This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics: An Introduction to the National Treatment of Disease", by John Mitchell Bruce. Also available from Amazon: The pharmacology and therapeutics of the materia medica.
Gossypium - Cotton Wool. - The hairs of the seed of several species of Gossypium, carded.
Pyroxylin. Gun Cotton. - Made by immersing the wool in a mixture of sulphuric and nitric acids, washing, draining, and drying.
From Pyroxylin is prepared:
Collodium. - Made by dissolving Pyroxylin, 1; in Ether, 36; and Rectified Spirit, 12.
From Collodium is prepared:
Collodium Flexile. - Collodium, 48; Canada Balsam, 2; and Castor Oil, 1.
Non-officinal Preparation of Gossypium.
Absorbent Cotton Wool. Cotton wool deprived of its oil by washing with an alkali.
Pyroxylin is introduced for the purpose of making collodion.
Collodion, when painted on the skin or other exposed part, instantly dries by evaporation of the ether, forming a fine film. This film serves as a protective to thin, inflamed, broken, or incised surfaces, preventing bed-sores, arresting haemorrhage (as in leech-bites), and closing fissures or punctures made with aspirateurs or trochars in paracentesis. The flexible collodion does not contract on drying or readily crack, and is a better form for most of the above purposes.