We have all experienced "goosebumps" when we have felt cold, afraid or excited to live an experience different from the ordinary.
Without a doubt, it is a very interesting phenomenon that pushes us to really ask ourselves, why does the skin take on this aspect?
The "goosebumps" is produced by a reflex called "piloerection", which causes the small muscles at the base of each capillary to contract and thus lift each of the hairs that cover the skin, at the same time, the pores are slightly dilated, causing that "goosebumps" look so unique.
This phenomenon does not usually occur in isolation, but is related to changes in states of consciousness and, specifically, in emotional states. In this way, "goosebumps" have a physiological dimension and another psychological dimension related to emotions.
But why does it happen when we are cold?
When the skin offers a rough surface due to the appearance of these small bumps, an air space is created that is protected between the bumps and the skin surface, it is a layer of hot air of just a millimeter, but enough to avoid lose so much temperature, without this mechanism the skin would remain smooth and completely exposed to the cold.
The piloerection ends soon after the temperature returns to normal or when we again have a feeling of security.
Piloerection has a closer relationship with our integrity than with health, it is a way in which the body makes us know that we are in hostile conditions and that we have to act to preserve ourselves, that is, it is a reaction of the system sympathetic nervous, the activation of this system is linked to responses to E situations (escape, stress, exercise, emergency).
In situations E there is a significant release of adrenaline directly into the bloodstream, and among the effects of this release is the piloerector reflex.
As a summary :
It is a totally involuntary response of our body, which acts on sudden changes in temperature and other external stimuli.
So, the next time you experience this feeling, at least you will know the reasons and maybe even how to reverse it.