Eczema can have a number of causes, and can also be a symptom of an underlying problem, such as hypochlorhydria (low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach), leaky gut syndrome, or an overgrowth of candida. Many cases of eczema are allergy-related.
The allergy can be to something external. Finding the cause is an important step in treating the eczema. It may be necessary to change, at least temporarily, to non-allergenic shampoos, lotions, soaps, etc. and avoid contact with various chemicals, nickel, plants, etc. to see if there is any improvement. In some cases where contact cannot be avoided (such as a person who must be exposed to these things in the course of their work), the sufferer can wear nitrile gloves in order to prevent various substances from coming into contact with the skin. These gloves are latex and powder free, an important consideration since latex allergies are common. These can be purchased from a dealer in medical supplies.
Many other eczema cases are related to dietary allergies. You can try eliminating all common allergens at the same time, and adding them back in at the rate of one per week to find the triggers, or cut out one category at a time to try to find the culprit. Foods that commonly produce allergic skin reactions include eggs, peanuts, soy foods, wheat, dairy products, strawberries, processed foods, and chocolate.
Gluten is an especially worth considering. Try eliminating gluten from your diet for 4-6 weeks and see if there is any improvement, and then re-introduce gluten-containing foods back, one food each week.
Helpful herbs include chamomile and pau d’arco. Both can be used either internally or externally. Aloe gel with a few drops of lavender oil applied in a thick coating over the affected skin can produce very good results. If the skin is very badly affected, you can mix goldenseal root powder (open a capsule) with vitamin E oil and apply that. Betaine HCl can be taken as a supplement to increase levels of hydrochloric acid (it should be avoided if your stomach is too acid). Vitamin E is another important supplement, and various EFA supplements – borage oil, flaxseed oil – can benefit the skin as well.