gooseflesh

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Related to goose skin: keratosis pilaris

gooseflesh,

temporary rumpling of the skin into tiny bumps, also called goose bumps and goose pimples, and technically known as cutis ansirina. In response to cold or certain emotional states, such as fear or rage, the smooth muscles of the subsurface layer (dermis) of skin tend to contract, causing the skin to pucker and body hair to stand erect. In furred animals this can serve a dual purpose. Erection of the fur may make an animal seem larger than it actually is and act to frighten away a potential aggressor. Second, the erect fur traps a blanket of air close to the skin thus providing the organism with additional insulation against loss of body heat. In humans, this response would seem to be vestigial.

Gooseflesh

 

a change in the skin manifested by the appearance of tiny nodules, so that the skin resembles that of a plucked goose.

Gooseflesh is caused by cold and mental agitation (for example, fear), which result in the contraction of the minute muscles that raise the hair. Gooseflesh can be a form of keratosis, lichen pilaris, a developmental anomaly of the hair bulbs, or vitamin A deficiency. It appears in children from the ages of two to five mostly on the extensor surfaces of the limbs, intensifies at puberty, and smooths out after a number of years. Treatment of the condition involves softening and removal of the horny layers and a diet rich in vitamin A, or administration of a preparation containing the vitamin.