I've had hayfever since I was 12 but never had eczema till I was pregnant with my daughter. I had been dreading that summer but my hayfever didn't come. As soon as summer turned to autumn though I got two patches of eczema on my face that were very difficult to get rid of. It cleared up, I had my daughter and the hayfever came back.
When she was little my daughter, and later my son, got patches of eczema on her arms and the backs of her legs every now and again which was brought on by the SLS in shampoo and bubble bath so I learned to read labels.
I was given a tip by the fabulous complementary therapist Jan de Vries which works every time. Put a handful of oatmeal (anything but pinhead) in the centre of a cotton hankie and tie it up with string. Place it in the bath as it runs and while you're in the bath squeeze the oatmeal ball over the dry patches of skin and rub the oat milk over the affected areas.
Now, every autumn as the winds begin to bite I get a patch of eczema somewhere on my face. This time it was around my eyes and on my eyelids so I was keen for a proper diagnosis in case it was anything more sinister.
The opthalmologist said it was the skin and sent me to the doctor who presecribed a steroid cream. I've put it away in the medicine cabinet as I don't really want to put steroids near my eyes. I have been using the oatmeal bags and it's clearing up nicely.
Another over-the-counter product I would recommend is Aveeno cream which contains oatmeal extract. I've also been given some nettle soap from a herbalist to try out so we'll see how that goes.
I'm SO glad you didn't want to put steroid ointment on your eyelids! It things your skin and there's an awful thing called TSW (topical steroid withdrawal. I've heard of the oatmeal solution, but never tried it because our bathtub needs a MAJOR overhaul. Maybe I'll try it at my next hotel stay ;-)
Thanks for sharing your story and tips!