The arrector pili muscle, is the small, smooth muscle responsible for producing goose bumps on the skin, also called goose pimples or goose flesh. These small, fan-shaped smooth muscles are located on the side of each hair follicle and contract when exposed to cold, which stimulates the skin to pucker around the pore. The purpose of this, in mammals, is to cause the hairs to stand erect thus providing insulation. The contraction of the muscle may also squeeze the oil gland so that sebum coats the hair shaft, protecting it from the environment. The muscles are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and, in addition to cold, can also be caused to contract by emotional stimuli such as fear, excitement or other strong emotions.
This page created 28 Sep 2011 18:07
Last updated 19 Jul 2016 20:40