the above description is very accurate!
i went for a test zap, and that one teeny zap may or may not hurt, but once you get the whole thing done it is a lot more uncomfortable than the test zap may indicate!
i just had my bikini, inner thighs, lower legs and big toes done.
big toe and lower leg were the worst; i actually had to bite my hand and yelled a bit as well as broke out in a kind of cold sweat, especially above my ankles, but the pain is gone the second the laser passes over it so it is very temporary. i think the “elastic” band comparison is good, but does not prepare you for the shock of lots of elastic bands in quick succession. i would say try plucking out a thick hair in your shin and feel that pain, then imagine it every half second over the entire area to be treated. add to it a deeper kind of “sting”. of course, the pain changes massively with the area being treated, with some areas (in my case, the thigh) being hardly painful at all. it IS instantaneous though, and although my skin is pretty sensitive the redness was gone by the next day (i used some lotion provided), quicker than when i wax, which surprised me.
i will add that i was just before my period which is supposed to be more painful (the timing just worked out that way), and that i did use the clinics aneasthetic cream, which i am not sure worked very well. next time i will use Emla, as i hear you can buy it online and it is supposed to be the strongest.
its the kind of stingy quick pain that makes you want to jump about and go “ow! ow! ow!” and break you out in a sweat, but only in certain areas. its nothing like a throbbing or deep pain and is gone immediately. very tolerable!!!
all in all, i think it is worth it. my treatment took one hour, i’d say 30% of it was very painful and the other 70% medium to nothing.