The biggest help is dietary. I'm not sure why doctors don't bother telling us that we need to stop eating gluten and dairy, but when I looked up information about foods to avoid if one has eczema the consensus was that we have to avoid gluten and dairy. I had to discover this the hard way myself. I've learned that I have to self-advocate and find the information I need for myself. I don't know what I would do without a computer. I discovered that avoiding gluten and dairy cleared up the problem before I had access to a computer of my own.
The other huge things needed are changing all household products top to bottom to fragrance free and dye free. A paste of castile soap and baking soda or Bon Ami will take care of cleaning your bathroom fixtures. Either the castile soap or undiluted white vinegar will clean the toilet. Dr. Bronner's is the brand I'm talking about. This is the one product you can have with fragrances, because the essential oils that are included in this soap are natural disinfectant.
A great laundry idea if you can't find a laundry detergent that doesn't irritate your skin even after you do the double-rinse and you have changed to a fragrance free and dye free product is this: Use 1/2 c or 1c or baking soda per washer load. Use the smaller amount for the front end loader style washer. If you use a public dryer, use a spray bottle of undiluted white vinegar to clean out the dryer drum. Be sure wash the lint filter unless you are in one of those laundromats where you can't access it. Then load your clothes. Do NOT use any dryer sheets. Not EVEN if they say they are "fragrance free". First, you don't need them. Second, they have a lot of chemicals, including petroleum based wax. The whole idea is to get rid of the chemicals because they bother your skin.
Be very careful with the lotions you use. They need to be fragrance free and hypoallergenic. Use trusted brands.
You are likely allergic to cocoa butter like I am. Avoid cocoa butter. It is highly allergenic.
Coconut oil is hypoallergenic. If you are allergic to coconuts don't use it. Oddly enough, people with allergies usually do well with the extra virgin coconut oil. If you're not sure, buy the smallest jar at the discount supplement store in your area. It is something you can use on your skin. Keep the receipt in case you discover it irritates your skin or your throat in any way. Most people do well with coconut oil. You will hear conflicting information about coconut oil. Moderation is key. This stuff is extra virgin and virgin and is definitely healthier than hydrogenated soybean oil, which is what shortening is. Again, if it irritates your throat or makes your skin itch, don't use it.
Avoid sulfites as much as possible. Beet sugar has sulfites from the processing, and so does high fructose corn syrup. The law doesn't require them to label the sulfites. Avoid processed foods. All those words you can't even pronounce are food preservatives, which contain sulfites. Many other issues besides eczema are affected by sulfites. So, lowering your overall load should help. Also low glycemic foods will help. Sugar is obviously high glycemic. Rice is gluten free but it is high glycemic. Sugar causes inflammation and that's what high glycemic foods are. Limit their quantities. Potatoes aren't really good for anyone. You can eat them if you're not allergic to or sensitive to, but they are the highest glycemic root vegetable that is consumed in high quantities. Even carrots are, but they're definitely healthier than potatoes. Just limit them. If you eat these things everyday, limit their quantities. Moderation is very important in this area. Not easy to do, but worth it. I would encourage everyone to avoid potatoes. Or, at least limit them to special occasions, so they're not eaten on a regular basis.
READ LABELS. Foods you don't think have gluten will have gluten. Read the Celiac information page for gluten free living information. You do not have to have Celiac to have a need to avoid gluten. Most people with gluten intolerance also have dairy intolerance. Gluten free living is not as difficult as people make it out to be. Especially if you aim towards a whole foods diet. The whole foods diet mostly eliminates convenience foods, so people think it's horribly difficult. It's not. I encourage you to buy a crock pot. You'll use it to make meal planning on a whole foods diet easier to do. If you eat licorice candy from the drug store--it's out. Once you read the label you'll see why. Look for gluten free candy resources online for such occasional treats.
Make sure you change your personal care products. Make sure they're fragrance and dye free as well as gluten free. Yep, oddly enough there is actually gluten in many personal care products. Jason and Earth Science are good shampoo and conditioner brands. Another trick for using less shampoo is to get in the shower and use no shampoo and just massage your scalp well. Dry scalp becomes less dry and oily scalp becomes less oily with this tip. I'm not the one who came up with that one. I forget where I saw that. It might have been an infomercial or something. Nevertheless, this tip definitely works. If you have dry scalp and hair, you can use coconut or olive oil for deep oil treatments and leave in conditioner. If you tend towards oily hair, skip this step. There is a gentler and mostly natural hair gel made by Giovanni that is sold at supplement stores if you need a hair fixative. They have a couple of other hair fixatives in their line at the supplement stores. It is definitely less irritating to the senses and the skin both.
This is most of my tips. I think once you make the change overs and implement these tricks and tips you'll see a dramatic change in your eczema. And, you'll find that once you get started that it's actually easy to keep it up.
Don't forget to change your dish liquid, especially for hand washing. I find Seventh Generation fragrance and dye free works great and doesn't bother my hands. And, it was my hands where the worst of the problem with the eczema was. That, next to the issues with the scalp. Most people with eczema that I know of can't wear those latex dish gloves. This dish liquid has proven to be a life saver for my hands.
Aquaphor by Eucerin: you can try the healing ointment or the healing lotion.... i recommend both ....use the ointment during the night and wrap the body part thats affected in cotton... like if its on the chest wear a cotton shirt- arms = longer sleeves if its on the legs, thigh, butt wear some lightweight jogging pants...and then use the lotion during the day.... but if you cant afford both i recommend the healing ointment for overnight treatment then use a regular lotion with no fragrance and try not to use any fragrance soaps, but find some soaps that put moisture back into the skin such as -Ivory