When you apply resorcinol to your skin, it breaks down scaly, rough or dead skin. It’s a favourite topical treatment for acne-prone skin, because it removes the outer layer of skin that’s clogging pores and provides a smoother surface with fresher cells. It is also used to treat corns, calluses, and warts — more or less any unwanted cluster of skin cells. Resorcinol is sold in lotion or ointment form, but seldom is used alone. It can irritate skin (redness and peeling) and should not be combined with other harsh products. It’s usually prescribed with products that counteract its irritating characteristics. Although safe in supervised doses, it’s also dangerous for the environment and very toxic to aquatic organisms.

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