Good evening, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats and have extensive "real world" experience treating allergic disease in dogs.
I understand your reluctance to use steroids and applaud your efforts to learn as much as you can about your pet's condition before making a decision!
I will second the notion that Apoquel is not a steroid. Keep in mind that even though it is new to the commercial market, it has been used for many years (as far back as 2010) by veterinary dermatologists with great success and very few side effects.
You also didn't mention Atopica (modified cyclosporin) - which is another allergy maintenance medication. I have used this medication with quite good outcomes over the past 8 years, however I do see a fair bit of GI upset with it, especially in the first few weeks. It also is usually double the cost of the Apoquel, now that it is available, so I'm using less Atopica and more Apoquel lately.
Allergen specific immunotherapy can also decrease the symptoms of allergies over the long term, and it's not technically "medication" but rather a controlled and gradual introduction of allergens to the immune system in an attempt to dampen the allergic response. Typically a precise allergy vaccine is tailored to the individual pet using their intradermal (skin) or blood allergy test results, however there is a product called Respit that takes the most common allergens in a geographic area and puts them into the vaccine. This eliminates the need for allergy testing BUT it can decrease the effectiveness if the pet is allergic to something other than what's "common" that is included in the vaccine.
In discussing local treatment of any area, we could consider topical steroid creams or leave ons like Resicort, although they may lead to just as much systemic steroid absorption as giving the steroid by mouth because it's more likely to be ingested.
I'll also opt out here so that if we have an expert well versed in naturopathic treatments, they can add in their thoughts.