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What does it mean when a person gets chills and goosebumps when not cold?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Mark Tosca
Urgent Care

In brief: Flight or Fight

As you've indicated "goose bumps" occur in response to cold as your body's way of generating heat.
But this reaction (piloerection) also occurs in response to strong emotion. Fear for ex. Stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which causes the smooth muscle at the base of hair follicles to contract resulting in "goose bumps". Rarely, goose bumps are associated with medical disorders.

In brief: Flight or Fight

As you've indicated "goose bumps" occur in response to cold as your body's way of generating heat.
But this reaction (piloerection) also occurs in response to strong emotion. Fear for ex. Stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which causes the smooth muscle at the base of hair follicles to contract resulting in "goose bumps". Rarely, goose bumps are associated with medical disorders.
Dr. Mark Tosca
Dr. Mark Tosca
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