burned; you just don't see the manifestations yet.)

If it's really bad and you have decent medical coverage your doctor can prescribe spray-on meds that will help immensely.

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I third the aloe vera gel.... easy enough to pick up in any pharmacy. Just slather it on generously in any areas you expect to be burned, and keep on doing it every couple hours (or even more frequently if you think it will be bad).

Burns might still show up, but keeping the skin moisturized with the aloe vera will at least still help make it far less severe. Honestly I'd keep applying even after burns show up, as it also helps with the healing process.

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It may be too late now, but if your skin is still warm to the touch, a cool shower may help.
If you can stand it, staying under the cool water until your skin is no longer warm to the touch can help to lessen the severity of the burn. It works best if you do it as soon as possible after the sun exposure, but even a few hours later on it definitely won't hurt.

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@jseureau: Never apply butter to a burn, from the sun or anything else. The oil forms a barrier and traps the heat, possibly making the burn even deeper & much worse. Cool water, not ice is much better. Curad makes a fantastic gel burn wrap. It's similar to this http://www.amazon.com/Burn-First-Dressing-Water-4x16/dp/B0006GE5M2/ref=sr_1_9?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1340589657&sr=1-9&keywords=burn+gel Both will soothe a burn for hours. We used them to keep my son's leg comfortable after he had a molten marshmallow dropped on his leg. Nasty burn, that stuff makes!

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@magic cave: As someone who lived at the beach for 6 yrs, I wholeheartedly endorse your vinegar approach. Another odd thing that works: milk compresses.

Aloe is good, too.....but both the vinegar and milk compresses work better for me. I do, however, like to slather myself with a specific brand (Suave) of aloe-infused lotion while I'm still wet from a tepid-cool (not cold!) shower, to help the skin absorb both the water and the aloe. (Good moisturizing tip for all the time; not just impending sunburn.)

Regardless of which of the above is used however, it is imperative to drink LOTS of extra water to keep the skin layers hydrated from the inside. And if one can (normally) take plain aspirin, that should be started asap and continued for a few days. The sooner these can be begun, the lesser the sunburn will become.

And yes....as someone else pointed out.....butter would be BAD to use.

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@gideonfrost: I have to wonder, though.....aren't you frosty enough to be immune to being burned anyway??? ;-)

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As a blonde surfer and a way too frequent burner, I have an arsenal of tricks. I mix a concoction of 1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water, and pop it in the fridge. Then I jump into a cool shower (as close to said burn time as possible) and remain in there until my skin no longer feels hot to the touch. Depending on how I feel, I continue with lukewarm bath with a cup of vinegar, spraying myself with vinegar concoction as well, or I get out and douse myself in the vinegar. I do not put any sort of oil based product on my skin until 24 hours after sun exposure, as stated, it holds the heat in, causing the skin to continue burning. I keep an aloe gel with lido (in the fridge) and a lidocaine (solarcaine) spray.. Once the pain begins, I spray on the lido, and after 24 hrs I apply cold aloe/lido mixture. As soon as pain is gone I apply a heavy emollient lotion to decrease peeling/encourage healing (for approx a week). Zinc oxide is my fave sunscreen ingredient for future ref.

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I found (some one much older then me told me, and I tested it) that vitamin e heals cuts amazingly fast. What you do is buy a big bottle of vitamin e and the caplets are soft jells, you bite a small hole in the caplet and put it on the cut...
Never tried on sunburns.
Vitamin e is very think and I am not sure how applying to a burn would work.
Drink plenty of water.