Resorcinol is an expensive chemical, produced in only a very few locations around the world (to date only three commercial plants are known to be operative: in the United States, Germany, and Japan), and as such it is the determining factor in the cost of PRF adhesives.
It is present in over-the-counter topical acne treatments at 2% or less concentration, and in prescription treatments at higher concentrations. Monoacetylresorcinol, C6H4(OH)(O–COCH3), is used under the name of euresol. It is used in hidradenitis suppurativa with limited evidence showing it can help with resolution of the lesions. Resorcinol is one of the active ingredients in products such as Resinol, Vagisil, and Clearasil.
In the 1950s and early 1960s the British Army used it, in the form of a paste applied directly to the skin. One such place where this treatment was given to soldiers with chronic acne was the Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot, England. It was not always successful.
Resorcinol is also used as a chemical intermediate for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds. It is used in the production of diazo dyes and plasticizers and as a UV absorber in resins.
Resorcinol reacts with formaldehyde to form a thermoset resin which can form the basis of an aerogel.
Resazurin, C12H7NO4, obtained by the action of nitrous acid on resorcinol, forms small dark red crystals possessing a greenish metallic glance. When dissolved in concentrated sulfuric acid and warmed to 210 °C, the solution on pouring into water yields a precipitate of resorufin, C12H7NO3, an oxyphenoxazone, which is insoluble in water but is readily soluble in hot concentrated hydrochloric acid, and in solutions of caustic alkalis. The alkaline solutions are of a rose-red color and show a cinnabar-red fluorescence. A tetrabromresorufin is used as a dyestuff under the name of Fluorescent Resorcin Blue.
Austrian chemist Heinrich Hlasiwetz (1825–1875) is remembered for his chemical analysis of resorcinol and for his part in the first preparation of resorcinol, along with Ludwig Barth, which was published in 1864.:10
^Gawron, O.; Duggan, M.; Grelechi, C. (1952). "Manometric Determination of Dissociation Constants of Phenols". Analytical Chemistry. 24 (6): 969–970. doi:10.1021/ac60066a013.
^Lander, John J.; Svirbely, John J. Lander, W. J. (1945). "The Dipole Moments of Catechol, Resorcinol and Hydroquinone". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 67 (2): 322–324. doi:10.1021/ja01218a051.
^Biamonte, M. A.; Van de Water, R.; Arndt, J. W.; Scannevin, R. H.; Perret, D.; Lee, W.-C. (Jan 2010). "Heat shock protein 90: Inhibitors in clinical trials". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 53 (1): 3–17. doi:10.1021/jm9004708. PMID20055425.
^Raj B. Durairaj. Resorcinol: Chemistry, Technology and Applications. Springer Science & Business Media, 2005 ISBN9783540280903
^Panico, R.; & Powell, W. H. (Eds.) (1994). A Guide to IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Compounds 1992. Oxford: Blackwell Science. ISBN978-0-632-03488-8.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
^H. Hlasiwetz and L. Barth (1864) "Ueber einen neuen, dem Orcin homologen Körper" (On a new substance homologous to orcin), Annalen der Chemie, 130 (3) : 354-359. Resorcinol is named on p. 358: "Wir nennen den neuen Körper, da wir gefunden haben, dass er auch aus dem Ammoniakgummiharz erhalten werden kann, Resorcin, um an seine Entstehung aus Harzen und seine Beziehung zum Orcin zu erinnern." (We name the new substance, since we have found that it can be obtained from ammoniated resin gum, resorcin, in order to recall its creation from resin and its relation to orcin.)