Have you ever wondered why goosebumps happen, or what happens when we do get them? There’s not a lot we can do about it and, in fact, it is an important protective mechanism for our bodies. A slight touch, an emotional moment, or a particularly cold day can all give us goosebumps.
When the body is exposed to cold conditions, it does its best not to cool down too quickly. When nerves in the skin notice a cold stimulus, they pass on the information to tiny muscles under the sebaceous glands, known as arrector pili muscles which are the muscles that literally make hair stand on end.
When the contractions of those small muscles make hair stand on end, it constricts the blood vessels keeping the body warm. It’s impossible to control this process consciously. The best we can do if we want to prevent goosebumps is to keep warm.
A similar process is triggered by emotionally arousing circumstances. The body goes into fighting modem, the muscles become tense and get ready for fight or flight. The thighs will contract along with the arrector pili muscles.
As such Goosebumps can also emerge when we feel angry, happy or aroused and, in such cases, even the warmest coat will not help.