Did Sammy Sosa Bleach His Skin?

New photos of Sammy Sosa attending an awards event in Las Vegas hit the web over the weekend, and the former baseball slugger looked quite different, to say the least. His skin appeared to be several jarring shades lighter, causing some to speculate that he had bleached his skin like Michael Jackson was rumored to have done. The site Midwest Sports Fan hypothesizes that Sosa’s steroid use could have caused him to be afflicted with vitiligo, a condition Jackson also claimed he had. But recently, an acquaintance of Sosa’s said he underwent a “rejuvenation process for his skin” that is supposed to repairs years of damage from playing baseball in the sun. “He’s not trying to be Michael Jackson,” said his friend Rebecca Polihronis, to The Chicago Tribune. “He was surprised he came out looking so white. I thought it was a body double. Part of [his appearance in the photo] is just the lighting,” she added.

OK, so his skin was so damaged that it was lightened several shades, yet he still made a public appearance? The skin is the first layer of the body’s defenses, and I find it hard to believe that after a “skin rejuvenation” of this magnitude a doctor wouldn’t caution him against going out in public unnecessarily. I’d think the sheer pain or even the embarrassment of looking different would keep him in the house, unless he was pleased with the lighter skin. Let’s not forget that Sammy has also been wearing green contacts lately. Do you think Sosa bleached his skin? Does it even matter if he did when there are so many other body- and skin-altering procedures available?