Resorcinol (Resorcin) was discovered by Hlasiwetz and Barth (cited by Kellogg1) in Vienna in the year 1863 as a decomposition product formed when different resins were melted together with potassium. It was synthesized from metaiodophenol and potassium by Koerner2 in 1868. Resorcinol is a member of the phenol group, with the chemical formula C6H6O2; it is a metadihydroxybenzene.
The other members of the phenol group, pyrocatechin and hydroquinone, are too toxic for therapeutic use. The melting point of the colorless resorcinol crystals is 118 C., and the boiling point is 274 C. Resorcinol is readily soluble in water, alcohol, ether and fats.
Resorcinol was introduced into dermatotherapy by Andeer3 in 1884, who credited it with a keratolytic action similar to that of salicylic acid. It was, however, primarily used as a strong caustic agent by this and other authors for tuber
STRAKOSCH EA. STUDIES ON OINTMENTS: V. OINTMENTS CONTAINING RESORCINOL. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1943;48(4):393–399. doi:10.1001/archderm.1943.01510040037007
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