Gawd, is this what it's like to have normal, healthy skin?
I finally got myself an appointment with the dermatologist, months after being plagued by horribly anti-social itchiness and the complications that followed.
The day after I started on two types of antihistimines (one for day and one for night) and a steroid lotion (to replace two ineffective ointments), I felt my belly and it was soft and smooth.
In fact, my whole body is soft and smooth. I'm almost in lust with myself - several times a day I catch myself standing in the middle of the lounge feeling my tummy skin.
Okay, so I'm a bit dopey in the mornings because of the antihistamines, but it's a small price to pay to be (relatively) beautiful.
I also found a nice moisturiser that was both effective and completely non-irritating. It's a product which is custom-made for me by the lady who owns the Earth 174 shop in town; she mixed it up from almond oil, vitamin E and manuka honey, and will keep adding stuff to the recipe to see what my skin will handle.