Background. Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease characterized by abscess formation localized to apocrine sweat gland-bearing skin. The most important factor in patients' overall assessment of disease severity is pain. The duration of abscesses takes days to weeks and are always painful. Aim. To assess the efficacy of self-treatment with topical 15% resorcinol in an open study. Methods. The case notes of 12 women with stage 1 or 2 HS treated with topical resorcinol and followed up for at least 1 year were reviewed. The patients rated the efficacy of treatment on global maximum pain of nodules and abscesses on a visual analogue scale (VAS) and by self-report of the mean duration (days) of a painful lesion. Results. All patients experienced a significant decrease in pain as assessed by VAS and reported a reduction in mean duration of the painful abscesses. Conclusions. Topical treatment with 15% resorcinol reduced pain from painful nodules in all patients with HS. Further trials are warranted to confirm these results.