If a cut on your skin swells up, turns red, and hurts, those symptoms are signs of acute, or short-lived, inflammation. Feeling hot or losing function may be signs of inflammation from other harm to your body. Some inflammation that occurs in your body’s cells or tissues may not have outward symptoms. Inflammation is a normal part of the body’s defense to injury or infection, and, in this way, it is beneficial. But inflammation is damaging when it occurs in healthy tissues or lasts too long. Known as chronic inflammation, it may persist for months or years. Inflammation may result from many factors, such as: environmental chemicals; injuries like scrapes, insect stings, or a splinter in your finger; pathogens (germs) like bacteria, viruses, or fungi; radiation.