Cotton wool is made of cotton that has been purified, meaning that any seeds and extraneous matter have been removed. It is also called absorbent cotton or purified cotton and is considered the most natural state of cotton, making it perfect for use in medical care.
Because of its purity, soft texture and absorbent properties, cotton wool is often used for cleaning and gentle wound care in hospitals, such as wrapping or padding injuries, surgical dressings and cleaning damaged skin with antiseptics. Cotton wool can be found in first aid kits for at-home wound care. Because it is so gentle, it is also useful in skin care products for babies, such as cotton balls.