Relapses or flares of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are frequent and observed in 27-66% of patients. SLE flares are defined as an increase in disease activity, in general, requiring alternative treatment or intensification of therapy. A renal flare is indicated by an increase in proteinuria and/or serum creatinine concentration, abnormal urine sediment or a reduction in creatinine clearance rate as a result of active disease. The morbidity associated with renal flares is derived from both the kidney damage due to lupus nephritis and treatment-related toxic effects. Current induction treatment protocols achieve remission in the majority of patients with lupus nephritis; however, few studies focus on treatment interventions for renal flares in these patients. The available data, however, suggest that remission can be induced again in a substantial percentage of patients experiencing a lupus nephritis flare. Lupus nephritis flares are independently associated with an increased risk of deterioration in renal function; prevention of renal flares might, therefore, also decrease long-term morbidity and mortality. Appropriate immunosuppressive maintenance therapy might lead to a decrease in the occurrence of renal and extrarenal flares in patients with SLE, and monitoring for the early detection and treatment of renal flares could improve their outcomes.