Sterile gauze is individually wrapped and pre-packaged to prevent the gauze from being exposed to outside contaminants. It goes through a sterilization process to resist bacteria.
If you're applying gauze directly to a wound, sterile gauze is recommended over non-sterile gauze. Sterile gauze is ideal for use on surgical incisions, open wounds, and burns. If you are using gauze to wrap a limb or place over a bandage, it is not necessary to use sterile gauze because it is not coming into contact with vulnerable tissue. In that application, non-sterile gauze may be more suitable since it is less expensive than the sterile variety. Sterile gauze is available in the form of sponges, ABD pads, gauze rolls, and more.