Causes of Goose Bumps

what produces goose bumps

Goose bumps, goose pimples or goose flesh are the bumps on a person’s skin at the base of body hairs which may involuntarily develop when an individual is cold or experiences strong emotions such as worry, ecstasy or sexual stimulation. The medical term for the result is cutis anserina or horripilation.

The development of goose bumps in human beings under stress is thought about to be a vestigial reflex; and its function in other apes is to raise the body’s hair, and would have made our human ancestors appear larger to frighten predators or to increase the quantity of air caught in the fur to make it more insulating. The reflex of producing goose bumps is referred to as piloerection or the pilomotor reflex. It takes place in many mammals besides humans; a popular example is porcupines, which raise their quills when threatened, or sea otters when they encounter sharks or other predators.

Like sneezing, goose bumps (likewise called the pilomotor reflex) represent one of your body’s automatic actions, suggested to increase your chances of survival in the extreme situations.

So, what cause goose bumps on hands, legs or even all over the body? Cold environments and strong emotions (like fear) are both known to provide your skin the texture of plucked poultry. When the muscle fiber linked to a hair roots tightens, the skin surrounding the roots tightens into a goose bump, pulling the connected hair directly.

Information verified by the team.

One effect is to produce warmth: straightened hair traps a layer of air against the skin, insulating the body. Regrettably, human hair is so thin and short regarding render the reflex essentially useless, however in hairier mammals goose bumps do not just look silly. In reality, a cat or mouse’s battle-ready stance is associated with our own pilomotor reflex. In their case the muscles are reacting to perceived threats by making the animals appear bigger.

Severe temperatures

Goose bumps can be experienced in the presence of flash-cold temperatures; for example, remaining in a cold environment, and the skin having the ability to re-balance its surface area temperature rapidly. The stimulus of cold surroundings causes the tiny muscles connected to each hair roots to agreement. This contraction causes the hair strands to stand straight; the function of which, is to help in quicker drying, by means of evaporation of water clinging to the hair, which is moved up and far from the skin.

Intense feeling

People typically state they feel their “hair standing on end” when they are scared or in awe. In an extremely difficult circumstance, the body can employ the “battle or flight” action. As the body prepares itself for either combating or running, the supportive nervous system floods the blood with adrenaline (epinephrine), a hormone that speeds up heart rate, metabolic process, and body temperature in the existence of extreme stress. Then the understanding nerve system also causes the piloerection reflex, which makes the muscles attached to the base of each hair follicle contract and require the hair up.


Medications and organic supplements that affect body temperature and blood flow may cause piloerection. For example, one of the common reported side effects of the intake of Yohimbine HCL is piloerection.

Opiate withdrawal

Piloerection is among the signs of opiate withdrawal.

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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