Common warts usually grow on the fingers, around the nails and on the backs of the hands. They are more common where skin has been broken, such as where fingernails are bitten or hangnails picked.
Foot warts are usually on the soles (plantar area) of the feet and are called plantar warts. Most plantar warts do not stick up above the surface like common warts because the pressure of walking flattens them and pushes them back into the skin. Like common warts, these warts may have black dots. This type of wart can be painful, feeling like a stone in the shoe.
Flat warts are smaller and smoother than other warts. They tend to grow in large numbers: 20 to 100 at any one time. They can occur anywhere, but in children they are most common on the face. In adults they are often found in the beard area in men and on the legs in women. Irritation from shaving probably accounts for this.
Warts are passed from person-to-person, sometimes indirectly. The time from the first contact to the time the Warts have grown large enough to be seen is often several months. The risk of catching hand, foot or flat warts from another person is small.
Some people get warts depending on how often they are exposed to the virus. Some people are just more likely to catch the wart virus than are others. Patients with a weakened immune system are also more prone to a wart virus infection.
In children, warts can disappear without treatment over a period of several months to years. However, warts that are bothersome, painful or rapidly multiplying should be treated. Warts in adults often do not disappear as easily or as quickly as they do in children.
Dermatologists are trained to use a variety of treatments, depending on the age of the patient and the type of wart.