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Related to gooseflesh: piloerection


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.



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
My husband woke me up with this horrible news and I broke out in gooseflesh because on July 23, my family and I were rafting and tubing and I got caught on these exact same logs and flipped off of my tube.
Humbert acknowledges the futility of his repetition compulsion as "the rational pursuit of a purely theoretical thrill," and indeed "Lo was all gooseflesh and grit, and for the first time in my life I had as little desire for her as for a manatee" (167).
This denunciation of Machek has recalled to some of Subasich's friends, with a touch of gooseflesh, that it was Subasich who had directly in hand the measures (much exaggerated, according to Subasich's friends) which are now described by Djilas.
Chapter Two, "Glands, Gooseflesh, and Hormones," reviews the hormones and brain system involved in the stress-response: which ones are activated during stress and which ones are inhibited.
Never will I forget my reaction to that sight: it chilled me to the marrow, raising gooseflesh that still at times is raised again at the very thought of what I saw.
High on the gooseflesh factor and spookily surreal, after an evening like this how thankful was I to have long ago declared my bedroom a wardrobe-free zone.
6) The phrases "kicking the habit" and "going cold turkey" describe the leg spasms and gooseflesh skin of opiate withdrawal.
Kathy was tugging at his elbow, the cold air already raising gooseflesh on her bare forearms, and he turned to go inland.
In Naked Portrait with Green Chair, it's as if the stillwet paint representing the areas around the woman's left knee and the inside of her right thigh had been smooshed up against the formalists' mythical picture plane as against a pane of glass, then pulled back to make the paint stand up like gooseflesh.
When he was eight years old, my father was visited by a nightmare so powerful that half a century later the mere retelling of it would stipple his skin with gooseflesh and lift the hair on the back of his arms.
Each one was like a successful first date, filled with thrills and gooseflesh.