The rash caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac is an allergic reaction. Around 15% to 30% of people have no allergic response, but most if not all will become sensitized over time with repeated or more concentrated exposure.
A simple way to minimize your chances of get a reaction is to wash with Fels Naptha soap after exposure. It can be found in the laundry section of most grocery stores. It’s inexpensive and can stop or minimize reactions from such plants as poison ivy, poison oaks and sumac.
Fels Naptha has been used for over 100 years for the treatment and prevention of poison ivy, sumac and poison oak rash. I have used it for years. If you think, you have been exposed to poison ivy, poison oak or sumac, shower or wash immediately with Fels Naptha to remove the oils from your skin. This will reduce and in many cases prevent any skin reaction.
Make sure to wash your clothes and equipment in some shaved or grated fels naptha to remove the oils. Some oils can stay on your clothes and equipment for over 1 year even if washed with normal detergent.
Washing with Fels Naptha can greatly reduce the itching and discomfort from bug bites. I strongly suggest that you become familiar with any plants in your area of operations that pose a hazard.