The real reason we haven't seen Suri Cruise: a birthmark?

We’ve been very excited to see the new photos of Suri Cruise, 7 months old, taken this week leading up to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘ wedding. These first candid photos of their baby are exciting for several reasons. The first is that we’ve been deprived of photos of her since her Vanity Fair debut, the second is that we’ve been deprived of candid photos of her up to this point, but thirdly because the photos reveal what may be the true reason Suri has been kept out of the public eye.

We don’t think this makes Suri any less adorable, sweet or precious, but we are wondering if this might be one of the reasons Suri hasn’t been out in public until now.We’d like to call your attention to what appears to be a slight but distinctive birthmark located in the middle of her forehead between her eyes visible in several photos that was not visible in the Vanity Fair photos. It was rumored that there was a lot of airbrushing involved in her Vanity Fair shoot and this is what was probably airbrushed. In these new candid shots of her, her thick black hair is combed forward, most likely in an attempt to conceal the mark. Of course, it is also possible Suri fell and bruised her face or that it’s from falling asleep on Tom’s shoulder. We don’t think a birthmark takes anything away from a child’s beautyand are merely suggesting this as a possible reason the baby has beenso carefully hidden.

We don’t know what type of birthmark this is, but it’s likely they have tried to have it removed or reduced because the color is very subtle. From what we understand, there are three major types of birthmarks: port wine stains, hemangiomas, and vascular malformations. According to Birthmark.org and Birthmark.com, hemangiomas are reddish in color, 83% occur on the head and neck area, occur 5 times more often in females, appear at or shortly after birth, growing rapidly for first nine months and most stop growing by 18 months,can be raised, flat or both, responds to steroid treatment but only some respond to laser treatment. Port wine stains are red or purple, can appear anywhere on body, are present at birth, don’t grow, are flat at birth but may slightly thicken with age, do not respond to steroid treatment but do respond to laser treatment and can change color with hot or cold temperatures. It doesn’t appear to be a vascular malformation.

Many readers have written in saying that they think Suri has an angel’s kiss or stork’s bite. My own Anya even has something like this- a slight redness under her nose that reddens when she cries or gets excited. A third of all newborns are born with salmon patches (which are typically found in the midline of the face or neck), with most fading by 18 months. I’m not suggesting that a birthmark like this would have kept her out of the public- I’m wondering if what we see in these photos is a port wine stain or hemangioma that is being treated and is now much paler.

Does the red mark on Suri’s forehead look like a birthmark to you?

Does your child have a birthmark besides an angel’s kiss/stork’s bite? What challenges have you faced, both health-wise and psychologically?

Photos: The Associated Press and People, with permission, Vanity Fair

More information about birthmarks can be found at Birthmark.org and Birthmark.com.

Thanks to CBB Reader Sandy.

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