What is peripheral vasoconstriction and how does it affect your body temperature?
Vasoconstriction (from “vaso-” meaning vessel) is constriction of the blood vessels. The opposite of vasoconstriction is vasodilatation, which is the relaxation of blood vessels. Vasoconstriction causes the radius of blood vessels to decrease, while vasodilatation increases radius. Blood flow through a vessel can be modeled as the flow of fluid through a pipe. Fluid flow through a pipe is directly proportional to the fourth power of pipe radius. As radius decreases, blood flow decreases, and vice versa. So vasoconstriction and vasodilatation can be used to regulate flow through a blood vessel. Peripheral blood vessels are usually considered those not in the core of the body and not those that supply skeletal muscles. A common example is the blood vessels of the skin. So peripheral vasoconstriction and vasodilatation control the amount of blood flow to the skin. Skin blood flow is a critical component of temperature regula