Literally it means setting on fire. It is a protective process our body uses when tissues are injured. Inflammation helps to eliminate a foreign body or organism (virus, bacteria) and prevent further injury. Signs of inflammation include; swelling, redness, pain and warmth. If the signs of inflammation are long lasting, as they can be in lupus, then damage to the tissues can occur and normal function is impaired. This is why the treatment of lupus is aimed at reducing the inflammation.