The word bruciapelo (masculine, invariable) is mostly seen in the expression a bruciapelo which literally means point-blank or at point-blank range.
It is formed of two words: the verb bruciare (to burn) and the noun pelo (a single body hair). The idea is that if a gun is shot at very close range, it can burn the hair off the victim’s body.
Il criminale gli sparò a bruciapelo, uccidendolo.
The criminal shot him point-blank, killing him.
Quite often, however, a bruciapelo is used in a figurative sense when something is done or said out of the blue, catching the other person off guard. For example:
La mia ragazza mi chiese a bruciapelo se ero ancora felice con lei.
My girlfriend asked me point-blank if I was still happy with her.
Il presidente è abituato a ricevere domande fatte a bruciapelo.
The president is used to receiving pointed questions.
There is another use of the word bruciapelo, without the a in front, but it is a technical term that indicates a macchina bruciapelo, a machine that burns the down of cotton fabric.